Earlier this week I went out to my brother's place to play board games on his birthday. We were starting in on a 3 player game of Dominant Species (hoping that it wouldn't be as painfully long as the 6 player game I'd played previously) when we got some bad news about my dad's health. He needed to go to the hospital so off we went to corral him into a car and drive him over. Now, I'd just switched antidepressants because of the side effects of the first one I tried and the new one had been causing me to not have much energy and to get light headed if I stood up for too long. So while standing in the stairs at my dad's place I felt like I was going to faint. I ended up going back to my brother's couch and took a little nap/passed out.
This isn't such a strange occurrence for me. I've fainted sporadically for my whole life. Mostly when seeing my own blood or when having blood drawn or getting needles... But I know when the fainty feeling is coming on and I now know how to deal with it. In grade 2 I didn't know how to deal with it and ended up cutting my head on a rock when I collapsed but since then I've always been able to protect myself as I go down.
Anyway, by the time I was back on my feet they were off to the hospital. Not too long after that my mother came by and told me I really should go to the hospital too for support. I wasn't feeling faint anymore so I couldn't see any reason to disagree, so off we went. I showed up, talked a bit about my coat zipper being broken, and started to feel light headed again. There weren't any chairs in the emergency room but there was a stool so I tried sitting on that. It didn't help. During this time a nurse came by and told us we were really only supposed to have one visitor at a time. My brother and his fiancee wanted to go eat anyway and I figured a food court would have a bench I could collapse on so we left my sister with my dad and went to find food. Unfortunately I didn't make it...
As we were getting to the door out of the emergency room I realized I'd passed the point of no return and was definitely about to faint. So I said as much and then went to lie down on the floor. I didn't make myself clear (unsurprisingly) and Monica tried to catch me to stop me from lying down. Certainly a good idea if I was falling out of control! But since I was still somewhat in control and was just trying to get down safely it meant I ended up fighting her help. The end result was I ended up falling through the emergency room door instead of lying down nicely before it. Right beside a group of nurses/medics. Who were a little alarmed to see someone who was unnaturally pale collapse onto the floor through a door! I tried to fend them off but by that point I was pretty much out cold.
I woke up to find myself on a stretcher with a bunch of people yelling questions at me and trying to take off my clothes. DO YOU KNOW YOUR NAME? WHAT DAY IS IT? WE'RE GIVING YOUR WALLET TO YOUR SISTER! I pieced together what had happened but it didn't much matter. They weren't going to let me go without doing their best to figure out what went wrong with me.
On the one hand this is something I've always done, my doctor has never been concerned about it, and I felt like I was being a bother having them run tests on me likely wasting their time, my time, and my family's time. (Especially since they should have been focusing on my father who was actually hurt!) On the other hand maybe there was something bad about my health and one of these tests would clue me into something serious that might be dealt with by catching it now. So while I felt silly I let them do what they wanted. And they sure wanted to do a lot... Cardiogram, chest x-rays, blood tests, urine tests, more blood pressure tests than I can count, reflex tests, strength tests... Even an IV!
Annoyingly my father managed to get himself checked out and ran off in the middle of his tests. Possibly because everyone else was stretched between the two of us instead of just being with him. So not only was I not any help at all, I was probably actively detrimental by showing up. Boo!
Anyway, all my tests came back clear. The doctor said she'd normally want to keep someone who fainted overnight for observation but she couldn't actually see anything wrong with me and was willing to accept my story that I've just always been someone who faints. New medication, stressful situation, historical precedence... Whatever it was, it didn't seem like anything was actually wrong with me so she let me go. The one thing they did find that was a little out of the ordinary was that I was a little dehydrated so they pumped me full of water from an IV before letting me go. Dehydration is a typical side effect of my new drug and I hadn't been able to drink much while being poked and prodded so not much surprise there, really.
Even though nothing came up I am still happy they went through the effort. They might have caught something serious, and all it really cost me was 5 hours of my time and some extra travel/worrying for my mother. And who knows what for my father since he ran away from his own tests...