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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on July 12th, 2016, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 17, Issue 19 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 17, Issue 19

Blood is thicker than water

Krider sees red after attempting to clean out his garage

By ROB KRIDER

Even though I went to college for more than 10 years, I’m actually not a doctor. And because I’m not a doctor, I really don’t understand medical terms like vasovagal syncope. But because I’m a 10-year-old boy at heart, when I read the word vasovagal I start to giggle inside, assuming it has something to do with female genitalia. However, this whole vasovagal thing has absolutely nothing to do with women’s lady parts. I know this because I actually have vasovagal syncope. I’ve had it my entire life. It means I pass out when I see my own blood.

This condition turned out to be quite embarrassing growing up. I passed out in seventh grade science class when I pricked my fingertip for an experiment to determine my own blood type. I fell right out of my desk and smacked the floor in front of the entire class. I never did find out what my blood type is, but I did learn what smelling salts smell like. They smelled like I wouldn’t be getting a date to the next dance.

Fast forward to adulthood when I had to get my blood drawn for a physical. BAM! I fell right out of the chair and hit the floor. The lab had to call my wife to come pick me up. They wouldn’t let me drive myself home. Very embarrassing.

The technical explanation for vasovagal syncope is that when a person experiences a certain trigger, in my case it’s witnessing my blood leaving my body, blood pressure drops rapidly taking away blood from the brain, which leads to fainting. My wife, whom I love, has her own explanation for my condition: She says I’m a big wuss.

I do my best not to have another incident by attempting not to bleed all over the place. I see this as a win-win. I don’t really enjoy bleeding, and I also don’t like passing out. I always fall down and smack stuff. Hard stuff, stuff that hurts. My mantra is, “Keep my blood inside, and stay alive.” Simple concept really, except when it isn’t, and last weekend it wasn’t.

My first mistake was cleaning the garage. I never should have tried to clean it. I should have just left it as it was: a complete disaster. There are sharp things in the garage, dangerous things. Regardless, Mrs. Krider wanted it cleaned, so I did what she asked and I went out there on a sunny Saturday and got to work. Full disclosure, I didn’t jump right out and clean the garage immediately when my wife asked me to. For the record, I jumped out and began cleaning it three years, two months, and seven days after she asked me to clean it. Regardless of the time frame, I still blame her for what happened.

While dutifully cleaning the garage, I found an engine in there from one of my old race cars. Yes, my garage was such a mess an entire engine was actually lost. It was an engine block that I had destroyed during a race at Laguna Seca, earning the nickname Rob “Right Foot” Krider. I kept the exploded engine block for two reasons. Reason No. 1: I never throw anything away. Reason No. 2: I wanted to make a coffee table out of the engine block. The coffee table project never got off the ground because for some unknown reason my wife didn’t want an authentic blown-up racing engine coffee table in the middle of her living room. Obviously she has no taste.

Since it was taking up space, I needed to get the heavy engine block out of the garage. Instead of asking for somebody’s help, or using the proper lifting mechanism, I figured I could just muscle the engine block out of there all on my own. As a result of my impatience, my left index finger found its way into a sharp portion of the engine block, the engine block fell down, and my finger was suddenly bloody. Very bloody. Like, I’m probably going to pass out bloody.

My wife heard the commotion, came outside in a panic, and asked me point blank, “Are you OK? Do you think you’re going to pass out?” I lied right to my wife’s face when I told her, “Nope.” As soon as the word left my mouth, I instantaneously passed out.

Ah, darkness. I was having the most frustrating dream that I couldn’t wake up from. I couldn’t breathe and I couldn’t wake up. It was miserable. The next thing I knew my wife was slapping me, and my daughter was on the phone with 911. It was crazy. I didn’t need an ambulance. I needed a Band-Aid, an Advil, and a beer.

I told them to cancel the ambulance because I was fine. They helped me walk to the kitchen sink and we put my finger under the water to wash the grease from the engine out of the cut. As soon as I looked at the red blood in the stark white sink, I was on my knees again.

My wife rushed me to an urgent care while I dozed in and out of consciousness in the front seat, holding a towel over my finger. I was thinking the worst, the cut to my finger was so bad the doctor would probably have to amputate my entire arm. They wheeled me into a room and took a look at my finger. Would I need reconstructive surgery? A new finger transplanted from one of my toes? Stitches? Nope. The urgent care center gave me a Band-Aid. Was it a really special Band-Aid? Nah, just a regular Band-Aid, and a bill for $300.

It turns out the cut wasn’t that bad-—fingers just bleed a lot and I am a complete wuss, a wuss who legitimately suffers from vasovagal syncope. And because of that condition I passed out and scared my poor wife to death. The good news: I didn’t have to finish cleaning the garage that day.  

Rob’s wife wants him to wear a medical bracelet. He told her if she could find one with a bottle opener on it, he might consider it. You can read more from Rob Krider or contact him at robkrider.com.




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