Fainting, I’ve learned, is not romantic.

fainting1_3759Here’s my fainting story.

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.

24 thoughts on “Fainting, I’ve learned, is not romantic.

  1. junebugger,

    As you know, I am a Doc, so first of you go get checked out. You are right, in some ways we are weak, but togehter as a communtiy we can find strength.

    The good news is young people are often very resiliant, so you should be O.K. For a long time I thought I was invincible, but it is best to realize we are not when we are young and go ahead and take care of ourselves.

    Good luck and here’s to getting well very soon.

    Dr. B


    • Thank you 🙂

      “The good news is young people are often very resiliant, so you should be O.K.” It’s good to hear this from doctor as yourself!

      And I’m very glad to have learned this earlier on. Otherwise I think I would have lived too carelssly.


  2. Dear June,
    It seems to me that your mom might be a doctor; that is a good thing, as she might help you.
    If you are skipping meals that is a nasty thing to do because you’ll have your insulin and cortisol all messed up, you have great sugar rolleroasters and your brain eventually suffers!

    You are a writer and I know how it’s a work that consumes all your time and concentration. So I believe a good thing you can do is put an alarm clock to ring every 3 hours to remind you to eat. If you don’t want to take too much time preparing meals, try to have someone who will do it for you, or prepare them in advance so you don’t have to stop if you don’t want to.

    Please be careful! Health, when we have it, doesn’t seem too important, but when it fails you, it acquires its truly vital importance!!

    Be well,


  3. I’m sorry for your misadventure, June. I had the same horrible experience in January, I fell down from my chair without realizing. I was chatting with my sister and suddenly everything went black. I was brought to hospital in an ambulance! I was so ashame, all those people there were looking at me! But after some hours I was sent back home with very little explanations about my health and a suggestions to go on with further checking… ? I did nothing and never fainted again.


    • I think I’m going through what you went through! I kept falling to the ground all the sudden. And I have a feeling that the doctor’s won’t find anything wrong with me…let’s hope that’ll be the case.

      But my goodness–you were sent to the hospital in an ambulance?! Wow. Now, that’s taking what I experienced to the next level!


  4. I understand this entirely. The first quarter of my freshman year of college, I started having a lot of problems with anxiety. Long story short, I stopped eating, and was consequently sick all the time, and which ultimately made my anxiety worse. Now, I make sure I eat on a regular basis. I carry food and water with me everywhere because I have to eat every couple of hours due to my fast metabolism. I started taking vitamins last summer, and I’ve been making an effort to work out more often, both of which have helped my immune system. So, basically, I’ve been trying to take better care of myself. It’s definitely important.


  5. Oh, dear, I hope you feel better. I usually only faint when I’m extremely nervous but please please don’t go without meals again. I don’t want to read a post from you in the hospital. Capice?

    “Now I plan to take greater care of my body by eating good food on a regular basis and exercising more.”

    I’m with you on this one. When I write, I tend to eat junk-food because it’s accessible and it doesn’t take time to make but I have to stop.

    Health comes first. It would suck if something happened and I couldn’t write anymore.


    • Same here, I tend to only eat junk-food! So please–this time buy some baby carrots and eat those. Or something healthy. I want you to live a very, very long and healthy life so that can publish lots and lots of books


  6. Aww…I know how much the sun can take out of you! I hope you’re well!

    Though I’m not glad you were fainting – like some corseted Victorian heroine! – I’m so glad you posted this, I think you’re very right. Lately I’ve been trying to take care of my body better. Though it’s time consuming, it allows me to do more actually, and with everything going on these days it’s important to squeeze as much out of ourselves as possible. Haha, sounds like we’re lemons! lol. May we write forever, bruhahaha…Much love and best wishes, J!


    • A corseted Victorian heroine! hahaha. I’m going to use this phrase next time when describing this experience of mine

      Taking care of the body is indeed time consuming. But worth it, eh? Let us both become…good…squeezable…yellow lemons


    aigo chamna. I am soooooo super glad you were around your family when this happened! Oi. I am also glad that you finally realized how important your health is. Your writing is secondary to your health…

    The closest I got to fainting was Christmas Eve. I went to buy Eunice’s gift, and as I was standing in line to buy her a book, I had to leave it, find a bathroom, throw up green guck (I don’t recall eating anything green), and go back to the line, purchase the book, and practically crawl home. I thought I was going to pass out, but I didn’t. Do you think it’s possible to fight blacking out? hm.

    but yes. passa bem, por favor (Please take care–in Portuguese). :O)

    btw. we’re back from Brazil!!!!! we miss you!!!!!!


    • Ahhh you’re back!!!

      I was trying so hard to fight blacking out but…it was of no avail. I lost control of my body for those few seconds. But man, you must have gone through one painful experience! Mine happened all so quickly I didn’t suffer as much.


    • Thanks for your concern! I’m just waiting until 3pm. That’s when the results will come out and determine whether I have abnormally low white blood cells. If not, then I’m fine, and it might have just been a case of indigestion or some such.


      • To a Doc that just means something was wrong, but your blood work was O.K. When that happens I am always thankful my patient got well, and know it was more the Good Lord’s doing than mine.

        Dr. B


      • Yes, my parents were very thankful too. If they discovered that I had…what was it called..Hemoglobin (which my mom feared I had)…I’d have gone through much difficult to recover again. I’d have to take pills and all.


  8. I am reading this at 2013 and I am inspired!
    Hope you are OK and every thing went well.
    This might sounds funny but I always thought of fainting as a romantic character because of movies.
    It is stupid why they exploit a health issue to promotes love ?!
    More crazy I wanted to faint one day by trying the faint challenge (but it did not work fortunately)
    Someone should declares that fainting is not a game.
    I wish I can stop thinking of it as an interesting thing before I experience it :/


    • Thanks for dropping by! All is well with me. Doctors couldn’t figure out why I fainted… and I’ve never fainted since that incident.

      “It is stupid why they exploit a health issue to promotes love ?!” That’s a hilarious way to think of it… but quite true! Movies and books do make fainting seem VERY romantic when in reality it is TERRIFYING. Plus, the fainter doesn’t look that romantic – all pale and sweaty and stumbling about.

      I hope you never faint! But… I is a rather interesting experience, only in the sense that you realize fainting is not at all what the media portrays it to be ; )


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