Are you afraid of the dentist or do you faint when you take a blood test? Try these tricks.
1. Dictate your conditions - at least in something. Many patients are horrified by the feeling that they have absolutely no control over the situation in a medical institution. If this is your case, try to control at least the time of admission. When making an appointment with the doctor, do not settle for the next free date, but try to choose a day when you do not have urgent business and do not have to rush. Many feel more relaxed if they make an appointment in advance - within two or three weeks before the appointment, they have time to come to terms with the inevitable.
2. Explore the possibilities of modern medicine and, if necessary, enter into negotiations with a doctor. Do you experience horror at the sight of any person in a white coat? Take a sedative before going to the doctor - the first time the night before to sleep peacefully, the second time in the morning, the third one an hour before the appointed time.
Afraid of pain from injections? Ask your nurse if it is possible to use a local anesthetic based on lidocaine - in private clinics you will almost always be met. Panic at the prospect of dental treatment? Call several clinics and pick one that has a TV above the dental chair to help you relax. And for those who are not able to overpower themselves, teeth can be cured even under general anesthesia. True, such a service is not cheap at all, since an anesthesiologist has to be next to the patient during the entire treatment.
3. Make the blood collection process easier. If you are going to have a blood test, start drinking more fluids within 48 hours - at least 2-2.5 liters of water per day. When there is enough fluid in the body, the blood circulates faster and it will be easier to take it for analysis.
An exception will have to be made if the doctor recommended that you come to the test on an empty stomach and separately noted that you can’t drink either.
4. Keep your hands warm. If a person is cold, his veins constrict, which means that it will be more difficult to get into them to take blood or install an IV. Dress warmly (especially in winter) and wrap your arms in a scarf or handkerchief while waiting in line.
5. Tell your doctor that you are afraid. An attentive doctor or nurse will always ask if you have had difficulties with dental treatment or blood sampling before. But, if you haven't been asked about it, feel free to confess your fears. This is especially important if you've ever experienced dizziness or fainted at a doctor's appointment. Even in a state clinic, you can lie down on the couch during blood sampling - in this case, you will not get injured, even if everything floats before your eyes. And dentists have special tricks for those who are afraid of needles: the doctor makes an injection so that you do not see the syringe, and first injects a small dose of anesthesia, the gum surface becomes numb, and you do not feel the pain of the injection.
Besides, most doctors will try to be more careful with a patient who is very afraid - if not out of philanthropy, then at least out of a desire to protect themselves from trouble. No physician wants a person at his appointment to become hysterical or faint. They will certainly tell you that the procedure that you have to do is completely elementary, it is performed dozens of times every day, and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. And if you're worried, even a few kind words can reduce your anxiety.
6. Ask for a baby needle. Many children's clinics now have so-called scarifiers, thanks to which blood sampling is almost painless. Instead of a blade, a thin needle is used, which is hermetically hidden in the capsule. This needle is not visible either before or after the procedure. And minimal contact with the external environment and the hands of medical staff reduces the risk of infection with viruses to zero. In addition, a thin needle minimally injures the skin, so the wound heals faster.
Of course, there may not be a scarifier in an adult polyclinic. Ask your nurse in advance if you can buy it at the pharmacy and bring it with you.
7. Watch or don't watch, it's your choice. Some doctors advise frightened patients not to watch a nurse put an IV or draw blood. When you look away and look around, you are inevitably distracted and endure the unpleasant procedure more easily. But there are also patients who are sure that it is better to closely monitor everything that happens. Then you know exactly what the doctor is doing and at what point the needle will touch the skin. In addition, the imagination can draw you a colossal needle, and when you see the thinnest needle and a small syringe, as a rule, you become a little calmer.
8. Use distractions. If you are afraid of needles, during the injection, try to focus on breathing - take deep breaths and slow exhalations, without being distracted by extraneous thoughts. When you feel like you might pass out, start rhythmically tensing the muscles of your body - except for the arm from which the blood is taken. For example, tense your leg muscles, count to ten, relax. Has the doctor finished yet? Do a couple more sets. This exercise slightly raises the pressure, reducing the likelihood of passing out.
9. Keep up small talk. As the nurse prepares for the injection or blood draw, explain that you are worried and that you have heard that talking can help take your mind off your worrisome thoughts. Ask about the family, about plans for the New Year holidays, about the weather forecast, TV shows - any topic that you can focus on will do. If you're so afraid that you can't have a coherent conversation, try counting from one hundred to one silently - the perfect way to focus on something safe. American psychologists suggest humming during medical procedures. If you decide to do this in the district clinic, be sure to write to us about your impressions.
10. Nothing helps? Contact a psychologist. Usually, the specialist suggests viewing photos and videos related to the field of medicine, and gradually teaches how to transform the emotional reaction to such images.