View Full Version : I gave us a bad name today...
08-05-2008, 03:37 PM
I don't know what happened. I had breakfast and snacks today and then went to the doctor for a check-up. I didn't mention the raw part, just that I'm vegan and lately have felt tingly on my spine and wanted to check my b-12 levels. He seemed *okay* but not thrilled with veganism and I seemed healthy enough, but he was very concerned and asked me several times if I have an eating disorder b/c I'm underweight, apparently 17%...percent what...I'm not sure...but apparently people could be anorexic who are under 18%. He was very concerned. My blood pressure was 112/70...is that good or too low? Then I go my blood drawn and guess what...I FAINTED! That has never happened before. I felt sick and the NP said that it was in my head b/c she didn't draw THAT much (4 vials) and then I blacked out. Luckily my partner caught me b/c I almost crashed into the wall. When I finally came to (they didn't have smelling salts) I had to lay down for half an hour b/c I was still feeling sick. THey brought me sprite but my partner told them I don't drink that and then they suggested some crackers...they left and amazingly returned with fresh blueberries! Someone had them there and offered them. WOW, what luck. So I ate those and unfortunately still felt sick so I had a few sips of the sprite. The doctor then returned and said "okay, I'm really concerned..." and brought up the eating disorder idea and asked me to talk to a nutritionist in the office!!! I told him no way, that they'd just tell me to eat dairy and meat and I wouldn't do it. Finally I left...god it was horrible...when I fainted it was like I was dreaming...and I felt like I almost died or something. I am so upset b/c I'm so thin. I hate that. I hate being thin. I know some people who have the opposite problems are rolling their eyes, but it's terrible...people think it's so easy to gain weight...well, it never has been for me, no matter what I eat. And now I feel like I'm never going to gain any weight, and it makes me really upset. Plus I feel like now I made vegans look bad, b/c a) i look like i have an eating disorder and b) i fainted. I'm not scared of blood, I love watching them take blood from my arm, and I don't get why I fainted. I guess I should've eaten more right before. But it was such an awful day. Sorry for the rant.
Man, that stinks. Raweater will gain extra weight for you to balance it out! Why did you go to the doctor -- to check your b12? Did he actually check it with the blood draw?
I didn't realize this until recently, but apparently a blood test is not the most effective way of checking b12 anyways. I'm sorry that I don't remember the details.
Man, that's crummy. Are you doing better (the way you feel) on raw?? I can tell you I used to get really faint with blood draws when I would donate. My iron levels were always really low, so when I was able to donate, it was just barely. I do not feel anemic as I did. Love green smoothies for that...
Anyways. Ack. Your day can only get better from here!! :eek: :)
08-05-2008, 03:51 PM
I'm sorry that happened to you, Raene. Fortunately, your partner is a strong advocate for you. You are so lucky!
Perhaps your iron levels are very low. I guess you'll find out when the blood draw results come back.
Don't worry about giving vegans (especially RAW vegans) a bad name. There must be an explanation for this, and I'm sure that it's not food-related.
I hope that you're feeling better this afternoon. Take care!
08-05-2008, 03:54 PM
Your blood pressure is great, don't worry about that.
Were you dehydrated? Sometimes that just happens to people. I donated blood about 6 years ago while on a SAD diet and while I didn't faint, I felt sick to my stomach and tired for several days afterwards.
Trust me, you aren't the only person they've seen faint after having blood taken. "In your head" or not, you aren't the first. I'm a nurse and I've taken blood and started IVs on hundreds of SAD eaters and I guarantee you aren't the first one to faint and I'll also bet they've seen much more dramatic reactions. At least you didn't flip out. The ones that scream and cry and thrash around are way worse the the ones that faint. I personally feel it was insensitive to tell you it was all in your head.
I'm not sure about the weight issue. I'm guessing the 17% is that you are 17% under what is considered healthy for your height. One of my best friends is like that. She's stick skinny, a healthier SAD eater and can't gain weight for anything.
Please don't be upset w/ your body. It looks like you are gaining weight healthily, which is much better than doing it by hamburgers and milkshakes. Keep up the good work. I personally don't think you made vegans look bad if any of them thought that of you I think they already had a negative impression of vegans. Best wishes.
08-05-2008, 04:27 PM
I'm an RN as well and I agree with Raw Yogini, that's excellent blood pressure.
I'm sorry you went through that Raene, I think the 17% is referring to your BMI...(body mass index), which measures the amount of fat in your body, I believe. It all depends on your height and weight so it's different for everyone.
I've seen big people faint when having their blood drawn, so don't feel bad about that either, you are not alone there.
I mostly just wanted to offer you support and encouragement, and say that I hope you're feeling better, don't be so hard on yourself about the diet either, it's not your job to advertise...feel better...:)
08-05-2008, 04:52 PM
You didn't make anyone look bad....I just wanted to offer a hug and let you know we're supporting ya... http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_1_67.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZNxmk762MSUS) I know you've been talking about gaining weight for a while and I think that your body will eventually adjust...Hang in there....
08-05-2008, 05:14 PM
I'm so sorry that happened to you. I wish I could be of more help. Would it be possible for you to start weight-training with light weights to gain muscle (and of course, weight), and slowly increase the weight as you get stronger? I don't know if you've tried this already but I figured that I would suggest it.
08-05-2008, 05:24 PM
Raene, years ago I started having the same thing happen when I would get my blood drawn (though I only almost fainted) & I was SAD went it happened. Don't know why since I've always hated blood tests and it never happened before. Ever since then, I make sure I'm in a reclined chair and it seems to work. So it may have absolutely nothing to do with your health. And 4 vials IS a lot!
If you can, find someone that is a holistic and conventional doctor. Hopefully they can actually help you because they have more knowledge in regards to being vegan.
08-05-2008, 06:25 PM
Thanks everyone, I really feel supported here, as always.
Yes, the 17% must've been my BMI. I'm very tall and so that's one of the problems...I have to eat SOOOO much and still I don't gain weight.
The funny thing is, today I also mentioned that I'd like to conceive soon and asked him what he thought since I'm so thin and he said his professor (he must've recently gotten out of school) told him during WW2 women were all being starved and having very healthy babies, so not to worry as long as I'm getting adequate nutrition.
Yes, I went in order to check for b-12 and I personally know that urine is best, but apparently he didn't...well, he was also concerned about folate. They did have me pee in a cup too, so maybe he knows that's the best way for the b-12...we'll see. I don't know how long it will take to get the results.
I can't imagine my iron levels being low...I eat 2+ cups of green peas a day, but maybe thats the problem.
Dehydration could definitely have been another problem. Shame on me, I never drink enough.
I asked the doctor the same thing about gaining weight...should I lift weights? Because he said it's mostly the absence of muscle...but then he went into how I probably don't get enough amino acids so lifting weights won't help all that much. You know, typical doctor...
I hope never to get my blood drawn again, but if I do, they told me to lie down first and eat something more filling beforehand (I ate almonds).
08-05-2008, 07:05 PM
some people are just thin. they are. my brother is one of them. no matter what he eats... he's thin like a stick.
sometimes we just need to accept our self and our body for who and what we are and move on. if you are healthy, what difference does it make if you are thin?
(((hugs))) to you
08-05-2008, 08:02 PM
Just think of all the overweight, sick people who go through the doctor's office everyday! Do they give the SAD diet a bad name? I doubt they worry about that! You don't have to worry about giving anyone a bad name!
I'm sorry you had such a hard time! Many hugs to you!!!!!!!:)
08-05-2008, 08:15 PM
Just think of all the overweight, sick people who go through the doctor's office everyday! Do they give the SAD diet a bad name? I doubt they worry about that! ....
I was thinking the same. Is it not an "eating disorder" the way most americans and other westerners eat?
Raene big hugs to you. For me setting foot inside a doctor's office causes my spirit to leave my body. I'm not a fan of needles and have fainted on more than one occasion. A couple of times flat on my face - I can laugh now. The only reason I'm stronger is I went through bloody hell having IV needles and other things inserted into me for many months...I had no choice. My tolerance is higher now, but it can still be stressful at times. I feel for you regarding the weight you want to attain - you will get there. Don't let the MD's get you down!
08-13-2008, 12:24 PM
I am SOOO HAPPY and reassured.
Keep in mind this was at a point when I was feeling my lowest out of the 5-7 months eating raw. Meaning, I wasn't doing green smoothies daily and I wasn't getting a ton of variety.
Everything was in the normal range except folate, which was 19.28 and normal levels are 3-16 (high is okay, says the doctor in a note to me).
YAY!!!!! Good to be reassured.
08-13-2008, 12:45 PM
That is good news! Are you feeling better?
08-13-2008, 12:46 PM
08-13-2008, 01:03 PM
That is good news! Are you feeling better?
Yes, thanks to green smoothies, more water, and a colonic :)
08-13-2008, 07:43 PM
Great!! I have been having some issues myself, so I empathize!! I realized that I somehow stopped drinking my 2 quarts of water!! I also had a terrible nasty breakout on my face. I'm 42 years old and have never had this! I am about 95% convinced that it is a sensitivity to walnuts. It's always changing and adjusting, this food thing. I'm so glad you are doing better!
08-13-2008, 09:36 PM
Don't you worry about that. I really hate having my blood drawn. Whatever I was on SAD, vegetarian or vegan I aways almost faint. Even when I was a little overweight.
Some people are just thin, there is nothing wrong with that.
08-13-2008, 11:34 PM
I'm so glad that your blood work was normal, see now you are giving us a good name! :)
08-14-2008, 08:37 AM
08-16-2008, 07:52 PM
I have been 100% raw for 1 year, vegan for 2 months and I lost a lot of weight at first about 17 pounds. I was told by a western doctor that I was 15 pounds to 25 pounds underweight before this!! I felt pretty weak after losing this weight but after about 6 months I started to gain some of it back. I have gained about half of it back. I now feel fine in terms of energy. I am 56. I think the body takes a while to adjust to the raw diet.
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