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Oh man. Color me a loser. Yep, I'm one of those people – one of the dorks that passed out cold when they took my blood for testing. For the record, the lab techs told me it's VERY common for pregnant women to pass out during blood work-ups… doesn't make it any less embarrassing though. Read on to found out more about how, during my pregnancy, I passed out getting my blood taken.
Before I start this tale, you should know that I hate getting my blood drawn. HATE. You should also know that I am not a pain wuss or needlephobe. For fucks sake, I have multiple tattoos (some in really sensative places) and plan on getting more! But there's just something about getting labwork done that kicks my ass. I go pale, get sweaty, and my vision starts to blur. It blows.
On this day, the Boy and I were in for a mountain of appointments and testing (that's what happens when your insurance company dicks you around and you don't get in to see a doctor until your 20th week of pregnancy). We got to our appointment early enough to eat breakfast first but I was so nervous about the day that I barely touched my food. Then, during orientation, I was told that they needed me to do “some blood labwork” and to go immediately to get it done. I was handed a paper with four tests marked off.
FOUR. Ugh. I thought I was going to pass out right there but managed to hide it really well (I did ask The Boy to come with me and hold my hand). We went to the lab and first I had to do a urine speciman. Normally, this is no issue but let me tell you – when you're pregnant, trying to clean yourself and then aim into a cup is no small task. Then, I had to give blood…
This lab is a bloodwork factory, there's a long row of open cubicles and they just cycle people in and out (which is great because you don't have to wait around long). However, when I saw how crowded it was – I elected to get my blood drawn alone because it looked too cramped to have The Boy with me. Also, I thought “Hey, I'm a damn grown-up. I can DO this.”
I was wrong.
I had a trainee and her supervisor was right across from us watching. I warned the trainee that I hated getting my blood taken and that I was really anxious about it. But honestly, I wasn't worried about passing out – just crying like a baby. Almost immediately after the trainee put the first needle in, I started getting sweaty. The supervisor was next to me in a minute and started fanning me with a spare folder. One vial, two, three. I was doing okay. On the fourth vial, I asked the trainee if we were almost done. She replied, “We're halfway.”
And that's when it all went downhill. I started feeling dizzy and my vision blurred really badly. The supervisor got out an ice pack and held it to my neck. At the same time, she continued to fan me and give the trainee detailed instructions on how to take the least amount of blood needed. Then they quickly gauzed me and had me rest a bit. After a few minutes, I thought I needed to go to the bathroom. I insisted on going. The supervisor told me about how the toilets were equipped with emergency pull cords (So now I'm a hundred years old). I was carefully making my way to the bathroom when it happened…
Right inside the door, I felt myself go but had the presence of mind to carefully bend my knees and slide down the length of the wall onto the floor (Thank you theater training!). The crappy part? I was literally passed out and blocking the bathroom door – just like college but not drunk and less filthy (I mean, I'm guessing. I'm one of those nerds who has never drank and didn't go to parties). Several lab techs (and the supervisor) all rushed over to help me and I was able to tell them that “I can hear you and talk but I just can't move”.
I stayed on that bathroom floor for like, five minutes. It was especially mortifying because that's the only bathroom and people had to step over me to get to the stalls and do their tests. Plus, I was blocking the only sink so people had to step over me AGAIN to wash their hands. Awesome.
I was finally able to sit up and drink some water but had to stay there for another few minutes because my legs were too shaky to allow me to stand up. At some point, I asked the techs if this was the stuff of office Christmas party stories. Everyone laughed and told me “no” (Liars.). Finally, I was able to convince the supervisor to let me go back to my husband in the waiting room. She told me that it was fine but she was escorting me because “I had already proved I was not to be trusted” (this was said while laughing).
In the waiting room, after I told my husband that I had passed out but didn't fall hard or hurt the baby, he started laughing and busting my balls. For the next couple of minutes, I got to enjoy the supervisor and my husband making fun of me. Awesome.
The best, BEST part of the day? Later that afternoon, the nurse practitioner had me do ANOTHER blood test. And when I went in for it? Every single person knew me (“The Chick Who Passed Out”) and came out of their cubicles to watch the supervisor take my blood (The Boy and I decided that they had a “when will she pass out” pool going). For the record, everyone was really sweet and this time, they had me lie down and insisted that my husband be with me.
Have any of you passed out while getting blood drawn?