Rolling Veins

Does anyone else have trouble when getting blood work. I had labs yesterday and it took 2 lab techs and 3 tries to get a vein. It was poke, dig, dig, dig, all 3 times. This has been a life time thing for me and usually it doesn't bother me. It's just that I have plans today and I have these pokes with bruises from my elbow to my wrist. It's not exactly the fashion statement I was going for.

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You can tell your friends that you just got "sleeves" tatoos. (I think that's what they're called!) Tell them you're going for the tie-dyed look. ;)

Seriously--sorry to hear about this! A couple times when I've been in the hospital, the nurse could not get the iv into my vein, even though the vein was clearly visible. She was baffled as to why. This happened to me twice--on different occasions, different nurses, etc. And boy, did I end up sore and bruised!

Hope you heal up quickly!

Hugs,
dsal

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I have very small, rolling veins and it is ALWAYS difficult to draw blood. I end up with hideous bruises whenever my doc wants a blood lab test. My mom (also EDS) has the same experience. after my recent hip replacement I was on Coumadin for 6 weeks, requiring labs every week. The visiting nurse stuck me repeatedly without hitting gold, and ultimately i had to get in the car and my husband had to drive me to a lab where a more expert "vampire" could do the job. NOT fun the week after a Total hip replacement.

I always tell the lab that I have small difficult veins and ask for the most experienced tech to draw my blood and sometimes this helps. Also, they suggest drinking a lot of water previous to the blood draw. they seem to think this helps, but I haven't really noticed a difference. I wonder if the small veins thing is an EDS feature of if the small veins are a coincidence and the bruising is the EDS complication.

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@dsal - ROFLOL I'm glad I read your before I had to go, you really made my day. And your right it does look like tie-dye.

@teapotstella - I wondered if the rolling vein was from EDS, everything else seems to move in ways that it shouldn't.

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I had dental surgery last Wednesday and that's exactly what the nurse said "We've got a roller here". I have huge veins in my thin arms but it still took her several tries before she was able to pierce one. I had never heard the term before so when I saw you post I just had to respond!

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I have small rolling veins too. I always ask them to use a butterfly needle .. it's a special small needle that an experienced tech can often hit the vein on the first try with. Whereas others..... will poke me till I nearly pass out! My Sis is the same way (and also has EDS/Classic like me).

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my kids have rolling veins and we always have to get their bloodwork done at a children's hospital with the best tech available. I get the bruises but they can almost always find a vein after a few pokes

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I read somewhere (sorry, I read a lot and cannot recall where) that it is useful to use a pediatric butterfly needle, even on adults, to minimize bruising when drawing blood.
My veins roll as well, but the tech just holds it down with her thumb below the vein where she is aiming for and generally doesn't have a problem.
To reduce bruising, do NOT bend your elbow after the draw to put pressure on, rather keep the arm straight and use your opposite hand to put pressure.

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I second the butterfly needles. I have one good vein which is good for sticks, it's been built up over the years and now has a small patch of scare tissue over it. My veins roll and collapse. Not fun, especially when dehydrated. Once, in a small hospital in GA, i was stuck 12 times for an iv before the doctor who had been a nurse grabbed a smaller needle and did it herself. I am now upfront and tell people my veins like to roll and collapse, as well as my best places to be stuck. This is one area of medicine I don't get push back from and where they are grateful for a heads up. The shaky ones usually pass me of to someone else and the confident ones are excited for the challenge! One more way EDS can make a body funky I guess!

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Yes, butterfly needles. Every lab I've ever been to has taken one look at me and the tech goes for the butterfly. There's also the advantage that if they need more than 1 vile, with the butterfly you won't feel the vial change. I still bruise with the butterfly, but at least they don't have to keep sticking and sticking me.
Beth.

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Yeah, mine do the same as well. It's why I hate blood work and Iv's. Plus, all my good veins are deep. My mom used to draw blood so she always knew where my good veins where even when the nurses in the hospital couldn't find them, she knew. I remember once she literally had to show the guy who was doing my blood work where my good vein was (by that time I had been poked about 20 times, no exaggerating either). He was in shock she knew so well. I was in shock it took them over 5 nurses and 20 pokes before they got the damned thing. Thank god she showed me her trick before she passed. Anyway, when I go for blood now I always tell them I'm a hard stick and I need the most experienced person there and they usually (key word) get it on the first or second try. Sometimes it takes a while but it slowly comes.
I remember one time as well, while in the hospital, a different time, they actually had to poke my finger-tips and squeeze the blood out just to get any blood at all. My other veins had run my dry by that time, taking blood every 4 hours. It was crazy.

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Yes! The butterfly needles!! And "they" always try to tell me that "you have good veins", "It won't be a problem", etc. etc. etc.... until there is a problem! My veins collapse, roll, and I guess I also have valves where usually valves aren't? So IV needs don't thread like there're supposed to... so I absoulutely HATE IVs!!!! I've learned to say something - but not a whole lot of them listen!! I have asked for the numbing cream to be added first like they do for pediatric patients - before they even attempt the IV - which they hate to do because it takes awhile for it to work and they like to "go, go, go"....but then my point is to put that novocaine cream on immediately when I get there and it'll be ready when they are!! It's always an issue!! I also have a good vein, which they always try to avoid because it's up on my wrist, and they say they need to start low and work their way up..... yeah for me! But now I just say, "one try, this vein"..... and they get their best IV person and it gets done!! It's past ridiculas!!! So..... I also sympatize with you!!! As for the blood draws - always ask for the butterfly needles!!! It's also recommeded in Dr. Tinkle's EDS book so it is a EDS fact of life!! Good luck!!

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Yes.. rolling, disappearing veins. Last time they could not get it to thread after two doctors and four attempts. At NIH, they took me in for an ultrasound of my arms because they either could not get the vein, could not get blood when they got the vein, or the iv went bad. The ultrasound showed that the nerves are bundled rather than sprawled, so no matter where they go.. extreme pain. He said, "you should go through the roof." I assured him most the time that is true.

The bruising is usually pretty bad.

They finally put the iv for that week in my left upper arm. I held real still and they he used the ultra sound to guide him right into the hole. So, I get rolling veins and messed up nerves and thick blood.

One nurse mocked me because they asked why I did not go in for my extreme intestinal pain the night before. I said I sat in front of the hospital and just did not have the nerve to handle the needle. She made some sarcastic sound and a comment of that being stupid. I thought.. let me punch you in the face a few times when you come for help, and we will see if you are anxious to come back for more. I said nothing though because I know to keep my mouth shut, because I start to shake too bad when I get upset. I calm down quicker if I say nothing. The other girls there are so sweet, and she is usually polite - just ignorant. I wont go to a doctor with a rude secretary. No doctor is worth that. I just pick another.

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I get bruises with or without butterfly needles. But I have learned to tell them to use my hand and to be very assertive when I tell them. It doesn't hurt any more there than anyplace else, and definitely not as much as getting stuck 20 times in a row. On the occasions when I meet a stubborn vampire, I just wait for the comment about the scarring. And then I say, "And now you know why. Dontcha! Use.The.Hand.Please." They get mad sometimes, but whatever. It's my arm vs. their ego. Learning new things is good for them. Maybe they'll do better next time.

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I was told I have "thin, wiry veins" that slip around alot (I guess that would be the "rolling" some of you have mentioned). And yes, even though I warn the nurses, they look at my arms and say "looks like you have really good veins", because they are visible and near the surface. After a few unsuccessful attempts, they usually need to resort to the butterfly needles. Also, numerous IV's have collapsed and gone "interstitial?".
When I asked the nurse how veins should feel, she said they feel soft and the needle goes in. When I asked how mine feel, she said mine are "wiry" and slip away and she tries to insert the needle.

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I was able to literally see my daughter's veins rolling when she had to have infusions for her headache. I *told* them she was a hard stick... 4 unsuccessful tries later they got a machine out called a Vein Finder - some sort of light that illuminates the veins under the skin. Anyway, with that machine we could literally see her veins dance away every time the needle came near. Bizarre to watch but it was very educational! They eventually got the IV in but it was traumatic for everyone involved.

That experience gives me the confidence to draw a line and stick with it anytime she needs blood drawn or an IV.

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I had lab work done and asked the phlebotomist to use a butterfly his response, "You should never tell a phlebotomist how to do their job." and then proceeded. He tried 3 times in my left arm, blew my vein and then switched to my right arm. After 2 more times he decided to use a butterfly and was successful, but when he turned around he dropped the vials and they shattered.

I should have asked for someone else in the beginning, I think I was just in shock at his response and the fact he yelled it across the lab.

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Well, at least I know it's not just me and my daughter. I was at a hematologist and they are always with the oncologist, so I figured they would have really good techs there. All they use are butterfly needles, I guess because of usually having to stick cancer patients.

What I didn't see them do was hold it down. I have had techs hold either side with one hand. Next time I'll tell them a little more than that I have rolling viens. I have never had a tech get mad at me, they usually like the heads up.

About the pediatric butterfly, they are checking because my platlettes are a little to high, would they have been able to draw all seven viles? I ask because they almost didn't get the last two using a regular butterfly.

I will give them this, they let it air clot, told me not to bend it and didn't put anything on it. The tape always pulls off the skin, ouch.

I guess I was caught off guard a little. For my routine blood work I have found a tech and he gets it first try with a regular needle, every time, no bruising and I barely feel it. What can I say, it must have been a calling for him and not just a job.

Thank you again for your posts, this is the first time I had other people who understood how it feels to deal with EDS from the major issues to the minor ones like this.

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In HS Drs had a horrible time taking my blood. I remember sitting and watching the nurses miss and miss and just wishing I could take the needle and do it for em! I did have a couple say on occasion I have tough veins.

During my last 2 pregnancies I haven't had any trouble though with blood tests and such ... not sure why.

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Yes! When I used to have episodes of high heart rate/low blood pressure so bad that EMT's were called, they often had trouble sticking me for the IV. I have been told that I have "good veins" when they looked at my arm, but when they tried to start a line, the vein would roll, or they would "blow" it, or something else would happen necessitating another attempt.

Glad I haven't had to have this done in a while :)

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I've been told my veins are very deep, between my bone and tendon in my arm. I have had the most success with butterfly needles on the backs of my hands and on the thumb-side of my wrist.

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