Out cold…

An image showing a giraffe push puppet, one part collapsed, the other part upright.

It’s funny how you sometimes just can’t think of anything else, no matter how hard you try. Feve’s prompt ‘out’ came online the two days after our youngest daughter fainted. I tried so hard to think of something else to write for ‘out’ but the phrase ‘out cold’ was all I could think about.

A hot shower

I was at my desk, working when I heard our daughter wake up and go into the shower. Nothing strange here, as she obviously does so every morning, be it an hour or two later than us. She must’ve been under the shower for almost half an hour, but I didn’t really notice the time. The next thing I noticed was when she opened the bathroom door, and made a helluva noise with it. I remember feeling irritation, as so many times before I had told her to be quieter with the door, but the irritation was gone instantly when I heard a loud bang of something that fell on the floor. I heard her moan and call upstairs ‘what are you doing’, while already being halfway out my chair.

The second moan told me something was wrong but by then I was halfway up the stairs. She was in the door opening of her bedroom (directly next to the bathroom), and was just coming to. I picked her up, held her against me and then slowly walked backwards with her towards her bed, where she sat down. I was still holding her, and since she was still swaying, I told her to lie down. Her eyes rolled backwards, and for a moment I thought to call out to Master T to call the doctor, but then she looked at me and said with tears in her eyes: “I am so glad you’re home, mom.”

I stayed with her until she was okay again, and had rinsed her body with cold-ish water.

Low blood pressure

Upset about what happened, and since it never happened to her before, we ended up talking about low blood pressure, something both she and I suffer from. It reminded me of the time when I discovered just how low my blood pressure could go.

This was back in the very early 90’s, when I still lived in South Africa. I worked in the administration of a hospital and went through a phase where strange things happened. I would sit at my desk, see a tin of Coke on it and thank a colleague for getting it for me, to which the colleague said: you just got it yourself. I had spells where I couldn’t remember doing something, or couldn’t remember the specifics of a conversation. This worried me, as I was afraid to get these spells when driving with my kids in the car, so I went to the doctor.

They did a range of tests — brain function and more — and eventually ruled out everything. It was only when one of those spells happened while in the doctor’s office, and I was quite unresponsive, that the nurse tried to measure my blood pressure, and couldn’t find a blood pressure at all. A doctor was called in, and eventually they found a reading: 70/55. The diagnosis was that my blood pressure had downward spikes, and during those spikes, I blacked out without fainting.

After the diagnoses I was prescribed meds to keep my blood pressure at normal levels, but when I came to the Netherlands, I stopped taking the meds, simply because it wasn’t something they prescribed over here.

Out cold…

I don’t know whether it’s the cooler weather in this country or just growing older, but my blood pressure — where still low — seems to be more constant than back in South Africa. Still, I have my dizzy spells when I get up too quickly, and many times I feel like I am going to faint because my legs feel all funny and I have to fight to keep upright. My colleagues know about this, so whenever I stand still and hold onto something to steady myself, they keep an eye on me.

But it did happen twice that I went out cold because of low blood pressure. I was walking down the stairs, and halfway down the stairs everything went black. It was only for seconds, but one moment I was walking down the stairs, the next I got up from the floor at the bottom of the stairs. The other time was when I sat on the bedside of my son, consoling him for some or other reason, and I got up too quickly. I felt myself faint, but the moment I hit the floor I already got up again. I always think I looked like one of those figurines, where you push a button underneath and it collapses, only to jump back up when you release the button. Some looney tune, ha!

Not dangerous

When our daughter fainted, she fell on her chin, which turned blue afterwards, and that afternoon she had to go to the dentist, because a piece of a tooth had broken off. Two days later she was at the dentist again, as two more pieces had broken off from other teeth. Her jaw hurt for a couple of days, but thankfully she’s okay. Low blood pressure most definitely isn’t dangerous, but fainting from it can have some nasty consequences.

© Rebel’s Notes
Image from Wikimedia

Wicked Wednesday

Reminiscences: Musings in Memoir

14 thoughts on “Out cold…

  1. This sounds really a scary. I am glad that you were able to get some help and get to the bottom of what was happening ?

  2. That sounds so unpleasant and disorienting if you have no idea what is happening to you. And having to go to the dentist is quite a bad side effect, I’d say. I’m glad you know what was up with her and found out what was up with you. Certainly good to be aware of something like this

    1. It most definitely is. She went to the doctor yesterday, because we thought there might be a tiny piece of her jaw that broke off, but it turned out to be scar tissue from the internal bleeding where she had the bruise on her chin. It can take weeks to disappear. But, thankfully, she’s okay.

  3. I can not imagine the fright from having an episode like that. I am glad you both are okay, even more you are aware of that the issue is

  4. Ooph, I’m sorry to hear that you and your daughter have that condition. I fainted once and it was horrifying, I thought I was dying!

    1. That’s what my daughter thought too. She was so upset afterwards, and very worried.

  5. Ah! That’s so scary. I’ve fainted and hit my head before due to low blood sugar. Now, every time I feel dizzy, I get a bit worried about my surroundings. I’m glad your daughter is okay and it didn’t cause any severe injury.

    1. So are we. Thankfully once you know the feeling just before you faint, you recognize it the next time and can take action. Best is to tense your muscles, and try to get your head between your knees.

  6. I’ve passed out before — it’s one of the things I thought of for ‘out’ as well — and it was like one minute I was up, and the next thing I knew I was coming to on the floor.

    It’s definitely a strange sensation.

    1. It surely is. What I find the strangest of my experience was that I was up so quickly, just like one of those funny puppets.

  7. Oh my goodness – yes the falling over is the bad bit! – I liked your reference to the figurines going up and down and can picture that. I suffer from low BP but not quite a s low as u as have never fainted because of it – although i have swooned – fainted when not wanting to cope with pain or trauma.
    I hope your daughter is ok.
    May xx

    1. Thankfully she is. There was a trip to the doctor too yesterday, since she still hurts in her face, but he said it can take three weeks before that is gone. She felt like she would faint again this week, but now could take action as she knew what was coming, and prevented the fainting xox

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