Many people do not use lidocaine. The argument is the lidocaine itself is painful while injecting. So, why bother? I used to use lidocaine every day but was advised by many people not to use it. I then stopped using it without too many problems.
For the past few weeks, however, despite using buttonhole needles, cannulation had become painful. I dreaded the whole process. Even the venous sites, which were generally really trouble-free for months, started paining. And it was not the angle that was wrong. I was cannulating myself everyday, so I couldn't get the angle wrong.
A couple of days back, I decided to use lidocaine after I read on the 'I hate dialysis' forums that others too, had similar problems. I somehow believed, for the longest time, that I was the only person in the world who couldn't bear the pain with buttonhole needles. Pain with buttonholes? Nah, don't be a sissy! The needles are blunt, for God's sake! I could almost hear fellow dialyzors from the US say. But then I read this thread on the forums that had people say that the buttonhole needles pained too.
I started using a little lidocaine - just a tiny bit - in both the venous and the arterial sites. The pain is Z-E-R-O. As simple as that. Well, there are possible side effects of using lidocaine. I really can't help that. It just makes my life much simpler to deal with. So, for now, I am going to continue using lidocaine and have painless cannulations.