Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sarah's Continuing Comical Medical Adventures.

In case you're the sort of person that likes to skip to the end of a mystery book, this story ends with 8 EMT's, an ambulance, and a firetruck. Ready?

There has a been a blood drive at the lab the past two days, and I decided I would give today. I'm type O, so I sort of feel obliged to. In the past, this has not gone well. I have been rejected at all stages of the screening process (okay, except for the part where they ask you if you'd had sex for money) including: not weighing enough, not eating enough, not having enough iron, having had a tattoo, low blood pressure, and unconsciousness. However, for some strange reason I remain undaunted. Or maybe a little daunted, but determined anyway. Each time, it seems like I make it one step further.
This time, I passed all the tests and made it into the vampires' lair. Last time they actually got about half a pint out of me before I went down into the aforementioned unconsciousness. I warned them that I get queasy and faint like a Victorian woman, so they took extra precautions. They had me lying full down, with the fan and several cold cloths on me from the very beginning.
There were actually really gentle with me, and I made it through the actual blood giving part without much incident. So, victory for me, I finally made it.
Unfortunately, my reaction to injury is to get queasy. I have absolutely no idea how my ancestors ever survived with this trait. It seems like a bad idea, evolution. So I could handle the mild pain of the needle inside me, but when I had to put pressure on my own arm, the nausea started to hit me. I got dizzy, I got weak, all those fun things. But they reapplied some cloths, gave me some Gatorade, and it seemed like I was okay. I took lots of time afterwards, I really did, but I guess it wasn't enough.
I was doing okay until I went out to the snack session. I had an orange juice and some cookies, and all that food that fast, right after a big lunch and the previous incident, led to a bit of a relapse. I started feeling a little icky again, and put my head down on the table.
Well, this was apparently cause for alarm. They convinced me I needed to lie down on the kindergarten style mat they had dragged out for me. This was in the middle of the foyer of the main building at work, so people were walking past me on the way to the bank, etc. But they came back with the fan and cold cloths, and that was nice, and I was starting to feel much better again. However, apparently when someone goes down on the floor, they have to call the EMT's.
At first, the doctor from the medical office showed up. I could understand that, it was just down the hall from where I was. Then the EMT's started showing up. First it was just one, taking my blood pressure. Then another one came, and decided I needed an oxygen mask. Then suddenly, the room was swarming with them. I wondered where they all came from and glanced outside. There was the ambulance and the fire truck. I don't recall being on fire, but it could have happened.
This was a high quality overreaction as only a government institution can do. When the EMT's asked me how I felt, I answered, "Silly." I was lying on the middle of the main building's floor, surrounded by medical personnel, wearing an oxygen mask and several bandages. They asked me drunk-test questions (name, rank, and ID number), many questions about my medical history, and hauled me off in a wheelchair(!) the 100 feet down the hall to the medical office. There, they tested my blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar, etc, all over again, went though a lot of paper work, and finally let me go. I caught the lab shuttle back to my office, and I've been just fine.
It was all extremely silly, but at least the EMT and doctor were cute.

Yeah, I'll go back to showing you knitting someday.


DancingFish said...

Ha! Your answer to the how are you feeling question is priceless. Hope you are feelong better!

Lorna said...

Oh no, what an experience! Why is it that all the fireman and EMT's (guys that is) that I've met both in medical need myself and also for others are usually very nice looking? Ok, down, outright, CUTE! Is that a job requirement?

glad you're ok!

Carrie Penny said...

See, I can donate blood... I have never had a problem with a pint being removed, really none at all... I have a problem when they go to draw blood for normal labs... Really only take 2 test tubes and I am sick for the whole blasted day! I just don't get it at all...

BTW, did you pick up a number?

DK said...

"I don't recall being on fire" may in fact be the best line ever.

But mmmmm, firemen......

Anonymous said...

Must be a family trait - all this passing out. The Red Cross is going to put you on a blacklist and refuse to take your blood anymore.


Anonymous said...

I totally enjoyed the "I don't recall being on fire" line.