A SCARY EXPERIENCE – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I had a very scary experience recently. I passed out in the supermarket and spent the afternoon in the Emergency Room of a local hospital.

I was checking out and taking my purchases out of my basket. Suddenly, I started seeing spots in front of my eyes. They got really bad and I could hardly see at all. Before I had time to think about what was happening, things started to fade out and I felt myself falling. I managed to place myself on the floor before I blacked out completely. I heard people talking about calling 911.

The next thing I heard was the EMT guy talking to me. I was totally lucid and I gave the man my son and my husband’s phone numbers. But my speech was slow and labored. Not slurred, so no stroke. That added another level of freak out for me.

Fortunately, my son and his fiancée were literally en route to meeting me for lunch. So, they got to the supermarket in about ten minutes.

My husband was another story. His car was in the shop and I had the only other car. So he had no way to get to me! He called the garage and got them to drop everything and drive his (driveable) car to the house.

When my husband arrived at the supermarket, I was sitting in a chair, drinking water. We decided to go to the walk-in clinic down the street instead of the ER. They checked me out and found nothing. But they recommended that I go to the ER anyway, to get an MRI and an EKG to rule out stroke and any kind of brain issues.

So I got to ride in an ambulance for the first time! I chatted with the female EMT the whole way to the hospital, which was quite pleasant. No sirens though. By the time I got to the hospital, my speech was normalizing and I was beginning to feel like myself.

The ER was amazingly efficient. We were only there for a few hours and the tests ruled out anything serious. So I went home – with a slight case of shell shock.

I went to see my GP a few days later and he thinks that my low blood pressure was the proximate cause of the blackout. He told me to eat more salt and to drink energy drinks with salt and electrolytes to boost my blood pressure. He also took lots of blood tests and we’re waiting for the results.

This incident made me feel very vulnerable. I never had any major health crisis or any surgeries. Now I suddenly realize that anything can happen, at any time. Very sobering.

I’m very lucky that I don’t have any major health problem to deal with. I just hope I can get past this sense of impending doom every time I leave the house.

18 thoughts on “A SCARY EXPERIENCE – BY ELLIN CURLEY”

  1. This has happened to me not once but a few times over a bunch of years — like 20 years maybe. I have spent days in the hospital getting tested without any results. I think it’s complicated migraine — especially the spots in the eyes, the dizziness, the falling … and then in about half an hour, it’s like nothing happened. Tests show nothing and you are left nervously wondering “what the hell happened?” After all these years, I still don’t know. It has happened to me maybe half a dozen times over more than 20 years and I know as little now as I knew the first time. The best piece of advice I got was from the doctor who said: “If you feel like that, get on the ground because you can’t fall off the floor.” My worry is “Yes, but what if I’m driving?” It’s one of the major reasons I don’t like to drive. That sort of thing makes you feel vulnerable and fragile. It isn’t a good way to feel.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. It’s reassuring to know you have had similar incidents. It would be nice to know I could predict when this might happen again . The scariest thing now is not knowing if and when it might happen again!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. For what it’s worth, I know a lot of people to whom this has happened once, twice — YEARS apart. That’s one of the things that makes it almost impossible to track. It’s not a regular thing. It comes. It goes. It stays gone for years at a time. It may never happen again. And that’s what I hope for. Never again works for me!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ellin, I do hope you’re feeling better now. Yes, a very SCARY incident. I hope it doesn’t become a huge BLOCK for you — but I unerstand the anxiety about the when and where of a reoccurence. I’m sure you and Tommie are talking this through. Sending virtual hugs. Hope they help.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Feels obscene to hit “Like” on this one. What a frightening experience. I’m just fantasizing about someone telling me I have to use salt. I haven’t been able to use it at all for years due to high blood pressure! Just read Marilyn’s comment and that was my first thought, also. The spots in front of the eyes and mental distortion always preceded my migraines. Did you have a headache?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No headache but silent migraines have the visual impairment without the headaches. My doctor said that you don’t pass out from those though. So who knows!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I thought the same. I’ve never passed out with a migraine but there were times when it would have been a relief to. I have only had two in the past 16 years, so lucky. Before that they were more prevalent.

        Like

  3. Oh, my goodness — that’s scary! Fortunately, though, you were able to get to the floor before blacking out completely, and there were plenty of people around to take care of you! Do take care of yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I still worry every time I feel a little lightheaded, which happens often with low blood pressure. I’m more of a mess psychologically right now. Worrying about a repeat performance. I want my normal life back!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh Ellin…after inexplicably falling myself recently (no warning, no passing out, just tripping over my own slower-than-before feet) I can really relate to the aftershock you are experiencing! I too spent hours in the ER (not a bad experience at all) to find out that my unimpeded face-plant left me with absolutely nothing broken. Just a sprained knee, ankle and wrist, bruised ribs (ouch) and a face that looked like those I used to see in the ER after a particularly bad domestic violence event.

    I am so lucky….BUT, the not knowing why I fell leaves me feeling so vulnerable…I have no info to use for prevention next time. (to CONTROL it…)

    It’s been helping me with that lingering dread, to tell my story and get support from those who know me well enough to get how terrifying this was/is for me. I’m the strong, tough one everyone else comes to and leans on…not at all used to being on the other side, actually needing reassurance that I’ll be OK.

    Oh, and sharing some of the weird dreams I’ve been having…like jumping from a plane and my chute not opening, or bungee jumping and the rope breaking…duh. Not that I would EVER do such things awake!!!

    So glad you shared this. Selfishly for me, giving me still another chance to say my experience 2 weeks ago out loud, but also because I’m hoping you will take in all the support from others for yourself.

    Hang in there Sister…

    Like

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