How can I take blood tests and work around my phobia of needles?

5 answers | Last updated: Oct 01, 2016
Reneesuki asked...

I have needle phobia since I was a kid.....now I have diabetes at age 70 and am afraid to do blood testing....is there a non invasive machine that reads blood glucose levels...I read that there was a sensor one being developed in Israel.....is it available yet? what suggestions do you have for needle phobia....I take the Ac1 blood test okay every 6 mo.but have to medicate myself first.....any help is appreciated....renee


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

I want you to know I feel for you, as having a fear of needles is a tough problem!

First, there is no "sensor" test yet available for blood glucose reading. The only way to test blood sugar is through blood testing using a lancet. There are machines now that let you test your blood using your arm instead of your fingers, which is less painful. However, you will still have to stick yourself to get the blood.

A1c testing is a good alternative, as you only have to check this every 3 to 6 months and it will let your health care provider know what your blood glucose levels look like on average.

Regarding your needle phobia, you may want to try talking with a therapist about your fear. There are many therapists out there that work with phobias, and it may help you deal with your fear better. Or, you can keep medicating yourself prior to your blood tests, although this may be dangerous if you drive while on a sedating medication.
Good luck!


Community Answers

Buddybob answered...

Being sent to Korea in the Army we had to get 32 shots at one time I didn't think I would recover! A professional Hypnotist will be able to cure you of this phobia. I was and don't think twice over such a simple procedure. I have blood drawn quarterly for cancer and don't think twice about it. Good luck Bob


Juned answered...

sorry, i to have a fear of needles(70 yrs. old) i just about cry everytime i need to get one,, one time my Doctor,God love her, brought her wee baby in on the day i was to get my flu shot, my turn came, she said,," would you hold my daughter while i give you your shot?" cute eh!! i did of course but it didn't cure my fear of needles,,i still dread getting one,,,,,,


Jill grant answered...

Your fear of needles reminds me of my fear of snakes only I don't have to be around snakes and for your health problrms you need to be around needles. I wish I had an answer for you but maybe my suggestion will help. If you are living with another person have them use the skin pricker on your arm or somewhere not so sensitive. Before they are to do this close your eyes,take a few deep breaths and think of something you love, a grandchild, a child, or even a pet. Deeply think about all the things you love about them and how happy you are to have them be a part of your life. Try hard to not concentrate on the fact you are going to be poked. After a while you will realize that this small poke is helping you stay healthy so you can be with the ones you love. I'm sure you would do anything for those you love. Right?


Reinaldok answered...

I, also dreaded just the thought of being stuck by a needle, let alone having blood drawn out. I think several years of military service cured me (well not really). I just got convinced that I had no choice. I do believe that the use of newer type needles has made the whole process less painful and usually much quicker. I am also a cancer survivor and I just grin and bear it. No big deal. (Interesting and I never have read any detailed study of the following) My grown son is the same or even worse. Dreads any injection and has passed out getting a flu shot. Family connection ??