On Bruising…

Before our wedding day, Mr. Toadstool and I need to get a blood test done as a requisite for our marriage license. No big deal—you go, they pinch you in the arm, and you get the results a bit later. The problem is, I’m very bad at it. It’s not that I get nervous (which I do) or cry like a little kid scared of needles (which I also do), it’s that my arms don’t like needles.

Yep, I don’t like needles. / Image via Upbeat Dad

Every time I get a blood test I get a horrible, big, dark purple bruise that can last for days; sometimes I can’t even move my arm.

Now, I bet you can imagine how cute that huge purple bruise will look in my strapless dress, right?

Image via Nate’s Cartoons

What? Of course I’ve never taken a picture of my bruised arm.

My mom advised me a series of creams that should help with the bruising, but really, my best bet is to do it as early as we can. I called the register office and they told me they can use labs from up to 14 days prior to the wedding, not older.

Two weeks sounds like a fair amount of time, and I hope that if I use some bruising cream I’ll have normal arms for the big day.

Any advice? Did you have a similar issue?


Mrs. Toadstool

Obregon, Mexico
Wedding Date:
December 2012
Designing a Wedding Website...Sans Coding!
Nobody ”˜Scept You: The Day Before the Day Before
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  1. Member
    PlumeriaSplash 243 posts, Helper bee @ 3:26 pm

    Bruising is of course something that depends on your own body but it is often also caused or made worse by improper injection practices.

    You can lessen your bruising by keeping firm (not painful) pressure on the site immediately after the needle is removed and by keeping it raised above your heart for 15 min. It may feel stupid to be holding your arm up for 15 min but it does improve things a lot!!!! I learned this from my mother who’s a nurse and personal experience.

    I bruise easily but don’t have any bruising when I do this.

  2. Member
    PlumeriaSplash 243 posts, Helper bee @ 3:28 pm

    It also depends somewhat on the nurse who’s sticking you. Let’s hope they do a good job!

  3. butterscotch Member
    butterscotch 263 posts, Helper bee @ 4:06 pm

    keep your arm up. That was the best advice my doctor gave me to keep bruising at bay.

  4. Member
    PlumeriaSplash 243 posts, Helper bee @ 4:32 pm

    And pressure!! most important!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    EBC, Guest @ 4:40 pm

    I agree with PumeriaSplash! Pressure and elevation :)

  6. Member
    kmarie719 795 posts, Busy bee @ 4:49 pm

    Ice ice ice! Applying ice immediately after will reduce the likelihood/size of the bruise.

  7. Member
    Soon2BeMrs7913 545 posts, Busy bee @ 4:53 pm

    There is also an over-the-counter bruise-be-gone cream that speeds up the process.. I’ve heard it works really well actually.. might be something to think about

  8. Member
    sweetpeony 988 posts, Busy bee @ 5:18 pm

    I have the same problem… It is mostly because they have a really hard time getting a vein in my arm. I have founf going in asking them to use a butterfly (children’s needle) helps a lot. The smaller needle causes less bruising and it seems they have a better time getting into my tiny veins.

  9. panda Member
    Mrs. Panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:20 pm

    I love that cartoon. And apparently have also learned some great tips to prevent bruising. holy cow. did not realize you could prevent it from occurring…

  10. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 5:27 pm

    I have no tips, I just wanted to say that the cartoon makes me giggle.

  11. Member
    lealorali 4827 posts, Honey bee @ 5:29 pm

    Can I ask why they take your blood? It just seems…. wrong and invasive. I don’t think NY does this anymore.

  12. Member
    Olivetobe 66 posts, Worker bee @ 5:32 pm

    I would tell them you’re getting married and are an easy bruiser… That way hopefully they’ll give you the most experienced tech/nurse. Also definitely ask them to use a butterfly, and apply FIRM pressure for 15 minutes.

  13. sunhat Member
    sunhat 1453 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:01 pm

    And this is why I moved my blood donation until after our wedding. I was too scared to risk the bruising. Good luck and here’s to no bruising!

  14. Member
    PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock 369 posts, Helper bee @ 6:06 pm

    I’m sorry, I have no advice for you. I can, however, totally sympathise with you about being a big baby when it comes to blood tests. I have been known to cry on occasion and I always need someone with me to hold my hand haha.

  15. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 6:25 pm

    @PlumeriaSplash: I never heard of the “above your hearth” technique, but it sounds good. Thank you.
    @sweetpeony: I don’t know if I have stubborn veins, but sometimes I can even feel a big hard lump under my skin, so the needle definetly damages all the way in.
    @lealorali: I’m 99% positive they make an STD test. I’m in Mexico and as far as I know they still ask for it in the entire country (unless you have kids together), but they also ask for a “mental health” certificate telling them you’re not crazy.. so this is not even the weird requisite.
    @PrincessConsuelaBananaHammock: Haha, poor Mr. Toadstool came with me once, before that he used to think I was making it up, until he had to hold me like a little kid to make sure I didn’t faint ..and I was trying to be brave that one time.

  16. Member
    memorialbride13 456 posts, Helper bee @ 6:55 pm

    Hold pressure immediately after and for probably like 10 minutes at least. ice initially and warm compresses if you get that hard lump (hematoma). Good luck!

  17. archer Member
    archer 551 posts, Busy bee @ 8:46 pm

    i bruise horribly- arnica cream helps hugely. dunno if you can get that in mexico, but if not, let me know and i will send you some!

  18. mstoadstool Member
    mstoadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 10:16 pm

    @Mrs. Archer: Oh yeah, actually when I mentioned bruising cream I meant arnica specifically. My cousin who has cosmetic surgery a few months ago mentioned she took arnica capsules, so it was in her blood stream. But I don’t think that’ll be necessary.

  19. Guest Icon Guest
    Duygu, Guest @ 11:58 pm

    I had the same problem, pressure is the key! Press that pad on your arm! :-)

  20. funnelcake Member
    funnelcake 1171 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:03 am

    Can you ask them to stick your legs or something??

    That seems so strange they make you have tests so soon before the wedding. Governments sure make crazy rules about getting married. I’m happy we weren’t forced to take tests like this!

  21. Member
    nikstar 246 posts, Helper bee @ 2:56 am

    Drink lots of water, this will give you nice veins so you wont bruise and the collect will be easy in the first place. if you can and if your blood tests permits take a valium or something to relax. if you are just getting basic biochemistry and FBC testing done for a general health check then a mild sedative will not hurt. If you are required to do a 10-12 hour fast beforehand to as you have to get your blood glucose or cholesterol checked then you can still drink heaps of water just no food, a lot of people think you cannot have water either when you have to fast however this is not true. perhaps have someone come with you to talk to you and keep you distracted. depending on the blood test you can request to lay down, this often helps and dont watch. good luck

  22. Member
    firebugj16 113 posts, Blushing bee @ 4:22 am

    They always have problems finding my vein, and when they finally do I’m definitely bruised. A hospital nurse told me to always ask for the kids needle – hopefully everyone’s tips keeps you bruise free on your wedding day.

  23. Member
    happyface 5777 posts, Bee Keeper @ 8:07 am

    We don’t require a blood test before the marriage licence. Yippee! And yeah, can’t it be done on the leg so it won’t show, I am sure the blood is the same in the leg as it is in the arm? LOL
    I am sure if you explain it to the nurse doing it she should understand.

  24. msfox Member
    msfox 1635 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:23 pm

    How annoying that you need the blood test! I feel you on the bruise, but I have noticed that the better the nurse is at placing the needle, the less bruised I get. That, and the aforementioned arnica oil or cream!

  25. Member
    fronkinzankinsbride 46 posts, Newbee @ 4:50 pm

    Take an iron supplement. Start ASAP. Drink lots of water. Do the pressure and above the heart thing. And then ice it after that.

  26. Member
    jaquita 74 posts, Worker bee @ 9:01 am

    Making sure your iron levels are up will help your blood be able to clot and reduce bruising. Taking a supplement or increasing foods that are high in iron (like spinach and red meat) will help, but you need to do it regularly for a week or so ahead of time.

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