Number 6- It’s sometimes a bloody mess (literally) – by Helen Whitehouse


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So the other day I was at college. Casually sat, wearing a plain white tshirt and a pair of light jeans. My best friend saunters up to me, and sits down before saying; “Oh god- you’ve been shot”.

I, of course, reacting to this news badly, jumped up to find that my brand-new white tshirt and jeans had massive splotches of blood on them, of course, originating from my breakfast, and lunch, injection sites. This meant me wearing a jacket to cover said blood stains all day in that horrible humid weather, and then spending my evening off with a carton of vanish, trying to get the blood stains out.

You ask me, surely the injection, the act of stabbing yourself with a needle, annoys you more than a couple of blood specks? The answer is no.

The needle, I can reason with, yes, it saves my life. But what really irritates me is hitting some blood vessel and it inconveniently bleeding all over.

It happened at school. I spend many an afternoon sweating away in a lovely navy poly-nylon jumper just because I had blood splotches over my sterile white school shirt. And the awards evening in the height of summer, wrapped up in a cardigan because I wanted a cheeky sandwich, and therefore an injection, beforehand.

At first, my mum used to desperately try and combat this clothes-ruining by sending me out with tissues; “Hold the tissue at the injection site” I mean, we even tried tiny circular plasters, but our yearly income couldn’t support the expense.

At prom, this time last year, I specially chose a dress which was dark red and shorter at one side- so it wouldn’t catch my leg, and if it did, it wouldn’t show.

The same happens with the finger pricking- I prick my finger for a blood test, forget I’ve got a big smudge of it remaining on my finger and touch my face. Hence the “Oh your face is bleeding” and “Must have been a pretty killer spot for it to bleed like that…” hence me obsessively then checking my face for spots… Or diabetic related blood smears.

What am I going to do when it comes to my wedding day? It’s going to be an issue I need to consider, isn’t it really? It isn’t a big thing, but after 6 years, I am just like “Please, stop bleeding now”.

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Does anyone know if blood vessells weaken over time? Whe I first started I couldn’t get my fingers to bleed without painfully squeezing them for ages – these days I sometimes have to really squeeze but 9/10 times it’s fine..

I’ve only had the serious (well, what I call serious is in comparison to the small amount of blood normally expected) bleeding once or twice.