Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Its the 13th day today. I had spent a traumatic 5 days medical leave at home last week!

I also cant remember how it happened. Things had happened so quickly since the fateful 15 April morning when I had my routine Annual Health Check. It happened during the the blood extraction (the so-called "venipuncture" process) where, midway while the nurse was extracting blood from my left elbow, I suddenly felt a sharp burst of pain in the inner part of hand between the elbow and palm. The feeling was like something had snapped inside, just like a rubber band broke. The pain was unbearable and I felt my hand turn weak after that. But the nurse did not take out the needle! I was told she was unable to draw any blood from me at that juncture. She seeked assistance from another nurse and both then took a while to fiddle to find the vein to continue the process. All this being done despite the pain in my hand!

[ Note: I realised after this whole episode that I was stupid enough not to have asked the nurse to withdraw the needle despite the pain and left them to do what they wanted! I had thought then that it was best left to them but then, I believe in this process, I got either my skin nerve or muscle injured. ]

After the venipuncture process, into about 5 days then, the inner part of my left hand was in pain. Whenever I try to straighten my arm and at certain movements, I would feel a very sharp pain in the inner part of my hand and the intensity of the pain never goes away. Realising that this was not normal, I quickly went back to the clinic responsible for the healthcheck.

It was a traumatic week after! I was referred to specialists who did not seem very helpful in my opinion. All they could tell me was that a major nerve was not injured. Their diagnosis was that the skin nerve could possibly be injured but could not say more on what could be done or what could have gone wrong. I seeked a second opinion from another independent GP and was told maybe the nurse could have poked a little too deep and hurt me. Its likely the nerve or muscle or tendon could be injured. Despite given the entire week to rest at home, I was worried sick that it would never recover or that there are residual damages done to my hand in future. Why do I keep getting a sharp pain whenever I move my arm? Why does my palm will start swelling after I move my hand? Why does it ache? Why do I get a funny feeling at certain movements? All these questions kept spiraling in my mind. I never used to have such symptoms before the venipuncture process.

Its the 13th today... My hand seem better though it still hurts slightly at certain movements and my arm feels weak. I am very thankful for it seem to have turned for the better. I am praying that it will recover fully soon!

It was an unfortunate incident really. Lesson learnt is to find a good, experienced nurse to extract the blood and to scream at them loudly, if ever the process hurts. I think enduring the pain wont bring you any benefit. The physical and mental suffering you have to go through after that is also not something you will want to experience ... I am still praying the pain will all go away soon and I can knit and do what I like with my left hand again! God bless me.

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