This morning I went in for another day of blood draws for the research study.
Unfortunately, I guess my blood pressure had gotten bored with hanging out in the 110/80 zone and decided to take a brief vacation to the land of 78/40 instead. I have no idea why, since I felt great (seriously, no one had so much as uncapped a needle yet) – but it turns out there’s some rule about not drawing blood from somebody who seems to be in hypotensive shock – even if it is mysteriously asymptomatic.
Still, I wasn’t about to give up $100 that easily, so I tapped my feet and sat up straight, which brought my bp up to a whopping 104/60 (I think I broke a baroreceptor. Either that, or the automated blood pressure machine just spits out numbers at random), and the nurses got started with the draw.
Nurse 1: Be careful, sometimes she passes out when the needle goes in.
Nurse 2: Oh, honey, it’s fine. Look, yesterday I had a physician faint on me. A physician! Haha, can you believe it? He said he hates blood, but he still decided to be a doctor! Crazy, right?
Nurse 1: …
Nurse 2: So, are you in college?
(In defense of my career choice, when I passed out I was on the pointy end of the needle – not the wield-y one.)
It’s ok, hon. There are plenty of specialties that don’t involve blood.
Vascular surgery, here I come!
haha, that’s hilarious. did you guys tell her you’re a med student?
I was shadowing once and saw a patient with a bp that low, maybe a little lower, and we were all a little confused as well – he was sitting up, eating lunch, said he felt great. we tried the other arm and got similar numbers. Ended up doing nothing since he wasn’t dizzy or anything.
Haha, yeah, the other nurse told her. (Her response: “Oh. Well… with a blood pressure that low, you probably just faint every few hours regardless..”) <– best recovery ever.
And wow – glad to know I'm not the only person who's been that low for no apparent reason!