Gathan Beaga

Blood test

This morning I had a health check at work. Nice and low-key; it was part of a “resilience training” course I’m doing with some others at work starting next week. My employer doesn’t get to see the results, which is of course to be expected at enlightened workplaces (even though they are paying for the check-up).

But part of it included a blood test, something I really dislike and have managed to successfully avoid for over 12 years. I don’t know whether it’s the needles or the blood, but I just can’t handle it. The very thought makes me feel queasy (I’m feeling queasy now). Why does this happen? Yet in some contexts I don’t have a problem with blood – coming from a farm the slaughter of animals doesn’t provoke the same reaction in me at all. Surely I would be OK?

And I was. Initially. It didn’t hurt, the nurse was professional, no fell-monger she, and I stood up to wait my turn for the scales and lung capacity tests.

But five minutes later, I wasn’t so good. Sweats, dizziness, nausea (not helped by low blood sugar from the 12 hours of fasting for the test). I managed to make it back to my desk, down two flights of stairs, (just) before the black spots in my vision got too bad. Even so, my workmates suggested I lie down, so I slid off my chair and lay under my desk for 10 minutes, eating a chocolate bar that I happened to have in my desk drawer for emergencies and wondering whether I was going to completely lose it at both ends.

About half an hour later I had recovered sufficiently to go back for the rest of the check up, but even so, my blood pressure was so low that the nurse wanted me to sit down to do the lung capacity test in case I keeled over.

It wasn’t a good look. I think I’ll skip the follow-up.