Is this normal?

passing out

So… I pass out a lot.

If you just got excited to hear some wild and fun binge drinking stories, you are are in the wrong place. Just, generally. Most recently I passed out in the shower after a sauna and woke up slumped against the shower wall. My friend Lauren said she heard the ker-clunk (oh just my skull banging into ceramic tile) from the next room and was about to come check on me when she heard the water splashing around again and figured I was fine. (I could have drowned! Theoretically anyway.)

Other memorable fainting spells:

1. Standing in line for the bathroom at a restaurant in Dillon, Colorado

This was the last family trip I ever went on. During college I went with my Dad, my aunt Vicki, and my aunt Kim and uncle Brian to visit my cousin in Colorado and go snowboarding. We drove. When my family goes on road trips, you are not allowed to stop for anything other than (limited) bathroom breaks and (if you’re lucky) meals. Before this trip I all but presented my dad with a contract specifying that we were going to stay at a hotel overnight and I would be allowed to stop once each way to check out one (1) tourist trap that caught my eye. Unsurprisingly, our gentleman’s agreement was not honored. And since we arrived in Dillon earlier than expected* so we had to sleep in the car in the parking lot in front of a restaurant, waiting for it to open for breakfast. We were not allowed to keep the car running so we could have heat. It was February. In the Rockies.

Needless to say, I was not feeling great when we finally got to go inside around 7:00am (9:00am EST). I don’t know if it was the cold, the lack of sleep, or the change in altitude, but while standing in line for the bathroom I started feeling lightheaded, then blacked out and fell flat on my face in front of A LOT of people. When I came to my aunt Kim was lifting me into a chair. Aware of what was going on, but without any control over my limbs, I was unable to defend myself as she slapped we across the face repeatedly to bring me around.** I vaguely remember muttering a weak “Please. Stop. Hitting. Me.”

This incident came in handy a couple days later when I got tired of falling down during my snowboarding lesson and wanted someone to take me down to the lodge on a snow mobile. When you’re way up in the mountains, telling people you’re feeling lightheaded will get you out of almost anything.

2. The day after moving day. Several times.

The day after I moved into my current place I cut my finger pretty bad chopping vegetables. Since I hadn’t unpacked yet, there was no way I was going to find band-aids in a frantic, bloody, one-handed search.  I’m not generally squeamish, but for some reason I immediately started feeling faint, so I wrapped a dishtowel around my head an passed out on my bed. I came to and got up a couple times, but ended up passing out again each time.

Once I came around for good I taped a paper towel around my finger and drove to CVS for band-aids where I got stuck in line at the checkout while the cashier and a customer had a drawn-out conversation about whatever you talk about with the cashier at your local CVS, while blood soaked through my makeshift bandage. I had to wave my bloody stump at the cashier in order to hurry things along.

3. On a double-decker bus in London

At the end of our UK trip last summer, my friends and I spent two nights camping in a field in the English countryside with no electricity, and bathrooms with no toilet paper or hot water. And since we couldn’t bring gear with us, we had to borrow whatever supplies we could. We ended up with something like 5 tents, 3 sleeping bags and 0 pillows or air mattresses to share between 6 people. Fortunately I scored my own sleeping bag, but it was August in England so the high temp was around 60F and it rained every hour. I made it through one night, but after the second night sleeping on cold damp ground in the rain using my camera bag as a pillow I was feeling… not great. When we got back into London I crashed on the bed and slept through dinner. We got up early to catch our morning flight and took a lengthy, standing-room-only bus ride to Heathrow. I started feeling dizzy and shaky.  Then one seat finally opened up one of my guy friends took it and refused to move and my umbrage put me over the edge. This may have been my first rage blackout.

* You save a lot of time when you make one stop every 8 hours. If you think I’m exaggerating, you should know that my aunt Kim has a rule about bathroom breaks on road trips. You must notify her one hour ahead of stop time so she can chug a bottle of water and be prepared to pee it out at the exact moment you roll into the rest stop. If you fail to give the full hour notice, you will get an angry phone call from her in the other car where she yells at you for failing to “manage your urine.”

**A former flight attendant, she claims this is standard procedure for dealing with passengers who faint. Can anyone confirm this?

ADDENDUM: Lauren says my spirit animal is the fainting goat:

2 thoughts on “Is this normal?

  1. You know our family has a history of vasovagal syncope, hypoglycemia and positional syncope right? All of which equal passing out.

    Like

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