I never expected my last high school field trip would lead to the emergency room [Friday, May. 21, 2004, 8:47 pm]
My gosh, what a strange day. I remembered just last night that we would be going on a field trip early this morning - my last field trip as a homeschooler. So, we got up bright and early for it this morning. I was actually thinking about staying home at first, because I was tired and had a sore throat, but I figured I'd just take an advil and be fine. Wrong.
Well, see, it's hard to really explain what happened. Basically we were getting a tour of this place that had many buildings which were reproductions from victorian times, including the world's second-oldest carousel. It was pretty interesting. After a few minutes of standing, and walking around, I started to get light-headed. And believe me, it's happened before. Most recently, last summer, I actually collapsed while we were camping, I think mainly because of the heat, and because I was a bit dehydrated.
So after standing for a while, I went over and sat in the corner. What I should have done at that moment, was pulled out of the tour, and told my mom I wasn't feeling well and just wanted to sit down for a while, and let everyone else go on with the tour. But no, I had to bust it up. I sat down for a while, and then walked to the next building with the group, some old boathouse, I think. So I was sitting on a bench way in the back, and I finally told my mom I wasn't feeling well. She said she'd go back to the car & get me some water, since I was feeling a bit thirsty, but didn't have the strength to walk anymore.
All I remember was telling her that. And the next thing I remember, I was waking up. It felt like a lot of time had gone by, and that I was waking up from some long dream, although I later learned it had only been about 10 seconds. But I saw a bunch of people looking down at me, which made me realize that I was on the floor. It took me a few seconds to remember where I was, since it seemed so long ago, and then the first words out of my mouth were, "Why am I on the floor?" I seriously had no idea what had just happened. My mom was really scared, and so was everyone else.
From what the many witnesses tell me, I had been sitting on the bench, and then as my mom stood up to leave, she thought I was getting up too. And when she looked over, she realized that I was actually falling forward. And that's what happened. I fell straight onto the concrete floor, and didn't even try to catch myself. Then, she says it almost looked like I lost control of my limbs, as if I was having a seizure or something, but it only lasted for like 2 seconds. When she rolled me over, she says my eyes were staring straight ahead. One of the younger girls in our group said I looked like I was dead. (I wonder how she would know).
Well, then I got up onto the bench and laid down. And the next thing I remember hearing was one of the tour guides on the phone, calling an ambulance. Oh my gosh, I was weakly protesting on the outside, but on the inside I was saying, "NO! No ambulance! I'm fine, really! I've passed out before, and it's only taken a few minutes to recover! Just go on with the tour, just leave me here, I'll be fine, really!" See, the thing about me is, I don't like attention. Well, I suppose everyone wants attention in some way, but for me, being looked at by more than one person at once is usually the kind of attention I detest. (sometimes being looked at by ONE person is bad enough, depending on who they are). So the last thing I wanted was a bunch of professionals fussing over me, and fellow homeschool group people getting all scared.
But at the same time, it was really nice of them all to be so concerned, and I really can't blame them. And I later heard that it was one of the tour guides' first day at work. My gosh, I felt SO bad! I mean, I hate inconveniencing people anyway, for ANY reason, and so this just made me feel worse.
But looking back on it, I guess going to the hospital was a good idea - I passed out like that last summer while we were camping, and once when I was about 8 too. I think it was the 'convulsions' that had my mom worried. My poor mom... I think I feel sorry for her more than anyone else. Anyway, she was afraid I'd really had a small seizure or something.
But anyway, the ambulance got there pretty quickly, and a bunch of people came over to take my vital signs, and help me into a stretcher. I could've walked over to it if I'd wanted to, although I still didn't have much strength. Oh well, at least they didn't have the siren blaring. But they took my blood pressure, stuck oxygen tubes up my nose, and transported me to the back of an ambulance.
Wow, I never would have thought I'd have to go to the emergency room in an ambulance. But the EMT's were really great people, and funny too. They just kinda talked to me on the way there, trying to help me relax & stuff, which was cool. And they had pretty much figured out it wasn't a life-threatening situation, so we were taking our time. Still, they took my blood pressure a few more times (it was kinda low at first), and pricked my finger twice (ouch!) to test my blood sugar, which was also pretty low. So they fed me some lemon-flavored glucose during the drive. Mmmmm, it was good stuff! And my mom followed behind in the car.
Well...basically, they just decided to do some tests once we got to the hospital. I was pricked with needles 5 times before they finally got enough blood for the testing (OUCH!). The second woman who tried to get the blood finally did get it, although she had to feel around for a while. But her idea was that patients would much rather have their arms poked around at with a finger rather than a needle, and she had a two-prick limit: if she didn't get the blood in 2 pricks, that was it. I like that motto!
So anyway, to make an already very long annoying story just a bit shorter, we stayed at the hospital for about 2 hours or more, and the eventual diagnosis was that I was a little low in salt (sodium), and fluids. They said that I, thankfully, had not had a seizure, and it was probably just a combination of a lot of factors, such as the warmth of the day, lack of fluids and salt, the *ahem* time of the month, and all the walking and standing, although it really wasn't that bad.
But yeah, I'm thankful that I'm ok. I'm just a bit tired right now. I was able to go to Awana tonight though, so other than being tired, I guess I'm back to normal. I'm also thankful my head feels ok. People say they saw me hit my head on the cement floor as I went down, but so far I haven't even had a headache. So that's good news. Yeah, I still feel really bad about the whole thing, even though I know it wasn't my fault or anything. But it's nice to know so many people were concerned about me, and I hope I don't sound ungrateful about the whole ambulance thing, because I really am fortunate to have access to such quick medical treatment like that.
Still, I wish this last field trip hadn't been so 'memorable'. I kinda felt like Arnold from the Magic School bus: "Maybe I should have stayed home today."
Ah well, life goes on. The whole thing made me realize I'm quite a sissy too. This is the only time I've ever been to the emergency room, and I considered being stuck with needles 7 times to be quite something. But when I think about all I've read about the Vietnam war lately - I don't know anything about pain, at all. I just think I do.
Anyway, this time I'm going to TRY my hardest to follow the doctor's orders: drink fluids! Even if I'm not thirsty! I had been trying to cut down on snacking the past few days. In fact, I was trying to eat nothing but 3 meals a day. But now I realize it's okay if I have a few healthy snacks during the day, because I just have a fast metabolism & need to eat more often than most.
Ok, this has gone WAAY longer than I'm sure anyone is going to read, so, goodbye :-) And sorry if I ever said my life was boring - sometimes God just proves me wrong ;-)
Vitality - Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009