Friday, February 22, 2008

List #38...Things That Make Me Faint

I am prone to fainting. No one has been able to determine why, but it's probably some type of vasovagal syncope. The first time I fainted was during fifth grade. We were all standing around during science class looking at a model of an ear, and I started feeling hot and really weird. I guess I turned pale and started swaying around, because the teacher stopped class and asked if I felt okay. I said " I feel dizzy." and next thing I knew, I was lying on the floor looking up at a bunch of stunned classmates. That incident opened the floodgates: since then, I've probably fainted about 50 times- on vacation, because of a fever, at work, giving blood. It's more embarrassing than anything else, and tends to cause a big scene. For example, when I was in high school my family was on vacation in Cancun, and we were eating breakfast at the restaurant in the hotel lobby, and suddenly I didn't feel so well. I decided to go back to my room and lie down. However, when I stood up and walked across the room, I completely blacked out and hit the floor. When I came to, I was surrounded by panicked waiters yelling "señorita! señorita!" and a German tourist was putting ice on my wrists.

So, on to today...I volunteered for a medical study at work- donate three little tubes of blood, and help someone's research project (and get paid $25 cash for your trouble). I warned the girl in advance that I sometimes get a little lightheaded (mostly because I didn't want her to freak out in case I did faint), but thought I would be fine. The blood draw was a tad uncomfortable but over in a jiffy. I started to get that muffled hearing sensation (the first sign....uh-oh) and sat down for a while until it passed. I thought I was in the clear, but when I rose from the chair and started walking, everything went black. I slumped against the wall, then sort of slid down it and ended up lying on the tile floor in a busy hallway. The incident attracted a crowd of about ten nurses, doctors, researchers, and receptionists . So embarrassing! Everyone was really nice, though, and since it is a hospital, they should be used to such occurrences.

Anways, onto the list #38

Things That (sometimes) Make Me Faint:

1. getting blood drawn
2. watching other people bleed (only when it's a lot of blood, a simple paper cut won't do the trick)
3. having a fever
4. being somewhere really hot
5. not eating (You know those people who claim "I was so busy I forgot to eat!" well, that would never happen to me.)
6. Doing animal experimentation
7. Thinking about eyeballs (they totally gross me out)

16 comments:

Eri said...

I thought your first faint was over a model of the eye, not the ear. Also, how about the time you fainted into an open suitcase and got lots of bruises? Sorry to hear of the latest episode....

mj said...

I remember when you fainted when you were cleaning your eyebrow ring in college.

I was reading Popular Science at the gym the other day and they had an article about why people faint at the sight of blood. They said it maybe a survival mechanism if, say, you need to play dead in the presence of a predator and if you're bleeding, the reduced heart rate might help to prevent much blood loss.

Sarah said...

here is something weird: i have always been jealous of people who have fainted. i never have!! and i have always wanted to. there is something very victorian-chic about it. see i told you it was weird!!

Mrs. V said...

No wonder you and Maria were such good roommates. Maria has that problem, go ahead, Maria, give us some examples.
Maria could not even say the word 'blood' when she was in middle school without feeling totally weirded out. For "show and tell" one day this diabetic classmate of hers brought in this apparatus he uses to test his blood sugar. He decides he wants to use Maria's desk to make the demonstration. It didn't take Maria long to "exit, stage left" to the back of the room, I think.

Frances said...

I faint too.
I hate it.
For me, it usually goes something like this: First, hot ears and face. Next, sweating starts. After that muffled hearing and queezy stomach. Fourth, I seem to loose ability to keep my balance. Then, the coup de gras, total blackout for a few seconds while I hit the floor and everyone around me thinks something is terribly wrong. After that, TOTAL embarrassment. It usually ends in me apologizing profusely to all the total strangers that rushed over to my aide.

eileen said...

Sarah, you are too funny.
However, Frances is right- fainting is far more embarrassing than chic :)

Anonymous said...

I've dabbled a bit in fainting. When I was little after being forced to stand on a bench in the hot sun and sing (don't ask), walking between classes in high school after laughing way too hard, at the mall during Christmas shopping and on a crowded subway with a hangover. The nice thing is that the ringing in the ears and blurry vision usually gives at least a warning what's going to happen.

Amanda

eileen said...

Update:

I was supposed to go back and give more blood tomorrow, but I got kicked out of the study for fainting.

Tina said...

did you get $25 for your trouble at least?

eileen said...

I did. It was a two shot deal, and you got paid $25 for each blood draw.

I spent that Faint Money right quick on Saturday night!

jeff said...

Eileen you forgot my only and most memorable experience of you fainting. Picture 20 ambitious college graduates in a foreign country learning all of the aspects of said foreign countries agriculture. Along comes the local equivalent of an extension agent, hell-bent on impressing some Ladies with his knowledge of fowl. He grabs a chicken by the neck, I won't go into details about the chickens final moments, but next thing you know Eileen starts to wobble. The hero in me wants to remember that I or someone else caught her before she hit the ground, but the ass in me wants the story to end with her falling and landing in a pile of cow dung, you decide.

eileen said...

Jeff, ah yes, that was a memorable one. I'll spare everyone the gory details, but let's just say the incident involved a lot of splattered blood and one headless chicken.

susie said...

I WAS ON THIS SIGHT LOOKING UP WHY I FEEL FAINT AFTER LAUGHING. DOES ANYONE KNOW WHY?
AND I HAVE A FUNNY STORY ABOUT FAINTING(LUCKILY IT WASN'T ME)ALTHOUGH I HAVE, SEVERAL TIMES. THIS IS THE STORY THAT HAPPENED IN MY HUSBANDS HOUSE, WHEN HE WAS A KID.
HIS BROTHER CAME IN WITH A CUT AND WAS BLEEDING.MOM SETS HIM DOWN AND IS TRYING TO STOP THE BLEEDING.
WHILE SHE DOES THIS, MY HUSBAND( ABOUT AGE 12)WALKS BY, SEES WHAT IS GOING ON, PROCEEDS INTO THE DININGROOM, WHERE MOM HAD BEEN IRONING, HE FAINTS, KNOCKS OVER THE BOARD, IS ON THE FLOOR. HIS SISTER SEES HIM , STARTS GETTING DIZZY , GOES OUT ON THE PORCH, AND BOOM, DOWN SHE GOES. SO POOR MOM HAS ONE BLEEDING AND TWO ON THE GROUND. WHEN I HEARD THIS I THOUGHT IT WAS SOO FUNNY. POOR MOM, SHE HAD A ROUGH DAY WITH THE KIDS !

Anonymous said...

I think I might have almost fainted this morning. I was in a hot shower and I felt a little nauseous, then dizzy, then I got muffled hearing and my vision went blurry. I stumbled out of the shower as quick as I could and sat on the floor outside, and it got better. I've been trying to figure out what happened but nothing else mentions muffled hearing besides fainting. I'm not sure though. =/ if anyone has thoughts?

- Sarahlynn

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