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Dealing with Stress/Stress/phobia about blood draws


I have always had to gear myself up to submit to these blood tests and put them off.  My doctor is understanding and has now prescribed Valium to help me through the experience.  

But I was wondering isn't there anything else that would actually lessen the little pain of the needle going in--could I use something like ambesol that people use for gum pain?  Or is there anything else?

Second related question.  Of course I also have to fast.  But I heard somewhere that drinking plenty of water pumps up the vein to make easier entry.  Is that true?  And is it allowed because of the instructions to fast?

Hi Art,

You can use an ice cube on the area to numb right before the needle goes in.In fact, the first time the coldness of the cube is on your arm, it may feel worse than the needle. But, psychologically, you are afraid of the needle and not the ice cube.

Yes, drinking lots of water can help pump up the vein somewhat.  You need to check your fasting instructions and see if you can take water.  Some instructions say not too eat or drink anything after midnight.  So, check your fasting instructions.

Dr. Pat

Dealing with Stress

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Patricia A. Schafer, Ph.D.


I specialize in various forms of depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and also stress, phobias, life changes, grief, women's issues, men's issues, etc. My licenses are: Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor -Supervisor(LPCC-S) and Licensed Professional Chemical Dependency Counselor (LICDC) in the state of Ohio and a National Certified Counselor (NCC).


12 years experience counseling substance abusers, families of alcoholics/drug addictions, and those with codependency issues. I also specialize in social phobia; stress; anxieties; women`s issues; grief and adjustments to life changes. Some therapeutic techniques used are: CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), DBT (Dialectical Behaviorial Therapy)REBT (Rational Emotive), SFT (Solution Focused) and 12-Step, etc. If you live in the Cleveland area, you can contact me at my office for an appointment at: 440-349-4521. I am on various insurance panels and EAP programs.


Ph.D. In counseling MA In Counseling BS In Psychology

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