I have been using Lignocaine just before cannulation. I take a little bit in an insulin syringe and then inject a little in both the sites - arterial and venous and then cannulate. So, even though the lignocaine injection itself stings a bit, the cannulation becomes painless. After all, kuch paane ke liye kuch khona padta hai!
Recently, Jairam brought me a tube of an ointment called Re-nopain. It had lidocaine and prilocaine. I think its composition is similar to the Emla cream available in the US. You basically have to apply it an hour before cannulation and then it is supposed to act as a local anesthetic.
The advantages are two fold - first and foremost, there is no injecting, so it is totally painless and second, since you are not injecting, the damage to the fistula is minimized.
I have been meaning to try it for a few days now but kept forgetting until I was about to cannulate. Jairam then asked me to put a reminder on my phone that repeated every day! I did.
Yesterday, I put the cream on both the sites an hour before cannulation. I was very apprehensive about the pain.
Fortunately however, the cannulation was totally painless!
I am going to use it again today and if it works, I will finally stop using lignocaine injections!