Tuesday, March 22, 2011

On pain...

When I was in school in Virginia, a few of us went to dinner in an adjoining town.  We all piled into cars and took off for Applebee's, a restaurant which had yet to make an appearance in my home state.  We arrived safely at our destination, and I was just about to get out of the car when I reached back across the car for something that was outside the open car door.  In the same second, my roommate slammed the door on my finger.  I yelled and they opened the door and I observed my bleeding fingers, all of which seemed pretty in tact, all things considered.

When I was sure I would live another day with 10 fingers, I got out of the car to walk into the restaurant.  A few steps from the curb, I realized (too late) that I was blacking out.  Splat!  I landed on the ground, hitting my head on said curb.  I came too right away and spent the rest of the meal in that shaky, almost-wanting-to-cry state that comes from a recent fall. 

That was my first experience with just one more thing that makes me a little freaky.  You see, it's happened again and again over the years.  I've passed out after hitting my leg on the bottom part of my desk on more than one occasion.  One morning while getting ready for work, severe stomach pain caused me to take the refuge of sitting on the toilet.  I fell flat on my face on the floor.  (Thanks to that fall, I now sport a slightly-off center nose, something that really bugs me if I let it.) I'm pretty familiar with this whole intense pain/fainting thing.  And most of the time it happens without much fanfare.  But....

Today, it struck again.  Whilst returning some paperclips to a co-workers desk (I hate paperclips. They multiply at an alarming rate, and I've had drawers full for years that never ever go away.  They are the bane of my existence and I refuse to house any more than I absolutely must.), my kneecap somehow caught on the handle of one of her desk drawers.  My leg moved to the right, my knee cap stayed to the left.  There was this horrible moment when I felt the complete separation of kneecap from knee.  In the very next moment, I immediately went down to the ground, the world already starting to go dark.  People came out of nowhere and everywhere, patting me, asking if I was okay.  I grumpily and rudely brushed off their offers of help and stumbled to my own cubicle where I took up residence on the floor again.  After a few moments, I decided that should the darkness that was threatening overtake me, I didn't want to fall over on the floor (I don't know if my nose could have handled it again...)  So I got into my chair and laid my head on my desk.

A sweet, dark dream took over...a dream that seemed to go on for hours, but couldn't have been more than a few moments.  I kept coming around only to have the intense urge to: 1 - cry; 2 - flex my leg for assurance that my kneecap was firmly back in place; and 3 - take off my heavy sweater because I was dying of heat and sweating profusely (lovely, I know!)  This went on for a while until I could finally muster enough strength to life up my head and get a drink. I kept trying to tell my well-wishers I was going to be fine, but all that came out was grumpiness (I get really mean when I'm in pain.  It's not something I'm proud of!)

Eventually I was okay, and I conveyed all my thanks to my coworkers for trying to help me.  I told them that I'm used to it, that I can't bonk a knee or slam a finger in the car door without passing out.  Another reason it's fun to be me, I guess.  And thankfully, my knee seems  to be okay.  I decided not to run on it tonight; how ironic that days after I feel my running mojo coming back, my clumsiness threatens to kill it all.

So, do you have frequent fainting spells?  Am I the only one who does this?  If you have a good fainting story to share, I'm dying to hear it.


Heather said...

Glad you are doing okay now. Funny thing you posting this today. We were having lunch and Thmoas was telling me the story about your falling in the bathroom and hurting your nose. Not sure the reason he even brought it up, maybe you two are in sync.

Sally said...

Hi there,
Just stumbled across your blog!

I fainted in the checkout queue at the grocery store once.
I was in my early twenties and stayed home from work with a stomach bug, having been up all night expelling from both ends...

Anyway, I was CRAVING fruit juice, as I often do when I'm ill. I crave it like a lost person in the desert.

By lunchtime-ish on my sick day, I decided I felt ok and would go to the grocery store for juice. I was fine until I got to the queue. Having to stand still seemed to finish me off. I could feel my vision closing in around the edges. All gets very loud in my head, and before I knew it I was falling to the ground.

I can't have been out for more than a couple of seconds, but crowds of people were around me. So embarrassing. I was sat down, given some water, then 20 minutes or so later, escorted to my car!

Amy Sorensen said...

Oh my! More than the fainting I am happy your knee is OK. You know my one and only fainting story...

One day I will have to blog about it.

but you described it exactly: it is a dark bad place you go to, and it seems like you're there forever. I'm sorry you have to go there often!

heidikins said...

I've passed out a handful of times, but it's usually do to being too hot, too dehydrated, or kneeling too long (hello, awkward moment in sealing room, ahem.)

I really hope your knee is alright, and I really hope the fainting thing goes away, cuz that's scary!


Lucy said...

That's kind of freaky. That has happened to me twice but both times, I was in severe pain. So...your neurons must give a pretty strong signal to that cranium of yours:)

Hope you're feeling better and your knee is exactly where it should be.

Oh, and Jay gets SO grumpy when he's hurt. My sensitive self has to remember that he's not actually mad at me when I ask him if he's o.k. because he always snarls.