Well, Saturday didn’t go…

Well, Saturday didn't go so well. I got up reasonably early to go in to do the glucose test. Arrived at 9:30, having fasted per orders. First blood draw, no problem. Drank the disgusting orange glucose drink. Sat in the waiting room and played Caesar III for an hour. Second blood draw -- and that's where the problems started.

They had some trouble getting a good vein, and had to prick me a couple times. I ended up watching when they did it, and as the procedure finished, started getting dizzy. Really dizzy. Room spinning, people spinning dizzy. Next thing I knew, there were three medical personnel in the tiny space with me, saying things like, "What's her name? Mary Anne? Okay, stay with us, Mary Anne. Don't pass out. If you pass out, we'll have to send you to the ER and you'll have to do this all over again. Don't throw up either. If you throw up, we'll have to start this all over again. Stay with us." Sweats. Chills. Felt absolutely horrible. And they were putting an ice pack on my neck and forehead, moving it around for what felt like about five minutes while I tried really hard not to pass out even though my body really wanted to. Finally, things started calming down and the room stabilized. They sent me in back to lie down, which helped.

Then, a little later, someone came in and said they needed the room for five minutes to do an EKG. Okay, no problem. I walked out to the main waiting area again and sat down. A few minutes later, room spinning again. Someone called the medical folks, and there they were again, trying to walk me back to lie down in the now-vacated room. But I kept starting to fall down. So the little blonde nurse went behind me and stuck her arms under my armpits and physically held me up while they walked me back there and lay me down again. And the room stabilized again, eventually.

They let me lie down for the rest of the time, through the other two blood draws, and at 12:30, Kev showed up to drive me home. So I made it, but oog, what an ordeal. I was horribly exhausted the rest of the day, which pretty much killed all the grading that I was going to do Saturday; I just lay on the couch, or in bed, and rested instead.

I told my little sister (who is just finishing med school) about it yesterday morning, and she said it sounded like vasovagal syncope, which basically means that there's this strange neurological thing in my brain that says when I see my own blood being drawn, I fall down. This happened once before in high school, when I had to prick my finger and look at it under a microscope. I did fine until I had my eye to the scope, peering at the sample -- at which point, I started to faint. It was a weird, slow, controlled sort of faint; I knew I was fainting, and managed not to bang myself into anything going down. Next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor with my feet being elevated by my teacher.

It's wacky, that your brain can just make your body fall down like that. No fun.

Hopefully, blood test results today. Or at least soon.

One thought on “Well, Saturday didn’t go…”

  1. My father had the same reaction to blood, his own or anyone else’s. I sounds as though you had a real ordeal.

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