You know you're fainting when you lose your hearing

You know you're fainting when you lose your hearing
Photo by Caro Wallis. Used with permissions of a Creative Commons License, which you can find here

Since I was a little kid, I’ve been a person who faints. When the going gets tough, the wimps just shut down and let everyone else handle things. 

Although I’ve passed out in a bunch of different situations, the common thread is fainting during a visit to the doctor or hospital.

In grad school, I visited a friend in the hospital, post-surgery, and almost hit the floor when I went to visit her. Nothing says you care quite as clearly as having the nursing staff attending to you as a visitor and not the patient.

I’ve passed out many times in response to getting a shot. This happened mostly when I was younger. Once, I passed out after a tetanus shot and they couldn’t measure my blood pressure because it fell so low. It may have actually been an allergic reaction because I had the full-on out-of-body experience that time.

A few years ago, I went to the doc for a knee problem and had a surprise steroid shot. Now, I’m not a wimp when it comes to pain. The pain didn’t faze me at all. But after the needle came out, I fought for consciousness. 

The doc was one of the asshole kind, and said, “You just sit there until you feel better and I’ll see you later.” And he was out the door. I sat alone in an examination room, fighting for normalcy.

Today, it was same song, 30th verse. I’ve been having terrible pain in my foot, and went to the podiatrist. She removed fluid from a cyst and put in steroids. I was fine until the needles were done. And, then, I slid slowly into the blank space.

I didn’t have a “hit the floor” moment. In fact, I’ve never felt like I’ve hit the floor. I always feel like the floor hits me. But I won’t quibble with a good cliché.

Instead I felt dizzy, started sweating, and felt myself hanging on desperately for consciousness. This doc is very much NOT the asshole type. She brought out the granola bars and Twizzlers, a bottle of water, and a cold cloth for my face. She and her assistant were fabulous.

As they were finishing up, I was still sliding, and the nurse asked me something. I couldn’t hear her words. It was like the adult voices in Charlie Brown cartoons.

Later, she told me that when you’re going under, one of the first signs is losing your hearing. Well, now I know.

After 30 minutes, I was pretty much back to normal, stocked up with a Twizzler for the road, and ready to rumble. The doc’s assistant stayed with me every second. She took care of me. 

Imagine that, being taken care of in a doctor’s office.

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