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What Prayer Can Do: Nurse's Aid

Nurse after nurse struggled to find a vein from which to draw a sample of her blood–until one employed a very particular technique.

By Peggy Frezon, Rensselaer, New York

As appeared in

Bad veins. That’s what doctors have complained about me. Drawing blood is like drilling for oil. Needless to say, I don’t look forward to doctors’ visits.

Today I sat in the ER with my husband, Mike, watching a nurse take her fourth “stab” at my arm.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I’m going to find someone else to try.”

Great, I thought. I’d already spent several days in the hospital after surgery with a postoperative infection and an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. When I got home my eye swelled up and I had to head back.

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The doctor assured me I would be fine once I got some steroids, but for that I needed an IV, which meant another needle stick.

A new woman walked in, slightly older than the first one. “I hope you have better luck,” I told her, holding out my arm.

She wasn’t any more successful than the last nurse, even after covering my arms in warm towels to raise the veins. I squeezed my eyes shut as she tried the back of my hand.

“Sorry, I know this is a painful area,” she said. “Your arm just wasn’t working.”

“Do you have some sort of go-to person you can ask to help in times like this?”

The woman looked me in the eye. “I am the go-to person.”

Finally she gave up and left us. Mike rubbed my hand, which looked like it’d been gnawed on by a hungry wolverine. God, how am I ever going to be able to receive this treatment that I need?

A new nurse walked in. I had no reason to think she was going to do better. I gingerly offered her my arm.

“I hope you have a secret method,” I told her.

“Actually, I do,” she said. “Everyone always laughs at me, but whenever I do this, I ask God for help first.”

She bowed her head and said a silent prayer. Then she swabbed my hand, rubbed the top and poked. The needle slid right in. I hardly felt a thing, except a flood of gratitude.


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