Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The "Blackout"

Today was quite the wild ride.

Last night I stayed in Yuba City at my friend Dawn's place so that I could make the best use of my time. This morning I got up went to Jamba Juice for a smoothie, printed my prep worksheets for the hospital, checked to make sure that my patient was still at the hospital, then headed for clinical conference.

After conference, we hit the floor running. We had only been on the floor about a half an hour and I was about to give my patient Phenergan, an antiemetic (to decrease nausea and vomiting).

With my instructor by my side, I began infusing this medication into his IV line over two minutes. While I was pushing the medicine, I started to feel a little dizzy, but brushed it off.

After the medication had been administered, I needed to flush the line to maintain patency so I started, but at this point I was really light headed. So much so that I said I needed to sit down.

As soon as I sat down, I lost my vision and I remember saying, "I'm going to blackout." Next thing I know, I am coming out of a trance with a room full of hospital staff, students, doctors, and paramedics all yelling my name.

They were taking my blood pressure, feeling for a pulse, and checking my respirations. Needless to say, I was so confused.

How long had I been out? HOW did I get on the floor? What happened?

They started questioning me, but to everything they asked, my answer was no(has this happened before?, do you have a history of cardiac problems?, are you diabetic?...an on and on and on.

I was embarrassed but at that time, that was the least of my problems. They said I was seizing and that I fell out of the chair and onto the floor.

Normally, I am in a patients room all by myself, so I am thankful that I happened to be giving a med with my instructor and another fellow student at the time, because I could have really hurt myself.

Anyways, they insisted on taking me to the ER by ambulance-I refused the ambulance because they are $$$$, plus the ER was less than 5 minutes away from the hospital I was at, but they insisted that it wouldn't be safe any other way.

The ride was uneventful, I didn't even get sirens, but I am glad because I think sirens are for more critical situations. When we arrived, I felt like I was going to vomit but luckily, I was able to breath through it and was able to control myself.

To make a long story short, Andrew drove up and met me and brought me some food. I was questioned, tested, and they found.....................................................................NOTHING!

My first reaction and my secret wish was that I was pregnant-but I'm not pregnant. They took an EKG, I have a healthy heart(no kidding), my blood pressure is 103/66, low but consistent. My oxygen saturation was 100%, my pulse was 70. Furthermore, the blood back came back normal.

Their diagnosis, was vasovagal syncope which is a fancy way of saying I fainted because I wasn't receiving enough oxygen and they believed that is was triggered by emotional stress--check, check.

After four hours, they sent me home to rest. No answers, just ordered to rest. Although, today was a waste of time, I'll give them some credit because rest is what I desperately need. I even got an official doctors note excusing me from classes tomorrow-wow.

The moral of the story is; don't faint in a hospital while taking care of a patient, but if you do faint and start seizing make sure there are helping hands around.

If this ever happens again, I'll be sure to invest in a fainting chair.


Chris and Lisa said...

Oh Tiffani- i am so sorry this happened to you. When I first started reading your post, I thought to myself...she is EXHAUSTED, STRESSED, etc. etc. I am glad you are okay and doing good now. I am sure you will be ecstatic when the semester is over!! Get some rest!

sheena said...

oh no!!! I am so sorry! Glad you are ok! Hope you can get lots of rest!!

Kari said...

Oh my gosh Tiffany! How scary!! I'm so glad your instructor was there and that you weren't hurt and that it's nothing too serious! Get some rest and take care of yourself! You are amazing and I'm praying for you to make it through this semester!

Liz and Scott said...

I can't believe that happened to you - how scary! I'm so glad there was someone else in the room with you & that you're doing better now.

Kristin said...

Wow! What a story. That is so scary, to be seizing and have no idea that is what happened! Please, please if there is anything I can do to lighten your load, please let me know. You are amazing for sticking with such a difficult program and I really look up to you for doing it! Tiff, you are in my prayers.

The Elmers said...

Oh my Tiffani! That is sooo crazy and scary! But it really couldn't have happened at a better place! Thank gosh you are alright!! :)

chels said...

Tiff! How scary, I am so glad you are okay...and looks like your body needs to rest so I am glad you will get what you need. You are such a superwoman and do it all so well, your body just has to learn to keep up! j/k --love you

Alexis said...

Geeez, isn't that the second time you have fainted? I'm glad that everything was fine, even tho it is going to cost some $$$.

dave and natalie said...

What!! I'm so glad you are okay! Man that can be so scary, but glad they couldn't find anything. It pays off being hooked up with the medical community... a great bonus to being a nurse.

Sounds like nursing school is keeping you busy!! Take care of yourself!

Lindsey Erickson said...

Scary Tiff! Glad to hear that you are ok. Please let me know if you ever need any help. Seriously! You are such a hard worker.

kirstica said...

i love you and i am routing for you one million percent! its no doubt that you are stressed and exhausted... no wonder this happened. i am thinking and praying for you. keep on doing the things that you know are right and i know you will be blessed

The Lamb Family said...

Wow, I so glad you are ok. I hope it doesn't happen again. take care!

Jen said...

Holy COW chica!!! You are such a mover that I think the "Man Upstairs" had to hit you upside the head a bit to have you take a day to rest. That is some scary stuff and you are in my thoughts and prayers =). At least you didn't faint on your patient right???