Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I Feel Faint
I have a laundry list of humiliating stories that mostly stem from fainting.
You heard me: fainting. And not dainty, Disney Damsel in Distress fainting either.
I was on a plane Friday headed from Dallas to Detroit for work. (See the pictures? Yeah those aren't from Texas). I was settled into my seat, and a coworker friend of mine was next to me, resting her eyes. I hadn't eaten much all day and definitely hadn't had any water, and all of a sudden I felt a little nauseous. I have never gotten airsick or carsick, I'm not claustrophobic or scared of heights, so I turned up my little vent and tried to relax. I opened my eyes, started seeing spots, then knew what would happen next; I would black out. I had just gotten a glass of water, so I took little sips while taking a few deep breaths and managed to slip off one of my tall, Ugg-boots because the plane suddenly felt like a furnace, and I let it pass.
Have you ever finished crying and had to take those quick little hiccup-y breaths while you are calming down? The same thing happens after fainting.
I've been fainting, every few years for whatever reason, since I was a little girl. I broke my arm at a roller-skating birthday party, got a cast put on, then the doctor decided I needed a different one. The original cast had to be sawed off, and I was held to the bed while screaming while my parents were not allowed inside the room. I think it's the only time in my life I've seen my mom look borderline murderous. The next day, after a check-up with my family pediatrician, I slid off the table and collapsed onto the floor. Next thing I knew, I came to and was being carried through the waiting room by my doctor, my mother trailing behind. So technically, the fainting started 18 years ago.
My friend AG has been fortunate enough to see me faint twice. Lucky her.
AG and I bought tickets to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the Saturday morning after it came out, while we were roommates in college. We thought we would be avoiding some kind of frenzied crowd by going at that time, even though we should have figured that there would be lots of teenagers and smaller kids around. We arrived at the theater early, to wait in line, and were there for about 20 minutes before there was a sudden influx of bodies everywhere.
It started getting warm, and then I realized I had broken out in a cold sweat. I felt a little light headed, AG's voice became more distant as the line started moving. Everyone's feet started shuffling forward and I made it through the ripping of the ticket before I really started blacking out. Meanwhile, streams of children and teenagers were running past me and AG was wondering what was going on. I collapsed next to the wall in the crowded hallway, and ushered AG on, saying "go get seats! I'll be fine, just get the seats!"
I was vaguely aware of people looking, as if I cared at that point, and after a few moments I came to, as an angel with an assistant manager's name tag helped me outside to a courtyard (who knew there a courtyard there?) and handed me a bottle of water.
AG found me, granola bar in tow, and I immediately looked up from the pavement and said "hey, did you get the seats?"
Exasperated with me, she said, "Yes, I got the freaking seats! Are you okay?!"
I was fine, at that point. My fainting is always followed up by a hammering headache, and seeing a movie probably wasn't the greatest idea at that point but we already had seats. Couldn't miss Harry Potter.
There was also some ridiculousness involving me fainting again on her 21st birthday (it was not from drinking too much, I seriously had a beer and a shot- I'm allergic to red food coloring and the shot was red... and I'm an idiot), which involved 6th Street in Austin at 2 AM, and AG taking care of me on her 21st. Ah, memories.
At a blood drive; at church; at golf camp; while standing in a towel in a friend's family's house in Connecticut... I will attest that fainting can happen anywhere.
"At least embarrassment is not an imitation.
It's intimacy for beginners..."