I have a condition that can cause me to go into these episodes of extreme nausea and dizziness, that often result in my passing out. (Please click the link if you'd like further explanation.) It can be exacerbated by things like heat, dehydration, stress, exercise, and, apparently, gluten. Since cutting gluten out of my diet six months ago and adjusting some medications, I have it under control. However, I am still sort of an easy fainter - but never at the sight of blood.
I'm adding some cute photos of Riley to make this post more tolerable. Here is Riley choosing to eat his bone on my bra. Sigh...
I was having a wonderful first day at the animal hospital. A very nervous senior dog had just come in for some dental work, and I was assisting the vet while he drew the trembling dog's blood to test for any negative reactions to anesthesia. As I watched the vial fill slowly up with dark red blood, I glanced down and saw that the poor dog had lost control of her bowels due to nervousness. I thought, Oh, the poor thing, and got back to the task at hand. Then stars passed suddenly in front of my eyes, and my hearing changed slightly. You're going to faint, a small voice in the back of my head told me.
No...I'm not! I never get queasy about needles or blood! That's ridiculous.
Maybe so...but you're definitely going to faint. I knew the symptoms all too well - the ringing ears, tunneling vision, nausea. My nose filled with the metallicky smell of blood as I backed up to try to sit down, and the last thought I had was, You're smelling the dog's fear. Then I hit the floor, eventually waking up in a cold sweat with the vet rubbing my back.
"I don't know why this happened," I told him, trying to laugh it off. "I never get like this about blood and needles." But he sent me home anyway, and I felt so sick with embarrassment that I wanted to sink through the floor - I'm sure this is more than my readers want to know, but sometimes, for whatever reason, I lose control of my bladder when I pass out...and of course that had happened too. On my first day at the job. Of course. I felt nothing but humiliation as I drove home.
LOL look at this stud-muffin!!
Curious to see if it was, in fact, the dog's blood and vulnerability that had made me faint, I watched some videos of medical procedures being done on dogs later on that night. Sure enough...the feeling came back and I was on the verge of passing out before I quickly closed the browser. I felt sure that it would happen again. And, at the risk of being judged and thought a wuss, I didn't go back. I couldn't imagine facing the coworkers that I had fainted in front of (not to mention peed my pants in front of...) and possibly run the risk of it happening again. The vet was a very good sport about the whole thing, which I so appreciated.
Still in need of a job (and wanting one that dealt with animals), I decided to take a chance and fill out an application at a local luxury hotel for dogs, though they weren't advertising an opening. At the same time, I had been emailing back and forth with a new rescue in the area called Wags to Riches. After an interview, I got an email from the founder of the rescue...turns out, she works at the hotel as well! I had been corresponding with her for weeks without realizing! After that promising sign, I got the job and have been working at the Bark Break Hotel since.
My two guys <3
To make things even more strange, an entry about the Bark Break Hotel was one of my very first blog posts here...AND we found out that one of the owners had randomly been present at the humane society when a Pekingese bit me - in fact, he had been holding the leash of the dog! Too many odd coincidences for it to be anything other than fate :) The founder of Wags to Riches has since put me on the Board of Directors for her new rescue, and while I am not yet quite sure what that position will entail, I sure am excited to find out. :)
If the passing-out-and-peeing incident had never happened...well, I would have been spared the humiliation...but I never would have applied at Bark Break Hotel. As it is, I love my new job. It's very refreshing to see a dog excited to be boarded or arrive at "doggie day care" wagging their tail and playing. Don't get me wrong, some of the work is tough and physically exhausting...but basically, I play with dogs (of all sizes and breeds) all day - how many people can say that?! I'm so lucky <3 (but hey, let's all knock on wood for me, yes? No more fainting :) )
The Thug Life
Thank you so much for reading this tiresomely long post! :D Have a great weekend.