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Fear

So I have made another appointment for a blood test.

This has been hanging around for months. It'a about finding out if I am entering the menopause. Got no problems with that - never wanted kids, don't want them now - but I am very needle phobic. I have been getting better over the past couple of years, but I am still afraid. I have made an appointment to minimise waiting around, but I can already feel a fear starting. One has to fast for 10 hours beforehand, so it's not something you can just walk in and do; you have to be mindful.

Oh dear, I hate injections so much.

I have never had a blood test in my whole life, or at least, in my whole remembered life. My medical notes don't have records of a blood test, though I have been a vaccination/inoculation pincushion since I was very young. It's shocking that I have never given blood, but I just can't explain it. Injections hurt me, they really do, and I start to panic before I have one.

I am panicking now. Not a panic attack, or I couldn't write this. I am not one for such things. But I can feel a kind of weird bubbling in my stomach, a quiet nausea, and my eyes are beginning to fill with tears.

48 and never had a blood test, the doctor joked I must be very healthy. Truth is, I don't fall ill that much, and when I do, all I have to do is listen to my bod. If it says sleep I sleep, if it says eat I eat, if it says don't eat I don't eat. Sometimes stuff happens, but my body gets over it. I know I am lucky in that regard.

I would ignore this but I can't. My great-grandmother suffered from osteoporosis, and because I am small and thin (er...ish) the doc reckons it could be a possibility for me. And anyway, it's good to know what is going on.

Oh but I don't want to do this. The centre is always so crowded, from embarrassed STD patients to weary mothers with four or five children hanging off them like carrier bags full of scream. Nowhere for them to go, nowhere for me to hide.

I hate this whole thing so much. Tears and nausea have gone for now. Reckon some comforting soup and cheese will help sort this out.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
blackcurrants
Mar. 2nd, 2011 11:36 am (UTC)
Oh! I'm so sorry to hear that. Good luck, best of British, many hugs, e-tea, etc. I hope a very gentle person distracts you so you don't feel it so badly. And then you have celebratory drugs and/or cake.
smokingboot
Mar. 2nd, 2011 11:38 am (UTC)
How kind you are, thank you! Cake after is very much part of the plan!
the_pale_queen
Mar. 2nd, 2011 01:39 pm (UTC)
Ech, I'm so sorry hun, it is most annoying when making good health decisions happen to hit one of your personal buttons. Excuse me if this is a dumb question but have you enquired about the possibility of being able to mail a sample to somewhere with a pinprick test? Or is that not enough?
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:45 am (UTC)
Hello lovely! Thank you for this suggestion, I did ask, but no, they want half a carafe or whatever it is:-) I think they are testing for everything up to and including vampirism!

Edited at 2011-03-03 06:46 am (UTC)
the_pale_queen
Mar. 4th, 2011 12:19 am (UTC)
*sigh* That really does suck :( I'm out of helpful suggestions, I'm afraid, so all I can send is good vibes!
smokingboot
Mar. 5th, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)
It helps just to read the suggestions, makes me feel less helpless! So thank you for them, and for the vibes xxx
caffeine_fairy
Mar. 2nd, 2011 02:07 pm (UTC)
I've had an awful lot of both and I can vouch that blood tests are considerably less painful than injections. They still involve a needle, obviously.

My brother is horribly needle phobic and they used to let him set up a guarenteed appointment time so he didn't have to wait - is it worth contacting the department to see if that's still an issue?
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:44 am (UTC)
Hello! I have sent you a private message via FB re meeting up! Thank you for this reassurance re the pain levels, I am a real baby about it. The needle thing is very difficult for me, and I have done exactly what your brother did, in the hope that it's walk in/walk out over in 10 minutes.
sarahfeeney
Mar. 2nd, 2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
*hugs* Blood tests suck especially fasting ones - I know I've had several through my pregnancies. Just a thought - here in Coventry we have private folks who turn up and do it for a fee. (I think it might be about £30) it may be worth enquiring if that is a possibility just to escape the vileness of sitting in the hospital waiting?

Also if you do have to go the hospital you can emphsise how you feel about needles and perhaps ask if they will do it lying down??
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:42 am (UTC)
*Hugs back* Hello! thank you for this suggestion, it sounds brill. I will enquire, if I have time.

Lying down is impossible. The rooms are crammed with people - I don't mean the waiting room, I mean the actual consultation room with whoever's doing the injection, there's desks and chairs and that's it. There are lots of people in there, so many you are scared someone's going to jolt your arm or the injector's arm.

I really must not think about this bit! I really will check out the private possibilities if I can.
sarahfeeney
Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:04 pm (UTC)
that sounds awful at least here in the midlands we get private cubicles! I know from experience of friends that when they have stressed how ill/nervous blood makes them the hospital has done it lying on a couch/bed for them.

I'd offer to send you a few vials of mine as I'm a well tried pin cushion but I suspect that wouldn't suit the doctors needs! xxxx
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 01:06 pm (UTC)
*Grins* thanks for the offer! When I told the doctor, he jammed my chair against the corner where no-one could nudge it. We couldn't do it though, because I had eaten three cherries the night before and he said it would ruin the results. Three cherries!
velvet_the_cat
Mar. 2nd, 2011 04:00 pm (UTC)
[sympathy] Post-testing rewards are a goooood thing to focus on. Take something with you to distract you whilst you wait if you can too, the sort of something that you really get into.

I can't remember how injections differ to blood tests, but the latter's not so bad once they've done the initial bit with the needle - I always look away for that bit - and it should all be done with VERY quickly. By the sounds of it the waiting beforehand will be worse than the deed itself. :o)
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
Hello! {big hug and thanks for sympathy]I think you are right. And once it's done, a mega issue can be pushed out of the way, I've been feeling so drained and tired, finding the cause is really important. Cake, the support of excellent chums and the knowledge of doing something virtuous will see me through!

colonel_maxim
Mar. 2nd, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
When are you going? I have quite a lot of time off if you require company?
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:36 am (UTC)
You are very kind, but I had better do this by myself. I don't want you to see me all flustered and afraid. Thank you for such a kindly offer xxxxx
colonel_maxim
Mar. 3rd, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
I must confess that I feel the same way but I thought that I would at least make the offer.
smokingboot
Mar. 5th, 2011 09:32 am (UTC)
And a most gallant offer it was too. Thank you! x
abutterflygirl
Mar. 2nd, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)
Two things...firstly, 48?? Are you serious?? I never knew your age, but I presumed mid thirties at a push! Wow!
Secondly, I totally understand and feel your pain with the injections/blood test. I almost always faint and it hurts! The fear, I can almost feel it now and I'm not even going. Thinking of you!! xx
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:35 am (UTC)
Thank you, how nice! My genes are dodgy in certain ways, but they've been a winner on this level, especially coupled with emotional immaturity!

Re the thing itself, I have a night show which ends at 3, I must fast after 3.30 am, so my munchies tonight have to see me through until the test tomorrow afternoon. Wish me luck!
abutterflygirl
Mar. 3rd, 2011 08:08 am (UTC)
Eat eat eat!! Like you've never eaten before :-) and because it's late tonight sleep lots too then you won't be worrying or hungry for as long! And of course, no need to ask, I'm wishing you the best of luck with it. Don't you just despise those that walk in and out no problems and tell you it doesn't hurt one bit. grrrrrr! I'll be thinking of you, knowing how it really is!xx
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:25 pm (UTC)
Bless you butterfly girl! xxx
ravenrigan
Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
Hugs about blood test. Cake always reccommended as a post medical procedure pick me up!

However, IMHE the medical profession are almost entirely useless at diagnosing the menopause. I was well into it, had blood tests, and got told I wasn't having it. Shortly after that my periods stopped entirely and after the prescribed year of no periods which was my doctor's only real evidence base for the menopause, I went and told them "you know that menopause I wasn't having? I've had it, ta very much." At which point I took my menopause back from the medical profession and managed it myself, with no discernible ill effects.

You are the best judge about what is going on with your hormones and your body, if you think it is the menopause it probably is. If your periods are doing funny things and you feel like you are going through puberty in reverse, thats probably a sign.

OTOH, it isn't the end of life, just a different phase. And the good news is, on t'other side there are no periods, no PMS, no monthly moodswings, it's calm and serene. A bit like being a bloke, but still with feminine intuition! You can still be sexy, just sexy in a different way.

The best book I ever read on how to deal with the menopause, based on the experience of hundreds of women is the one by herbalist
Susun Weed http://www.susunweed.com/WiseWomanHerbals.htm#meno

And yeah, I always thought you were one of the ones a decade younger than me. 48! Never!

smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 06:32 am (UTC)
Hi, thank you for the link and the advice - you're very kind, and full of practical advice as ever!

Right now, the doctor is convinced I'm pregnant. He's been convinced for about a year now. I've gone through hot flushes and I'm missing periods every now and then, with occasional breast tenderness.The mood swings are just terrible, though admittedly they've never been good...calm would be good. The sexy thing, I have never linked to Oestregen anyway, for me that's all about babies, not beauty. No man goes with me for the allure of my womb, I'm happy to avoid that - though I'd like to avoid developing a beard at the other extreme!

I do want a different life though - see what you're doing? I understand that newness. Do you know any books/links that could tell me how to begin?
ravenrigan
Mar. 3rd, 2011 11:08 am (UTC)
GAh, change your doctor! Someone with that little grasp of feminine biology shouldn't be allowed to sell aspirin in a newsagents!

Re books, A whistling woman is up to no good by Laurel sombodyother is a really good book for releasing creativity. Women who run with the wolves is also good (but I found it a bit pompous and wordy in places).

I think the fact that you are yearning for a change is another very good indicator of "the Change" though I'm not sure I'd advocate anything quite as radical as my "Tower" experience.

What I'm doing was not entirely of my volition and is determined as much by what I can no longer bear than by what I want.

It's not so much courage as a triumph of insane optimism over realism. I'm going with it for the moment, because I am so fed up with being the realistic responsible one but it ain't easy.
smokingboot
Mar. 3rd, 2011 12:28 pm (UTC)
What I'm doing [...]is determined as much by what I can no longer bear than by what I want

I understand that. I find myself in a situation similar if not in facts and details, certainly in feeling. It is a question of how to go about it and requires a little thought from me x
ravenrigan
Mar. 3rd, 2011 05:18 pm (UTC)
Always happy to meet up and listen to you thinking if that is what you want.....
smokingboot
Mar. 5th, 2011 09:33 am (UTC)
Meeting up would be great!
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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