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How to deal with having my blood pressure taken watch

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    Hello pals and gals.

    I have a problem which some people will think is weird or pathetic no doubt, but I really would like some help with it.

    Basically, tomorrow, I might need to have my blood pressure taken... however I HATE having it done. It makes me go all light-headed and panicky and hot and feel faint. I'm actually feeling a bit funny just thinking about it. I hate the fact I can feel my pulse, as I'm a bit squeamish and weird about blood and things, and the whole process is just really stressful. Last time I had it done I almost had a panic attack, and I was physically shaking throughout. The nurse was incredibly unsympathetic too which made it worse, even though I'd told her how much I hated it before she put the band on my arm.

    Basically what I'm trying to say is, is there ANYTHING anyone can suggest to help me deal with it? Obviously I can't avoid having it done forever, so I'd like to conquer this ridiculous fear now ideally. Or is my only option to tell the nurse and hope she's nice to me?

    Thanks in advance
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    Tell the nurse. I'm exactly the same! I feel like a reet fanny when I get it done, but such is life.

    Just keep your breathing regular, try to relax. Once it's over, drink a little water, lay down and raise your legs, and you'll be right!
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    (Original post by mikeyd85)
    Tell the nurse. I'm exactly the same! I feel like a reet fanny when I get it done, but such is life.

    Just keep your breathing regular, try to relax. Once it's over, drink a little water, lay down and raise your legs, and you'll be right!
    Ohh thank you for the speedy reply, nice to know I'm not the only one! I know, I feel such an eejit, but I don't know what to do to overcome it! I wondered if I could buy a home testing kit and give the nurse my results so I can do it in my own time, but then I remembered that I wouldn't know how to do it and I'd still feel awful about it :p:

    I'm nervous already, I'm going to be such a wreck tomorrow, hahaha!
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    (Original post by Quail)
    Ohh thank you for the speedy reply, nice to know I'm not the only one! I know, I feel such an eejit, but I don't know what to do to overcome it! I wondered if I could buy a home testing kit and give the nurse my results so I can do it in my own time, but then I remembered that I wouldn't know how to do it and I'd still feel awful about it :p:

    I'm nervous already, I'm going to be such a wreck tomorrow, hahaha!
    Well, to be fair I've never heard of anyone feeling squeamish about blood pressure - blood being drawn, yes. On the other hand, I guess the clinic should accommodate for that, let them know (perhaps even in advance?) and hopefully they can get you someone a little more sympathetic.

    Get someone to go with you? Family, friends, partner?

    As for the home testing kit: they're extremely simple but I think you'll find they'll be even worse for you, they squeeze stronger and I'm almost certain you'd feel more nervous with one of them (they're extremely simple to use, mind you - literally put the cuff round your arm and press 2 buttons).
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    (Original post by Quail)
    Ohh thank you for the speedy reply, nice to know I'm not the only one! I know, I feel such an eejit, but I don't know what to do to overcome it! I wondered if I could buy a home testing kit and give the nurse my results so I can do it in my own time, but then I remembered that I wouldn't know how to do it and I'd still feel awful about it :p:

    I'm nervous already, I'm going to be such a wreck tomorrow, hahaha!
    Ah, you'll be fine.

    If nothing else, make a light hearted joke about the whole thing with the nurse. It often brightens their day if you can have a slightly self deprecating sense of humour!
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    The trouble with you panicking whenever you have it done is that you'll give an inaccurate reading. You've just got to try and relax. Breathe slowly and steadily, try and make the exhale breath longer than the inhale. Tell teh nurse that you really don't like it and it makes you panicky, and she should try and help.
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    (Original post by Revd. Mike)
    The trouble with you panicking whenever you have it done is that you'll give an inaccurate reading. You've just got to try and relax. Breathe slowly and steadily, try and make the exhale breath longer than the inhale. Tell teh nurse that you really don't like it and it makes you panicky, and she should try and help.
    Well that's one of the strange things - last time I had it done she said it was perfectly fine, and it's been the same all the other times I've had it done, including I think once before I started to hate it so much! I don't get that at all...

    Yeah it didn't help that the nurse I had before was seemed really oblivious to the fact I was incredibly uncomfortable, even though I'd already warned her. Hmm.

    (Original post by Skycat)
    Well, to be fair I've never heard of anyone feeling squeamish about blood pressure - blood being drawn, yes. On the other hand, I guess the clinic should accommodate for that, let them know (perhaps even in advance?) and hopefully they can get you someone a little more sympathetic.

    Get someone to go with you? Family, friends, partner?

    As for the home testing kit: they're extremely simple but I think you'll find they'll be even worse for you, they squeeze stronger and I'm almost certain you'd feel more nervous with one of them (they're extremely simple to use, mind you - literally put the cuff round your arm and press 2 buttons).
    Yeah it's not a normal response to it at all, apart from myself and the first person who replied to this, and I think one other friend, I don't know anyone who has a problem with it. I've never had blood taken and I think that that would be a thousand times worse to be honest...

    I was going to go with a friend, but I just worry that if I do, I'll panic and look like a freak, haha!

    Does anyone know if they still use the ones that they pump up manually, or if it's an automatic thing?
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    (Original post by Quail)
    Well that's one of the strange things - last time I had it done she said it was perfectly fine, and it's been the same all the other times I've had it done, including I think once before I started to hate it so much! I don't get that at all...

    Yeah it didn't help that the nurse I had before was seemed really oblivious to the fact I was incredibly uncomfortable, even though I'd already warned her. Hmm.



    Yeah it's not a normal response to it at all, apart from myself and the first person who replied to this, and I think one other friend, I don't know anyone who has a problem with it. I've never had blood taken and I think that that would be a thousand times worse to be honest...

    I was going to go with a friend, but I just worry that if I do, I'll panic and look like a freak, haha!

    Does anyone know if they still use the ones that they pump up manually, or if it's an automatic thing?
    Haha. I'm just glad you don't have my bone marrow condition then, let's just say I would love to "just" have my blood drawn. :p:

    Don't worry about it. And surely you've got a friend who you trust enough not to call you a freak if you feel a little faint at this?

    It depends, are you doing it at your GP? I think it varies, if my memory doesn't fail me then back in Spain they used to do it by machine and if they weren't satisfied with the reading or wanted to double check then they'd use the sphygmomanometer (hope I spelt that right haha, it's the manual one).
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    (Original post by Skycat)
    Haha. I'm just glad you don't have my bone marrow condition then, let's just say I would love to "just" have my blood drawn. :p:

    Don't worry about it. And surely you've got a friend who you trust enough not to call you a freak if you feel a little faint at this?

    It depends, are you doing it at your GP? I think it varies, if my memory doesn't fail me then back in Spain they used to do it by machine and if they weren't satisfied with the reading or wanted to double check then they'd use the sphygmomanometer (hope I spelt that right haha, it's the manual one).
    Oooh I'm squirming at the thought :o:

    Another problem is the fact that the automatic, machine-operated blood pressure thing monitor is outside in the waiting room, whereas they can only use the manual ones in the little private rooms... I don't really want a panic attack in front of a waiting room full of people!

    Not expecting you to know the answer to this at all, because I don't know if there even IS a definitive answer, but does everyone feel their pulse when they have the band attached? Is it just part of the territory? That's probably an immensely stupid question, but I'm sure I asked one person and he said he'd never felt anything except a pressure all around his arm...
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    (Original post by Quail)
    Oooh I'm squirming at the thought :o:

    Another problem is the fact that the automatic, machine-operated blood pressure thing monitor is outside in the waiting room, whereas they can only use the manual ones in the little private rooms... I don't really want a panic attack in front of a waiting room full of people!

    Not expecting you to know the answer to this at all, because I don't know if there even IS a definitive answer, but does everyone feel their pulse when they have the band attached? Is it just part of the territory? That's probably an immensely stupid question, but I'm sure I asked one person and he said he'd never felt anything except a pressure all around his arm...
    Hmm, didn't know the machine one is in the waiting room, that's strange. :confused:

    Ask them to take it manually, they should have no problem accommodating a need like that.

    As for feeling the pressure, I definitely do, the cuff stiffens up and if I remember correctly when it inflates fully you don't feel your pulse, you feel it as it slooowly deflates (I think it's to do with the mechanism of how it takes your pulse, when it deflates enough you'll be able to feel your pulse really strong, and then it'll continue deflating).
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    (Original post by Skycat)
    Hmm, didn't know the machine one is in the waiting room, that's strange. :confused:

    Ask them to take it manually, they should have no problem accommodating a need like that.

    As for feeling the pressure, I definitely do, the cuff stiffens up and if I remember correctly when it inflates fully you don't feel your pulse, you feel it as it slooowly deflates (I think it's to do with the mechanism of how it takes your pulse, when it deflates enough you'll be able to feel your pulse really strong, and then it'll continue deflating).
    Yeah, it's not so good!

    Do you think it'd make a difference if I did the whole putting-my-head-between-my-knees thing to stop me from feeling light-headed? I'd ASSUME it wouldn't affect the result, might just look a bit weird... no idea if it actually helps, but I'll try anything if there's a chance it will!
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    You could buy a blood pressure kit, so you can take your blood pressure on your own terms and get used to the feeling.
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    Put your ipod in and sing along, takes your mind off it
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    Wow, I've never heard of this kind of phobia! When was the last time you had this done? Because if it was awhile ago you mind tends to build up this terrifying image...but really it isn't so bad when you have had it done.

    I never realised you could feel your pulse when having this done! I never thought about it. At least you're not having blood taken where you have to sit perfectly still

    I hope you get someone ore sympathetic this time. My ex used to pass out from needles but the last one he had went great!! It's all down to the nurse or whoever I think. Try to relax
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    (Original post by Quail)
    Hello pals and gals.

    I have a problem which some people will think is weird or pathetic no doubt, but I really would like some help with it.

    Basically, tomorrow, I might need to have my blood pressure taken... however I HATE having it done. It makes me go all light-headed and panicky and hot and feel faint. I'm actually feeling a bit funny just thinking about it. I hate the fact I can feel my pulse, as I'm a bit squeamish and weird about blood and things, and the whole process is just really stressful. Last time I had it done I almost had a panic attack, and I was physically shaking throughout. The nurse was incredibly unsympathetic too which made it worse, even though I'd told her how much I hated it before she put the band on my arm.

    Basically what I'm trying to say is, is there ANYTHING anyone can suggest to help me deal with it? Obviously I can't avoid having it done forever, so I'd like to conquer this ridiculous fear now ideally. Or is my only option to tell the nurse and hope she's nice to me?

    Thanks in advance

    You're definately not the only one who has this complex towards getting your bp read, I know peope like this!

    One in particular had it really BAD, she'd get so worked up about it while it ws being taken that it would give an even higher reading than her already naturally high bp. So then she'd panic even more, and fear it more, and worry about whether her 'real' blood pressure was to blame, and she was at a health risk, or if it was all down to the panic. It's a vicious cycle, the fear and the consquence.
    But you've said your bp still comes out ok, (and this person is far older than you) so I'm sure you've got nothing to worry about in that aspect. At least you can walk out and not have to think about it until next time, it wont be an ongoing worry (Is my bp high? Should I take a reading? What if the reading comes out higher? It won't be accurate! Or will it? But I can't NOT take it, it might be dangerously high all the time! But I hate taking it! But what if I don't?) It can become a bit of a paranoia thing.

    It is hard to reassure and comfort people with these psychological issues, when the problem lies deep in your mind. Or for someone like me, who doesn't have this issue, to tell you to 'just relax'.
    I doubt things like breathing methods, distractions or joking will make a difference, but you could try. It might be an age thing OP, you might 'grow out' of your fear and start to see it as no big deal. Just know that although not everyone is scared of blood pressre machines, they'll have their irrational fears of other things most likely!

    Good luck anyway, and I hope you get a sympathetic nurse
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    When I'm getting something done that I don't like, and im thinking specifically about big tattoos i count things. Like the tiles in the place I get them done have kinda dots on them, so i try and count them all, an impossible task really, but i focus on that rather than whats going on. I know it sounds silly but it's really helped me before
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    And also, of course you feel your pulse when getting the reading! Thats the whole mechanism of finding out your blood pressure.
    It inflates to constrict the blood flow down your arm(so it must be tight)
    Then it deflates, and the point at which your pulse begins to be felt strongly(so blood is flowing again) is the top reading.
    Then as it carrie on deflating, the point at which you stop feeling the pulse altogether (so bloodflow has returned to normal) is the lower reading.

    I must say thought, I've never heard of someone being afraid of hearing their own pulse, the poeple I've known have just been afraid of 'the test' and it coming out too high.

    Don't you eve hear your pulse/heartbeat at any other time lol? Its impossible never to hear it eg. exercise, a bad headache etc.
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    Might I suggest an arterial line?

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    I haate having my blood pressure taken. Only ever done it in biology (N) I feel like it's going to keep squeezing until my arm falls off - mad but true! And then I can feel my blood moving inside me and want to run away and take it off but once it starts it doesn't stop! aagh just thinking about it is horrible. Try and be more forceful about your fears! Just tell the nurse that you hate having it done, and keep talking until she looks like she is taking you seriously.
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    (Original post by milesofsea)
    And also, of course you feel your pulse when getting the reading! Thats the whole mechanism of finding out your blood pressure.
    It inflates to constrict the blood flow down your arm(so it must be tight)
    Then it deflates, and the point at which your pulse begins to be felt strongly(so blood is flowing again) is the top reading.
    Then as it carrie on deflating, the point at which you stop feeling the pulse altogether (so bloodflow has returned to normal) is the lower reading.

    I must say thought, I've never heard of someone being afraid of hearing their own pulse, the poeple I've known have just been afraid of 'the test' and it coming out too high.

    Don't you eve hear your pulse/heartbeat at any other time lol? Its impossible never to hear it eg. exercise, a bad headache etc.
    Ooh even just reading what it does makes my stomach turn... oh dear oh dear

    Yeah I'm not even afraid of the reading because I know if anything, my blood pressure is on the lower end of the normal spectrum. I just HATE hearing the band inflate and then feeling the tightness and feeling my pulse when it's that strong... I just don't like knowing that that's MY blood inside me being restricted like that, and even that was difficult to type because I started to imagine it. Ahgejg I think it's worse than I remember!

    And yeah, I really don't like being able to feel my pulse at ANY time (after exercise or if I accidentally touch one of my pulse points etc.), because it just makes me feel queasy. It's a really difficult thing to make people understand, because for most people it's just a normal thing that they wouldn't think twice about, but then I guess it's the same with all phobias.

    (Original post by The Procrastinator)
    Wow, I've never heard of this kind of phobia! When was the last time you had this done? Because if it was awhile ago you mind tends to build up this terrifying image...but really it isn't so bad when you have had it done.

    I never realised you could feel your pulse when having this done! I never thought about it. At least you're not having blood taken where you have to sit perfectly still

    I hope you get someone ore sympathetic this time. My ex used to pass out from needles but the last one he had went great!! It's all down to the nurse or whoever I think. Try to relax
    I last had it done in April 2008 I think, and it was HORRIBLE. I had it done like four times in one day the year before, which was bad, and then having it done again stressed me out so much. I was thinking about it today and thinking 'Oh come on, it's just a pulse, it won't hurt you!' but unfortunately I just can't rationalise it at all. It makes it worse that I can't even escape because you HAVE to feel it, it's not like you can get rid of your arm for a few seconds :/

    Weirdly enough, the last injection I had I was also fine :p: I'd take an injection over a blood pressure reading anyday...

    (Original post by microfatcat)
    I haate having my blood pressure taken. Only ever done it in biology (N) I feel like it's going to keep squeezing until my arm falls off - mad but true! And then I can feel my blood moving inside me and want to run away and take it off but once it starts it doesn't stop! aagh just thinking about it is horrible. Try and be more forceful about your fears! Just tell the nurse that you hate having it done, and keep talking until she looks like she is taking you seriously.
    I really am SO glad I made this thread, as I'm always made to feel like such a weirdo! I always refused to take pulses in Biology It's such a relief to find someone else who gets what I mean about the wanting to run away but obviously not being able to! I'd LOVE to get rid of this phobia, because obviously I can't get through my life without ever having it done again!
 
 
 
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