JC (John Cholewa) (jcholewa) wrote,
JC (John Cholewa)

So I did something pretty dumb. I gave blood yesterday afternoon and then, that evening, went to the sauna. I make no excuses for this and have learned my lesson.

As you might suspect, I had a bit of a fainting spell. This was in the shower afterward. I slumped a little, and a friend escorted me to somewhere I could sit. I fuzzed out for about a minute, and I was a little out of it for a couple minutes afterward. The lifeguards there had some oxygen that they insisted I use for a while. After that, I was pretty much okay, though I was taking things slowly just in case.

But an ambulance had been called. The EMTs (or whatever they were) strongly recommended that I go to the hospital. My plan had been to get some water from the fountain, five feet away, and then go and get something calorie-high, salty and sugary from the vending machine so that I could safely get home and have a proper meal. Because of the certainty of the EMT's recommendation, I figured that I could not properly judge my own condition well enough and that I should bow to the concerns of a professional.

They did not allow me to get any water, even though I was probably dehydrated. They did not allow me to have anything to eat, even though I was probably dangerously low on calories. They brought me to a nearby hospital. I was dumped into a room and spent about an hour doing pretty much nothing, probably in need of water or sustenance, getting none of it. I really at this point was figuring that I should just leave and get something at the vending machine. Finally, after this quite unacceptable wait, they gave me water -- but they decided that it would have to be given intravenously. I told them that this seemed like overkill, but the person I spoke with literally had never heard the word "overkill".

So I had to wait for three hours while a slowly dripping IV dripped into my veins. It was agonizing and totally unnecessary. And it hurt more than the needle from the blood donating earlier that day. After this was done, they finally let me out, so I grabbed a small bag of sun chips and walked the two and a half miles back to the community center, drove home, and got the sustenance which I had needed but was functionally kept from for four hours.

[edit: And I got to hear how they had a good laugh at my expense -- normally, I wouldn't care about this, but next paragraph]

This was just an annoyance, but I learned this morning that apparently costs after figuring in insurance will run in the triple digits. This seems like it should be a more appropriate amount for the total charge, but I guess that's not how the system works here. Still, knowing that it will cost me quite that much turns my annoyance into light anger, because I feel that although I felt okay, I was not qualified at the time to refuse treatment.

Meh, we live and learn, I guess. I have two important life lessons that came out of this:

1) Don't overstress my body stupidly (this is the obvious one)

2) Never, ever listen to an EMT, because self-interest can be involved (if not the profit motive then at least a certain "oh shit, even though the situation looks totally normal, I'll be in trouble if it's really all fucked up, so I'll just always recommend the worst case scenario option" motive).

Doctor Prego, you're lucky you stopped EMTing. :P
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