Tag Archives: Medical Procedures

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: Something New You Learned Last Year

Hosted by Long and Short Reviews.

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.