Saturday, October 23, 2010

Fainting. Not as Romantic as One Might Think.....


Apparently I am a fainter. Not a quality I would add to a job resume, but it is part of me nonetheless. I was not a very sturdy kid, but was in a family of all sturdy people. This made the fainting factor just one more reason for them to all roll their eyes at me. The first fainting incident was in grade school when I passed out face first in my lunch tray. That is an awesome way to gain popularity, let me assure you. As it turns out, I had a raging ear infection but no symptoms to even tell me to slow down at recess. In effect, my body decided it had had enough and the blackness settled in in the middle of my corndog and mac and cheese.

The next time I got light headed and lost track of time was in the middle of winter when I was about 9 or 10 years old. A bone chilling cold grey Iowa winter. I was on horseback with the parents and sister, checking flood gaps (fence across the creek for you city folk) on one of our farms. Being the weakest member of the family, and the youngest, apparently meant that I did not deserve warm Carhart overalls like the rest of them. So I am bundled in an assortment of hand-me-downs, with long underwear beneath my jeans. I was not only freezing ( which I repeatedly told them) but also hungry (as usual). It was a couple of hours past lunch. We had a few left to check and I was left holding three horses while my dad and sis walked down through the brush to the creek. All of a sudden I started feeling really weak and foggy. I called out to them and woke up to icy creek water on my face. I just want to note that to this day my fingers and toes go from red to white to purple in the cold. Although they look interesting, it is not good.

Then it was 5th grade. I had begged my mother to let me get my ears pierced and she conceded. I was standing in the bathroom, which opened up to the kitchen (you have to love good design like that). I was removing the gold studs that had been put into my ear by the doctor. My mom was very old fashioned about doing things. Not only did she dress us like we walked off an episode of Little House on the Prairie, she took me to an 85 year old family doctor to get my ears pierced. I still remember his old trembling hand coming at my ear with the gun. I am shocked that my ears are pierced evenly. Anyway, out came the gold stud and down I went, hitting the kitchen carpet, yes I said carpet-who doesn't like carpet in the kitchen?- like a ton of bricks. I was laid out across the floor like a basset hound, when in walks my sister. She proceeds to step over me, pour herself a bowl of cereal, take a bite, then ask "what is wrong with Johi?" Her concern for my well-being is staggering to this day.

It was my senior year of high school. I played basketball and we were in our 4th game of the season. About six minutes into the first quarter I went in for a rebound, tripped over my teammates foot and heard a very load pop. I hit the floor in pain. Leave it to me to do something completely klutzy and hurt myself. My parents wanted to watch the game so they waited until halftime to take me to the ER (which was a 25 minute drive). Umhm. By the time I arrived, one hour after the injury happened, I think my body was in shock. The Dr. pushed, pulled and bent my knee and nothing hurt. The next morning my knee looked like it belonged on an elephant. It was huge. My boyfriend actually had the balls to laugh at me. Don't worry, I removed them later- during the imminent break-up. One MONTH later, when I was finally getting it looked at by a physician, he informed me that I had torn my ACL in half and needed surgery. I really don't know what happened next because I lost consciousness. Another month later, after the surgery, the doc brought a special little treasure on video for me to watch. It was the inside of my knee during the surgery. Awesome. I don't even need to say what happened next. Dude, I couldn't even keep the pain killers down.

The last black out (now of course I am not including alcohol induced situations) happened in the middle of a psychology class of 200 people freshman year of college. I had been running late and skipped breakfast. In class, for some reason, we were watching a film on aging. There were two problems with the film. First, they were showing naked bodies of old people. Eww. Secondly, they were showing what happens inside the body when arteries clog with plaque. Double eww. This was an 8 am class. Well, I lost it and the poor 86 pound girl sitting next to me somehow stopped me from hitting the floor. They stopped the film, flipped on the lights and proceeded to make a three ring circus out of my fainting, The TA ran out of the room and bought me an orange juice, only to then bitch loudly about the fact that it cost him $3.50. The professor even tried to get a wheelchair in the room for me use for an exit, which I protested. Then he dismissed class early. I was mortified. I haven't passed out since. But I do take evasive measures and tell the crotch doctor to NOT use the word "scrape" during my yearly.

1 comment:

  1. I learned at some point not to skip breakfast. I think I had three fainting incidents in my teens, all associated with hunger combined with crowds or heights. My brother faints if you say he needs a blood test.

    -Francesca

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