Down and Out

Today was stressful for me. I had a procedure done early in the morning that caused a vasovagal syncope, or a vagal response for short. The operation shocked my system and caused a sudden drop in heart rate. After getting off the table, I made it to the hallway before I fainted. Luckily, both the doctor who worked on me and my mother was there to make sure I didn’t hit the ground too hard.

The vagal response was a combination of a muscle relaxant, a morphine-like painkiller, a sedative, and a stressful visit to the doctors. When all was said and done, I was sore and tired. I fell asleep as soon as I got home and have been in and out of consciousness all day. My boyfriend had to message my supervisor for me to apologize for not picking up my phone. The sedative made it almost impossible for me to text or talk without extreme focus. Now that the effects are wearing off, I can finally sit down to write this blog.

I don’t like sitting around and doing nothing. I find it boring and unproductive. Many people find a lot of pleasure in slouching into their couch and watching TV all day, but it makes me anxious. Today, however, was different. The operation and subsequent fainting spell left me exhausted and a little spooked. I used to faint after giving blood which has made it difficult to do so now. The vagal response is symptomized by nausea, clamminess, and sudden loss of color in the face. Every time I’ve fainted, I’ve experienced each of these.

Resting is necessary at times. I’ve already written about the need for recovery and downtime. Life cannot be a constant cycle of work, stress, and success or failure. There has to be guaranteed or likely fun and enjoyment to sustain mental function. This procedure did me much more good than bad and I have a good feeling I will not regret having it done. As I move on to my adult life and continue to reach for my independence, I have to weigh the risks and benefits of experiences such as this. My health has been a priority of mine for a long time, now it is becoming a responsibility.


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