Sunday, October 03, 2004

For the first time in my life, i fainted today.

it was really scary immediately before and sometime after it happened, but i've spent most of the rest of day having fits of giggles over the whole thing.

i've had close brushes before, always over the same two issues: when i am getting poked with needles for vaccines or blood tests or when someone mentions the "c" word (clot) when they are talking about bodily injury.

to get extensions for your visa over here, you have to do some health tests, which we thought was a routine TB screening that would consist of having my lungs checked with a stethoscope. that's what we were told anyway.

well, we were misinformed. point is i had to have blood drawn by the thickest needle i'd ever seen by a highly skilled but ungloved nurse. i was thankfully spared the routine of stabbing i usually have to go through because my veins are too small. but that wasn't enough to save me from the nausea and faintness i always feel in these situations.

R., who routinely donates blood and can't relate to my phobia one bit, was cheerfully rushing me out of the clinic and back to our car. i kept on having to stop and even kneel down, and finally convinced him that i needed to sit on a bench for a while.

anyway, i started to get that super nausea, hot body-cold skin feeling, which is usually the last/worse stage i enter before coming back to normal mode, except this time i guess i went one step further.

the next thing i remember is waking up terrified in a room with R. and an expressionless doctor looking over me. i had no idea where i was or how i got there, so i immediately asked where we were and began to cry (what a bache-nane thing to do, i know, but it was involuntary). R. tells me i "made a party" (his expression for when i act like a jerk) and i begin to laugh.

highlights of what i missed when i was unconscious:

after telling R. "it is going black, it is going black" (which i dont remember), my head and eyes rolled back (but not closed, ew) and i started to make creepy sounds with my breathing.

R. slides me down on the bench, lifts my legs, calls my name. no response.
R. slaps me once. no response.
R. slaps me again, harder. no response.
R. slaps me a third time, really hard. no response.
people gathering, R. panicking more. throws me over his shoulders, runs back to the clinic.
man tells him to take me to the second floor, R. goes up two flights of stairs, man tells him to take me back to the ground floor, R. rushes back down the stairs.
man tells him to take me to office on the left, guy in office on the left tells him to go the office on the right.

finally dr. expressionless gives me a bed, starts calling my name, and patting my cheeks. no response.
curious nurse rubs alcohol under my nose, they call my name. no response.
curious nurse puts smelling salts under my nose. big gasp. confusion. crying.

Highlights of what happened when i came to:

dr. expressionless tells curious nurse to take me to wash my face, even though i still feel woozy. curious nurse only speaks in arabic.

curious nurse to R.: where is she from?
R.: from iran
curious nurse to me: you are irani?
me: (nod weakly)

we go in the locker room of the staff, she turns on the tap, no water comes. (this is reassuring, i think, but i change the topic in my head so i wont faint again). we walk down the corridor to a private bathroom.

curious nurse to R.: you are irani?
R. (not paying attention because he is worried i'll faint again): yes
curious nurse to R.: how come you speak arabic?
R.: no answer
curious nurse to R.: how do you communicate?
R.: no answer.
curious nurse to R.: i mean, how do you speak to each other.
R.: no answer.

i wash my face. thank the nurse. apologize to the nurse. and we walk out again.

i'm still feeling faint. i sit limply on the bench, my head is on R.'s knee. A schoolmarmish woman drives up and starts lecturing R. i think she is concerned about me so i just stupidly smile at her the whole time and can't figure out why R. is speaking to her in a harsh tone.

turns out the woman is a teacher at the school by the clinic who mistook us for students and thought we were being inappropriately affectionate. i think the first thing she told R. was to get his hands off of me!

anyway, that is it. end of boring story.

so it wasnt the best anecdote ever, but every time i think of myself prostrate and looking like a zombi while R. slaps me as people gather round, i can't help but crack up hysterically.