Visiting the doctor or how I almost died

Vagabond Tim

On Thursday morning I had to visit the Richmond Diagnostic Center for an insulin tolerance test and a ton of blood work.

They had told me not to eat anything for 10 hours prior to the test and bring a lot of food as well as spare clothes, which was mildly alarming as I had no idea why. So I brought a bunch of sour patch kids, real food, and clothes.

Arriving at 7:30 the hospital was deserted, around 7:45 staff started to trickle in and direct me all over the building until I finally found Brenda and was directed to a closet like room with some automated IV machines and a TV which I was not allowed to watch until after they had done their tests etc.

They jabbed a hollow tube into my veins and began extracting all my blood, or at least enough to cause something called a vasovagal episode which essentially is an extreme version of having stood up too fast. Now since they hadn’t actually begun the test they were somewhat alarmed about how I would react to the insulin, they proceeded to inject me anyway. So every fifteen minutes or so they took more blood and tested my sugar levels until they had crashed to near lethal levels, when it finally had dropped they began forcing me to eat chocolate and juice with sugar mixed into it, which tasted terrible.

After about twenty minutes there was both no observable effect on my blood sugar levels or my ability to function, which was itself quite odd given my earlier response. So they proceeded to inject sugar water into my veins, twice. I was told ordinarily they do not need to do this injection once, let alone twice.

My left arms IV had decided it was no longer going to give up blood, so they attached another on the right side, which sprayed blood across the room due to a faulty valve on the tube, so a few moments of panicked nurses running around later my blood seemed to have decided to remain within the confines of my veins and all was well.

Another two hours or so passed with them taking ever more blood until my levels stabilized enough to allow me to watch television, which seemed odd until they explained that they had needed to keep me talking and ensure I was coherent throughout the test, it was then that they explained to me exactly how many things can go wrong with this test.

A few boring episodes of millionaire later I was released from the IV’s and sent on my way with the warning that I need to eat something before going to sleep and will probably want to have someone check on me in a few hours.  Disregarding their advise entirely, as is my custom, I went home and passed out on the couch watching BSG. A few hours later I awoke hungrier than I ever recall being, as well as light headed enough to prevent my making any real food.

Long story short I had all my blood stolen and replaced with sour patch kids.

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