Note: This column was updated July 23, 2020, to remove erroneous information about red blood cells. We regret the error.
I had never needed blood tests before. My mum donates blood, and I used to like going with her because they gave me sweets while I waited. She also received pin badges afterward to congratulate her on how much blood she’d donated. I never saw any needles, just lots of people lying down on beds in a big hall. I thought, “If blood tests are the same as this, they can’t be that bad, right?”
But with a blood test, they don’t give you treats, and they certainly don’t give you pin badges. (Imagine if they did — we’d have hundreds by now!) Most often, you’re stuck in a tiny room with a nurse, hoping she knows what she’s doing and has done this before.
I don’t know my blood type or what they test in your blood when you have MS, but I do know that we need blood tests. And every medication is different.
I’m on Tecfidera (dimethyl fumerate), and as far as I know, they mainly test my white blood cells (the immune cells) and some other stuff. Sometimes they test my vitamin D, and I have to specifically ask for that.
With Tecfidera, I need to have a blood test every three months or I can’t receive my medication. All medications are different, and it’s best to ask your medical team what you need to do if you’re unsure.
After having so many blood tests over the last five years, I thought I’d pass on my knowledge and my three best tips for having a blood test. These are things no one ever told me.
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?