Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Not the most romantic Valentine's Day...

I’m back, after yet another unintentional blog break. This year is definitely not the year of good health of me: on Saturday night I got a stomach cramp and since then I’ve been bed bound. Valentine’s Day was spent crawling from the bed to the bathroom, vomiting and feeling as if my last moment had come.

Since I had a stomach ache for 3 days I decided to visit the hospital, just in case it would be the appendix (I know, I know, when the appendix is giving you problems you are probably so sick that you cannot even crawl, but still). The doctors took me very seriously (or is it just so that since most hospital over here are profit-driven they always wanna prescribe you loads of medicine/put you through surgery?) and ordered me to take a blood test etc. Now, at the sound of blood test I immediately started to feel queasy. I don’t know what it is, or why, but ever since I had a small operation when I was 12, I’ve been terrified of blood and needles (my mom and the doctors realized this some days before the operation when I was at the hospital to go through the procedure and the doctor was showing me a needle that was going to be put into my hand so that I could get drip via a tube. I hit the ground like a stone somewhere between “needle” and “drip.”).

Since I am perfectly aware of my fear (I basically faint every single time I have to give blood) I told the doctor AND the nurse about this, apologizing for being childish and all baby-like about it, but thinking that letting them know might make them more understanding. But, for some reason, people don’t take blood phobias seriously over here. I always tell, and still, they never listen. The nurse kept telling me to squeeze this and that (I cannot even check my own pulse without feeling nauseous) and when I told her I couldn’t she asked me to sit up and drink some water. Fortunately, the doctor came in as she asked me to sit, saw my white face and my body swaying, and ordered me to lie down again.

-You look like you were about to faint there for a while! He said with a laugh.

-Yes, just like I told you! I said, not laughing back.

Man, when are they going to listen? Do I have to fall down and hit my head in the stone ground so that they are going to let me lie down the next time for more than 30 seconds? I’m actually not sure.

Anyway, after my little faint scare I had to wait for my result for 40 minutes (!) feeling like I was about to throw up in a hospital smelling waiting room. Then I was told it wasn’t the appendix (phew!), but some other infection, got prescribed antibiotics and was sent home. Now let’s hope for a quick recovery so that I can start working out again. Feels like ages ago. Cannot believe that I once used to describe myself as sporty. I’m a far cry from being fit right now. Very sad.


Anonymous said...

"I hit the ground like a stone somewhere between “needle” and “drip.”" Not to sound mean but I laughed so hard at that.

I to am that way when I see "human" blood. For some reason I'm ok around animals' blood (probably because I grew up hunting with my dad in the cold northern woods of Wisconsin).

I am surprise they didn't give you some old school chinese medicine like my parents do (I remeber it was some kind of bitter herb but it sure helped a nasty stomach virus i got). I hope you feel better and keep up the blogging. Been reading your blog for a long time and it is always a pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Do doctors/nurses handle your phobia differently in Sweden?

yan said...

I'm also queasy about seeing blood and getting shots, so I totally understand how you felt. It probably has to do with the series of vaccination shots I got before immigrating to the U.S.

I can't look at the needle and I wince every time I have to do a blood test. Fortunately for me, when I tell the doctors and nurses over here in the U.S. about my aversion to blood, they're always pretty understanding, and some even try to distract me when they insert the needle.

Hope you feel better soon.

Jonna Wibelius said...

Anonymous 1 -that's fine.. haha! It's been more than 10 years.. I can laugh at it now! I'm not sure if I'm too into old herbal medicine when I feel totally sick. I just want to get rid of it fast. Then again -I haven't tried that many herbal things. Only herbal sleeping pills and they sucked!

Anonymous 2 -Yes they do. Every where I have lived I have been handled with more care, in Swe, Fi and Australia... In Swe they often smile to me when I apologize for being such a baby and say: "You know what, most grown-up men are terrified of needled and have to lie down. Nothing to be ashamed of!"

I'm not sure if that's true or if they are just saying that to comfort me though...but it makes me feel less guilty for being such drama queens.

Yan -yeah, u need a good doctor/nurse to be able to handle it all. Once I had a doctor who let me listen to music (my mp3 at that time) while he gave me a shot. That was quite good.

flyingfish said...

So sorry, Jonna! It's so frustrating when people don't listen.

In my experience, that does seem to happen more often in China than in some other places. I've often wondered if it has anything to do with the culture of unspoken but generally understood convention. Like, people don't always listen because words aren't necessarily the primary mode of communication?

At least you are able to tell us about it with all your characteristic humor.