Posted by: soupysays | January 5, 2006

dear diary, today, i almost passed out

Today, I went to the doctor (well, doctor’s assistant) to get my Peace Corps physical. The nurse had a nephew currently serving in Africa, and she looked over the paperwork and commented how much there was (“a pap smear is required?”). The doctor’s assistant that did the actual physical said she had just done one of these a short time ago, and that she knew “how much work it is!”

After the check-up, I was supposed to hang tight until everything was ready for my blood tests. A short time later, the doctor’s assistant came in and told me that it would be a bit longer. The nurse was on the phone with the lab to see if they could consolidate some of the test tubes for multiple tests. “They want a lot of blood.” When I sat down to get poked, the nurse said, “it’s a good thing you’ve given blood before.” Then during the test, another nurse came by and saw all the tubes and said, “whoa.” Ok, you get the picture.

However, shortly after the nurse started to take blood, I realized I hadn’t eaten since about 11:45 AM, and at that point, it was about 5 PM. Yes, I had given blood before, but the first time I gave, I almost passed out because I hadn’t eaten right before. Uh oh. I was doing ok until the very last tube. I was feeling a little lightheaded, but I knew it was over soon.

The nurse said, “We should get you some orange juice.”
“Yeah, I think that’s a good idea.”

As soon as she said, “We are all done.” My head started swim. All of a sudden there were five people around me, and the nurse told me to put my head between my legs. Someone else got an orange juice box. I felt a lot better after sitting there for a minute, but the nurse led me into a room and had me lay down while she took my TB test. I was told that all of a sudden my face turned white. As I left the office, the nurse gave me peanut butter crackers. I have to go back Friday to get the results of my TB test, and then I get to go in Tuesday for the much loved pap smear. (I promise I will not go into as much detail describing that visit. ha.)

So, for any potential Peace Corps applicants out there, eat before you go into your doctor’s appointment. You are going to give “a lot of blood.”

Thanks, Uncle Sam!


Responses

  1. I had a very similar experience when having blood drawn for the Peace Corps. The Dr. said I had some condition that a small percentage of people have where when somebody starts taking blood from them, their blood vessels expand or something, all their blood rushes away from their head and they get dizzy.

    I would recommend eating, but I know before my appointment they told me not to eat anything, because it might screw up the results of one of the tests–cholesterol maybe?

  2. Hm, I wasn’t told not to eat. I know that you have to fast before cholesterol is tested, but I didn’t have to have that tested.


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