I have never passed out before yesterday. The only time I ever got close to passing out was when I stabbed my left palm last summer while cutting an avocado with an unreasonably sharp knife. At the sight of so much blood, I got dizzy and lightheaded. I started sweating and hyperventilating. I sat in a chair with my head between my legs while putting pressure on my hand to stop the bleeding. But I willed myself to not pass out and I didn’t. I did end up having to get two stitches and couldn’t use my hand properly for a week or so. It was awful.
Fast forward to yesterday, I am at the lab giving blood shortly after 8am. I had just eaten breakfast and was feeling fine. The process took longer than usual because the nurse decided to use a butterfly needle. Apparently, my veins require special treatment. I started feeling nauseated as I watched the blood fill the little tubes. My face became sweaty and my mind was swimming. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my breathing. It felt like my heart was beating out of my chest. The nurse said she needed to go ask the doctor something, and I decided to lean back in the uncomfortable adult high chair.
The next thing I remember is waking up in the midst of what I thought was a dream. I opened my eyes expecting to see my bedroom, but I saw a kitschy painting of a dog in a red hat hanging on the wall. My vision was blurry and I was so confused and scared. I had slumped down in the chair and was still hyperventilating. A moment later, the nurse walked back in and started talking to me. Then I did what any normal 25 year old would do after their first involuntary loss of consciousness – I started crying. The nurse asked me repeatedly what had happened while I summoned the strength and the breath to tell her I passed out. She called for another nurse to bring water and crackers. Then it happened. I looked down and saw a small puddle on the floor. The second nurse walked in and said, “I think she urinated herself.” The first replied saying, “Why does today feel like a Monday?”
Yup. That happened. Because why wouldn’t it happen to me?
The nurses were really helpful. They gave me water and led me into another room to rest. I left a message for my boss and then tried to process what had just happened. I think I was too overwhelmed to feel ashamed about the wetting myself part. No one chooses to be incontinent. After a few minutes, I went to the bathroom to wipe off the mascara that had made a lovely trail down my cheek. They let me leave through the back door. Luckily, I had a towel I could sit on during the short drive home. I showered, did laundry, ate a banana and slept for two hours.
I was understandably tired for the remainder of the day, which consisted of me taking my service club members who I advise to the Cheesecake Factory and bowling for our End of the Year Celebration. It was actually not a bad day, and I can’t help but laugh now when I think about it.
Sorry for turning your Friday into a Monday, LabCorp nurses, but #mylifeisbeck. It’s kind of what I do.