I went on a two-day trip with my family to the beach. There, my legs got burned by the sun, and throughout the day, it throbbed with pain. It hurt so much that I had trouble walking. The next day, at the inn, when I woke up, I stood up to get dressed, but had to lean back agaisnt the wall because my legs were in agony. My skin felt as if it were being shredded….
The next thing I knew, I was on the floor with pain shooting throughout me (I’d fallen and my head had hit the TV nearby).
My sister stared at me, startled awake by the loud thud of me collapsing. She asked if I was awake. I just stared at her in confusion. Then, feeling nauseous, I went to the washroom and vomited.
On our way back home, we stopped by at this mall where we were to have lunch. But I told my parents I was unwell so couldn’t eat. I felt nauseous again so set off to find the washroom.
I was almost at the washroom when everything started to get dark. The peripheral of my vision grew smaller and smaller until all I could see was a crowd of legs surrounding me. I stumbled about like a drunkard, my shoulders colliding into walls and bodies. It’s like my body was shutting-down; I had absolutely no control over myself.
I was in a state of such panic and confusion as my consciousness flickered on and off. I remember thinking: Oh my god, am I dying?!?!?!
At some point, I collapsed onto the ground. One woman helped me up and took me to a chair where I remained for a few minutes. To this day, I don’t know where she sat me down, but a security-guard came over and told me, “Excuse me, Miss, you’re not allowed to sit here.” So I stood up and took a few steps forward. Dizziness overcame me again. All I remember is holding onto some furniture, trying to steady myself, but losing control over myself once more. I collapsed to the floor and the security-guard immediately took a hold of me and said, “Actually, it’s ok. You can sit here for a while.”
On my third attempt I finally managed to return to where my parents were. They immediately knew something was wrong with me as I was drenched in sweat. I was pale as a ghost. And my cowboy hat was on backwards.
It was the scariest experience I ever had.
I am actually very thankful for having undergone this bout of fainting. I always thought I was healthy so took no concern to what I ate. I skipped meals often to continue to work on my manuscript. But now I know that I’m not invincible. Now I plan to take greater care of my body by eating good food on a regular basis and exercising more.
And one important lesson I learned as a writer is this: Before we’re writers, we’re humans first. To lose our health can mean the end of our writing career. So please, don’t black-out thrice as I did to realize this.
Update: I have no idea why I fainted still. The doctors I visited only came up with some possibilities: 1) I was super, super dehydrated / sun-stroke, 2) “electrolyte disturbances”, 3)abnormally low hemoglobin levels. Whatever the case, over the past several years that have gone by, I haven’t re-experienced fainting spells.