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.