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"Why did I feel so woozy after a nasty finger gash?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy did I feel so woozy after a nasty finger gash?


I still feel a bit "woozy" after a nasty gash on the top of my thumb. Not much blood, but I've felt a bit weak, and "off kilter" all day. Injury happened around 11:00am this morning. I had a good breakfast in the morning, plus some snacks for quick carbs after the injury. Got home around 5:15pm, had a protein shake, and took a 30 min snooze. I feel marginally "better" but still a bit "odd." The injury site hurts when I flex the thumb a bit, so I'm doing my best not to use my thumb, and to keep it straight. But here is my main question: why is this injury affecting me the way it is? I'm worried that if I ever get very badly hurt, I'll feel "strange" and be unable to defend myself, extricate myself from a wreck or bad situation, or to assist others. Am I hardwired to be "squeamish?" Is there any way to build up the "intestinal fortitude" to resist an injury, collect myself and function normally?


Thanks for your question and sorry to hear about your injury. What you are describing sounds quite common. In addition to your baseline "woozy" feeling that you describe when you think about your injury or look at your thumb, you ask some good questions about how to overcome these sensations. I recommend that you speak with your doctor. First, your problem could be related to a number of things, but is quite common. Most people will have some of these same symptoms in similar circumstances. In the worst cases, the body can have a vasovagal reaction, that can result in fainting and is mediated by a nerve relay process involving the brain and other parts of the immune system and can result in fainting, a process designed to help maximize blood flow to the brain. Most people feel shades of this reaction at some point in their life. As for how to overcome these feelings, the best answer is that repeated exposure to the things that make you squeamish now will gradually decrease their effect over you. Most people have some of those same feelings, but surgeons have been exposed to large amounts of blood for so long that it no longer bothers them. Appropriate de-sensitization may help. Please speak with your doctor to clarify and assist as needed.

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