Tag Archives: Medical Procedures

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Something from Sci-fi You Wish Were Real

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Click here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

The sickbay of the Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The sickbay of the Enterprise-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Image credit: Derek Springer from Los Angeles, CA, USA

I wish Star Trek medical bays were real.

Some countries like Canada offer universal healthcare. Well, the basics are covered by taxes. The majority of us still have to buy insurance or pay out of pocket for things like prescriptions, dental care, (most) mental health care, basic vision care, private hospital rooms, and many medical devices that are meant for home use.

I’m grateful to be able to visit my family doctor without worrying about how much the bill will be, but I dream of a world where everyone can visit a Star Trek medical bay.

Imagine almost instantly getting a diagnosis after having a tricorder painless waved in front of you instead of waiting days or sometimes even weeks for results from our current and more invasive diagnostic procedures to come in.

Then you would probably be given a hypospray or a little pill to permanently cure any illness or injury faster and with less pain than even the most revolutionary treatments that are available today. All of this would happen without anyone worrying about how they can afford the treatment.

I dream of living in a world like that. Wouldn’t it be marvellous?

As much as I’d also love to experience a few hours of amusement in the holodeck or order all sorts of fancy dishes from a replicator in the mess hall, real-life medical bays would be life-changing for humanity as a whole. I hope they really do exist someday.

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Something New You Learned Last Year

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Salted almonds in a white bowlClick here to read everyone else’s replies to this week’s question and here to see the full list of topics for the year.

Last year I learned some new tricks that helped me avoid fainting after receiving vaccinations. My body has never liked needles, so I have a long history of swooning like an nineteenth-century heiress whenever I need a blood test or an injection.

Honestly, swooning is only amusing in historical romance novels. In real life, it’s a little frightening and embarrassing, especially when you feel like it’s out of your control.

Here are the steps I took to avoid that fate this time around.

I can’t guarantee they will work for you or that they will work every time, but they’re certainly worth a shot (so to speak) if you’re also a fainter:

  • Have a snack and something to drink beforehand. If caffeine is something you imbibe, this will work even better. If you can’t or don’t drink caffeinated beverages, consider picking something a little sugary or salty if you can eat those things.
  • Ignore any embarrassment you might feel and talk openly about your history of fainting with the medical professional. They might have additional suggestions!
  • Lie down if at all possible. If you must sit, try to have a kind friend or relative standing nearby to catch you.
  • Relax all of the muscles in your arm (or whenever you’re about to feel the poke) to help reduce the pain.
  • Breathe slowly and deeply.
  • Focus your gaze on something in the opposite direction of the needle.
  • Clench your stomach muscles as the needle enters your arm.
  • Have another snack or drink as soon as you can after the procedure.

Basically, you want to be well-hydrated, relaxed, and distracted. The snack can help keep your blood sugar and blood pressure at steady, acceptable levels.  I suspect the stomach clenching idea works because it provides yet another distraction.

There’s something about the combination of all of these things that makes it easier to avoid passing out.