Sudden involuntary unconsciousness

I.e., fainting. It’s not my favorite pastime. But, alas, sometimes it happens. And it happened today.

Backtrack: I’ve been sick for about a week now. It’s been slow going with recovery of any type. I left the Christmas celebration early yesterday in favor of resting at home. Today? I woke up dizzy with aching ears.

So I made a doctor appointment. This is the reason I scoped out a doctor months ago… I didn’t want to be clueless when I needed help in this foreign land.

I asked Andy to come with me since he’d never been to the clinic. It was good that he came. I met with a different doctor (my doc was sick too!) and he was thorough in listening to my symptoms and checking me out. He advised a blood test to make sure what I had was viral and not bacterial.

I don’t always pass out before/during/after interactions with needles and blood, but when I do I’m glad to be surrounded by people who know my needs and have medical training.

I remember telling the nurse that I really didn’t feel well–I felt that familiar sub-cellular panic stirring through my body–and then I remember waking up with Andy, the doctor, the nurse, and two other nurses all looking down at me.

Coated in cold sweat, bathed in pallor, feeling tingly in the lips and arms, stiffly gesturing with my fingertips, I asked to remove my sweatshirt. They asked me to drink some water, but it was too difficult. My lips didn’t want to cooperate. I mumbled a request for juice or crackers, which is what they always gave me stateside when I passed out. They brought me hot milk tea, which I sipped with the help of a nurse holding the cup to my mouth, holding the back of my head. It felt so loving, to be cared for that way. Not clinical. I relaxed.

They monitored my blood pressure and my color, both of which improved quickly. Soon I felt fine. I always feel fine shortly after. It’s so strange. Fainting always feels like the lightspeed route from unwell to well. I hate it.

I’m fine now. I got some medication for my viral infection i.e., bad cold (which, according to the blood test does not require antibiotics!) and some Chinese medicine cough syrup to help with the tickle that’s been keeping me up at night. More on Chinese and western medicine at a later date.

Familiar and unfamiliar medications for the common cold.
English description of the Chinese medicine, for those interested.

One thought on “Sudden involuntary unconsciousness

  1. Vienna – January 1996. Worst cold I’ve ever had in my life. Nothing like “cold medicine” existed. A resident at the Hostel took mercy on me, and gave me Tylenol PM Cold (or equivalent). That person saved my life. I slept for 12 hours and woke up human enough to enjoy Vienna!

    We miss you. Merry Christmas!


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