Weight Loss

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Saturday, August 9, 2008


I've been noticing my veins more lately. On the day I had surgery, the staff in the surgical admit unit had difficulty starting my IV. I think I rattled the nurse taking care of me: not only was I a bariatric patient and a redhead (notoriously more difficult to start IVs on), but I was also an ICU RN. She tried one time, missed and called the IV team. I didn't mind, and I totally understood: veins are difficult to find on obese people, and it's always intimidating to do things like starting IVs on other medical staff.

But lately I've noticed that my hand and arm veins are huge! I can see them clearly just when going about my business during the day. I notice these things because I start a lot of IVs, especially now that I'm in the anesthesia program. It's more evidence of how much fat I've lost, even on my hands (more proof of that is that I downsized my wedding ring by a whole size, even though I had worn the same size ring since junior high). My veins might actually be bigger, from running, or they might just finally be making an appearance now that they've lost their cozy coat of fat.

At least if I need more surgery in the future, I should be a simpler patient to work with.


Through Thick and Thin said...

my veins are HUGE now too and stick out. Really freaks me out sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Hey, PennyLane here...

Just curious, what's with the redhead thing and IVs? Is it fair skin in general or something to do with red hair in particular?

(Also, if using this ID provides a link to my personal blog, feel free to come visit but just a heads up--I'm not discussing WLS there and want to keep it private from prying eyes of friends/relationships past).

Gwen said...

Part of the redhead-poor veins connection has to do with fair skin, I'm sure. But I've noticed (and I think others agree) that redheads are even a little harder to start IVs on. I think it's because we tend to have so many skin sensitivities (blondes with fair skin don't have so many). So as soon as you try to poke a vein, there is often a big histamine reaction that obscures the vein, or even buries it so you can't find it. It's not true for everyone, but it's definitely an issue for some.