Thursday, June 30, 2005


Two people died in Ohio from lightning strikes. We lost power at work and lost computers due to lightning. My doctor’s office lost power. The office where my girlfriend works lost power.

My blackout, however, had nothing to do with lightning.

It was a routine doctor visit. I knew they were going to draw blood to find out why my strength has been disappearing slowly and why my arms have been suffering from chills after working out. I’ve always had a problem with needles. For some reason my body just goes cold and I can’t stop shivering if a needle has been used on me. I kept myself hydrated and knew it was coming. The last thing I remember was one nurse saying "You’ll be fine", the other jokingly saying "want a lollipop?", then after assuring I was okay the first saying "are you okay?" I remember dreaming something then waking to people running around. I knew immediately that I had blacked out again.

The same thing happened about six years ago. A blood draw was required to make sure a drug was working. Unlike previous uneventful encounters with the needle, this one ended with a couple nurses freaking out and an ambulance ride with a brutish man trying to stick an IV needle in me much to my protest. An EKG at the hospital proved okay and I was released, walking four blocks back to the doctor’s office and driving home to sleep for hours. The nurses stated I looked like I had a seizure.

This time was about the same, minus the ambulance ride, plus about a gallon of cold sweat. I walked around Wal*Mart for about twenty minutes waiting for my prescription for an inner ear infection (the only visible cause of my conditions); checking out their ick infested fish tanks and interesting "scenery", getting a cold container of Gatorade to re-hydrate myself.

It sapped everything out of my Thursday.

The only commonalities between blood-draws where I blacked out compared to all other encounters with a needle for IV, blood-draws, or otherwise – I was sitting upright both times and there were cute nurses joking with me.

I think the next time I’m going to see if I can lie down when encountering needles. I can lie there and shiver for about five minutes until my body recovers from whatever it does after it encounters a needle. Then I’ll be fine.

I’m not giving up cute nurses.

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