Something (Extra) is Wrong

It’s no secret that the blog has been somewhat stagnant of late. It is the “why” of this fact that is less clear, however. It’s been many eons since I was constantly updating, and I have seen more engagement even in drier periods; so what is the reason?

I’ve figured it out. What are the two main sources of content? My best content, that is? It can’t be the life updates, or the random rants, or even when I share pieces of my writing with you (that gets okay engagement, but nothing too special).

Getting lost. Easy. Duh. And …

MY VARIOUS MEDICAL CRISES.

We’ve been light on both! Particularly on medical crises. I stopped having notable medical episodes about a year and half ago – the eternal headache loses its milkable writing-material after a while. It just gets whiny. Without fresh and new episodes of simply bizarre issues, the blog has suffered. The fact that I have been steadily improving in my ability to navigate hasn’t helped matters.

Well. Lucky for you, the drought has passed. Slightly … less fortuitous for me, personally.

I am trying to identify a mystery malady at the moment. It is not a part of my life I was particularly missing, battling mystery maladies, but here we go again.

Basically, I have a set of symptoms that I didn’t consciously connect as “symptoms” (I was viewing them as isolated unfortunate occurrences). Some of them have been a bother for over a year, but they didn’t come to a head until last fall – even then, it took me until a couple weeks ago to actually realize “Oh, these are not normal or things I should just be dealing with day to day.”

I am slow on the uptake when it comes to feeling ill. It’s the double-edged sword of high tolerance for pain and general discomfort. Typically, it is not until a third party points out that I should “probably see someone about that” that it starts to dawn on me that something isn’t normal. (That is what it took, again, this time around. My sister will be bored by this post, as she has been involved in this journey real time).

So I made an appointment. I really like my doctor – she is very receptive, open, and explains her thinking – and we discussed what’s going on and decided to do some tests. Some preliminary bloodwork, first of all, to check the 4 most likely options. This was a telehealth appointment about a week ago; yesterday was my appointment to get my blood drawn.

Now, here’s the thing. It’s not that I’m afraid of needles, it is just that I have been conditioned to be afraid of needles.

That sounds stupid, but, look. I have had many episodes. I have been stabbed by many (MANY) needles. I did not used to dread needles; I didn’t enjoy them, because who does? But I did not actively dread them.

But my veins are evasive. They roll out of the way when the poker tries to poke them. This has resulted in so many extraneous pokes, so many blown veins, so many unnecessary insults added to my injuries, that I have been conditioned to fear needles.

I suppose, more accurately, I have been conditioned to fear incompetent needle-wielders, but my psyche does not know the difference.

So I was a little nervous going into my blood draw. It didn’t help that it’s the first medical lab I’ve ever gone to without my mommy; I haven’t needed to be tested for anything since High School, when my mommy was my chauffeur and my class schedule was more rigid.

But the lab tech was very nice and chatty and very competent. She speared that vein on the first try. When I told her blood draws make me nervous, she joked that she hoped I didn’t pass out on her or anything. I quipped back that it hadn’t happened yet, but who really knows? (I know this sounds like dramatic hyperbole to insert a fictionalized sense of foreshadowing, but, I promise you, this is truly a conversation we had. The cosmos just thinks its really funny).

Well. Would that I was not psychic.

Only 4 vials of my blood had been ordered (gross way to put that, but I don’t know how else to say it). This is not very much blood. Like. At all. And I have never had an adverse reaction to blood draws – I don’t enjoy them, but as soon as the needle is out of my arm I’ve always heaved a sigh of relief and been on my merry way.

It appeared that was what was going to happen yesterday, too. She took the required blood, finished, bandaged up my arm, and we chatted. I felt a little woozy, but nothing too bad or out of place. About two minutes passed.

And then the lab tech was waking me up and sitting me back in my chair.

I have never passed out before, and let me tell you, it is a trippy experience. It is CERTAINLY not like in books or movies. (Imagine that: fiction not perfectly representing reality). I didn’t have any stars, fuzziness, or tunneling in my vision. I had no fade to black. I was chatting with the lab tech and then she was waking me up.

In fact, there’s a distinct possibility I went out mid-sentence. I’ll never know, but that possibility is there, and it’s a bit funny.

We’ll move on from the passing out thing in a second (just give me some more soap box time, because it really freaked me out), but I would also like to address how completely odd that kind of brain-reset is to come back out of. They said I was only out for about five seconds, but it feels like you are completely waking up from a full night’s sleep. As I came around, I was leaving some kind of dream and totally expected to be in my bed.

That resulted in a kind of sluggish-brained, deep confusion that I have only ever experienced coming out of anesthesia (another experience that profoundly disturbed me). My brain had some serious catching-up-with-the-situation to do. Fiction did properly represent the sort of muffled-underwater hearing that I had for several moments after coming around.

So, anyway. I was now awake again and sitting up in my chair. (Luckily, the lab tech caught me before I could get all the way to the ground. We all know my brain does not need another trauma). My face felt fuzzy and hot, kind of like a muted pins-and-needles sort of thing, and my heart was beating funny.

Also, I vomited. Really a lot. I have not vomited since the Great Kidney Stone Incident of ’17, and it was in a semi-comparable quantity.

They kept me there for an extra thirty minutes (for some reason they didn’t want me to drive home in my car until I was completely stabilized, weird), and filled me with water, juice, and fruit snacks. Even then, I was basically out of commission for the rest of the day. I was weak, a little dizzy, lightheaded, and just felt really quite poopy all day.

Four. Measly. Vials. Of. Blood.

I curse my inane sensitivity to the stupidest things.

I’m still not quite back to 100% (of course not, ’tis I), and I am now even more eagerly awaiting the results of the bloodwork. I am desperately crossing my fingers that we find what’s wrong with this panel, because I really really really don’t want to get more blood taken. I am feeling a bit paranoid about it at the moment.

We should get the results by the end of the week, they say.

I do like to be lighthearted on the old blog, but the experience really shook me up a bit. I think the fact that it’s completely unprecedented, both as a reaction and in nature of the reaction (baby’s first faint), as well as my already-extant uncertainty about what it is we’re trying to diagnose at the moment. I can’t stop thinking about it, and I keep chewing my peoples’ ears off talking about it. Passing out is going to be categorized right up there with “memory loss as a result of anesthesia” as a mundane experience that deeply disturbs me.

As I start to feel better it will fade, but I’ll feel the most better if this blood panel is successful in diagnosing me (and if, following that, I don’t have to have my blood drawn for another decade).

But the bottom line, the lesson I am taking away from this experience?

I am never going to the doctor without my mommy again.


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