Have I told you guys that I am a champion fainter? I started fainting back in elementary school and I’ve only gotten better at it with age. When I was a kid, I fainted when I had a headache, didn’t get enough sleep, or hadn’t eaten enough. I’ve fainted in restaurants, classrooms, and my personal favorite, up to bat during a softball scrimmage. One moment I was staring down the pitcher, the next I was laying on my back in the bleachers.
Now that I’m an adult, I can usually feel the signs of fainting coming on with enough time for me to do something about it. My vision starts to go dark, my ears feel disconnected from my head, and I start to sweat like I’m on the surface of the sun. Usually sitting down or getting some fresh air will keep me from passing out (assuming I have control over the situation and am not, like, in a lab chair or hospital bed) and embarrassing myself.
I’m sure you see where this is going.
On Saturday night/early Sunday morning, I woke up absolutely parched. I grabbed my empty water bottle next to my bed and headed into the kitchen to refill it. My water bottle fits into the refrigerator’s water dispenser, so I turned it on and waited for it to fill up. And then I thought, “Gee…I feel a little dizzy. Maybe I should sit.” And the next thing I knew, I was laying on my kitchen floor.
Elmo’s reenactment is spot-on.
Schuyler got to me first (mostly because she’d followed me to the kitchen), and I’m pretty sure she would have licked me until the water bottle started to overflow – then she’d have started dancing around in the water like it was spring break.
Mike got to me right when I started to open my eyes. “What happened?! Did you fall? Are you okay?!”
Me: Is my water okay?
He helped me to my feet, and after assuring me several times that my water was okay (I was concerned, apparently) he managed to get me to say that I’d been dizzy and he realized I’d fainted. He got me back to our room, where I said, “I just really want some water. Am I allowed to have water?” He went back to the kitchen to get my bottle, and when he returned I was a slightly more with it.
Me: How did you know I was in the kitchen?
Mike: Well, I heard a HUGE thud and figured I should see what it was.
Me: Oh. I’m the thud.
The next morning, I woke up with my head feeling heavy and thick, as if I’d been drinking. Then I realized my head hurt because I’d hit it on the kitchen floor when I’d fainted.
Me: I have a head injury. You let me sleep with a head injury.
Mike: Science says it’s totally fine to sleep with those.
Me: Did you even check to make sure I knew my own name?
Mike: I was very tired, okay?
It definitely knocked me on my butt for a few days, but as of this morning my head is still very tender, but my brain doesn’t feel scrambled anymore. So that’s good! And now we know that I can’t be trusted to get up safely in the middle of the night. I guess that means Mike has to fetch me water now when I’m thirsty (and also deal with the kids).
So scary though! My 12 year old has fainted a few times already in her life…just a couple of days ago in front of her 22 yr old sister who thought she was witnessing her only sibling die. Needless to say, the 22 yr old is traumatized for life and the 12 yr old is totally laid back about it.
Should you go to the doctor to check on a concussion? Falling and hitting your head doesn’t sounds very good. I worry about these things.
Shiree M. says:
Just wanted to chime in and say I totally agree.
As a primary care provider…all you can do for a mild concussion is brain rest. You can pay the copay of you want, but fluids, rest, and minimal thinking are the ticket!
If the concussion was severe, there would have been signs of that, vis a vis severe vomiting, not knowing her own name, and several more falls since.
If you don’t get severe concussion symptoms within 24 hours, it was probably a mild concussion, which means you’re in the clear.
Oh, wow, that is scary! I’m glad you’re starting to feel better. My 13 year recently fainted when they were drawing her blood. The nurse said it was a vasovagal episode, which you know all too well. Wishing you hydration and no fainting. I feel a little guilty for chuckling at your funny comments in this post:)
I started in high school and finally, after a medical procedure, a doctor diagnosed vaso vagal syncope. I have learned to recognize it and take precautions like lying down to have blood drawn, etc. It’s such a pain, especially when pregnant, and usually makes me feel ill the rest of the day. Hope your head feels better soon!
I have the same thing! Started when I was 2. I would sometimes have seizures. Let me tell you this, never pass out while visiting someone in the hospital. I was admitted and stuck laying on a gurney for hours staring at the hallway ceiling.
If you haven’t already, you might want to get your head checked by a doctor. My mom fell last year and didn’t think there was any damage until she talked to my sister in law, the nurse who suggested a concussion. It turned out she had blood on her brain that needed to be drained.
Ha, I’m the thud too. I tend to pass out when I’m on the verge of getting strep, which also often makes me sick to my stomach (charming). I once passed out while thinking I was going to vomit, and woke up on the floor of my bathroom with blood streaming out of my nose. My mom said she heard a huge thud and ran into the bathroom to find me passed out with my head on the toilet seat. My TOILET gave me a bloody nose. Though I have that toilet seat to thank, since w/o it, I might have been a freak show that drowned in my own toilet.
I faint for a variety of reasons also. Once fainted while visiting a relative in hospital, hit my head on the metal radiator on the wall and sliced my ear open – then couldn’t figure out why everyone was freaking out when I woke up! But hey at least I was already in a hospital…
That is frightening. May you always be in a position where you can avoid, or at least control, the vapors. My niece’s ex-husband has fainting spells for unknown reasons. They’ve caused all kinds of problems — he had to leave the service (his career), he can’t drive, he can’t have visitation with his child without supervision, etc.
laughing at the Elmo reenactment — oh my gosh, it’s a relief to see that your newly acquired brain injury hasn’t hindered your sense of humor any.
Mel G says:
You can’t get up to the kids thru the night? Sorry Mike but….. #winning!
Hope you feel better soon. Take care, Jamesie’s mom.
Kristin Pippin says:
I’m a fainter too! I recently passed out at the doctors office when she was doing some injections in my shoulder. It’s happened many times over the years and is quite inconvenient lol. Hope you’re feeling better!
I’ve fainted twice as an adult – once while going into a shop at an outlet mall. Pretty embarrassing! I could only pinpoint it to one thing – a histamine intolerance. I’d been having some other health issues, and all the symptoms lined up. Just throwing it out there just in case you wanted to do a Google search. Not sure if it’s related to your thing or not. Either way, hope you feel better! And get some rest if you can. (HA!)
Wow, this is scary, not knowing when this might happen again and real risk of injury in the process. It’s odd how some people are prone to this and others not. I’m at least a decade older than you and have never. fainted. in. my. life. I guess I should be happy for that.
Hope you get the rest you need!
I, too, am a fainter. I am pretty good at sitting down as I feel the symptoms coming on. My fave episode ever was about 20 yrs ago, going to a bar with a friend and her mom and sis about 4:45pm after a long day of shopping. I felt it coming on and walked up to my friend to warn her….and then fainted out cold in a bar at 4:45pm which looks a lot like being a passed-out crazy drunk lady…at 4:45pm.
Anita Atwell says:
My daughter has Crohn’s disease and has fainted many times. Her first GI told her that once your body knows how to faint it will do what it knows. Of course it does not happen how the movies / TV shows depict it. It always cracks us up how actors “faint”.
I keep a bottle of water by my bed so I don’t have to get up in the night when thirsty. Maybe you should too – even if it’s just to avoid potentially tripping over stuff in the dark!
I faint systematically during blood tests. Doesn’t matter whether I lie down, sit up, avoid looking at the needle…
It’s so annoying and unpleasant. So I do sympathise.
The only time I’ve fainted (that I know of) was when I first started physical therapy to learn to walk again. They put me on the treadmill (which I’d never been on before, ever, and was terrified of) and I did the 2 minutes. I really didn’t feel good and told them so. I thought I was going to throw up and I was really winded and dizzy. They were trying to get me off the treadmill – no easy thing since I wasn’t walking unassisted yet. I finally just leaned up against the arm of the machine and said “I just need to breathe.” Next thing I know I’m moving very quickly in the dark. Apparently my eyes rolled back in my head and I slumped over. The tech called for help and another tech scooped me up to carry me back to the tables. By the time we got back to the tables I was coming around. They fed me energy shakes and gatorade and I just lay there until my ride showed up. Worst day in PT, ever. But I can walk now!