Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sorry wounded people, I shan't donate blood to you in future.

Today's first event was the unnecessarily thorough medical exam.  I had my vision tested for acuity and colorblindness; my hearing tested; my blood pressure, height, and weight measured; four vials of blood and two of urine collected; and a chest x-ray taken.  I'm surprised I wasn't checked for a hernia or prostate cancer or wired up with electrodes and ordered onto a treadmill.

There were complications with my donation of blood.  Finding a good vein was no trouble for the nurse.  She easily pierced and drained it.  The experience was increasingly painful with each vial, and as she withdrew the needle it felt as if she were pulling out a fishing hook.  My next stop after the vampires was the chest x-ray, so I proceeded down four flights of stairs and entered the queue.  One of the other people waiting drew my attention to the eyeball-sized swelling under my wound and suggested I return for further medical attention.  Light pressure on the swelling resulted in fresh bleeding, so I agreed with the wisdom of his suggestion and took the elevator back up.

I fetched another alcohol swab and with it began applying more serious pressure to the lump.  As I headed back down the hall towards the elevator, intending to rejoin the x-ray queue, I began losing consciousness and collapsed into the nearest chair, in front of one of the Koreans working the health gig.  She asked if I felt okay.  "No," I said.  Here the conversation rested.  I began sweating copiously, became quite unable to move, and started to lose sensory functions.  Another Korean in a white coat walked by and asked me if I felt okay.  "No," I said, and on she went.

After a few minutes I was able to persuade the first Korean to fetch me some orange juice, and within 20 I was able to walk again.  I think it would've been easier and more pleasant not to resist the faint and just conk out for a while.  I imagine I would've woken feeling refreshed.  The swelling is gone now but I'm left with a nasty, expanding, painful bruise.

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