Have you ever fainted? If yes, then you will understand the following anecdote. If not then for Heaven’s sake don’t wish that you do just for the sake of experience. Believe me, it’s pathetic.
A Little Backstory:-
It has been raining rats and monkeys for the last week. And for Manipal, a small university township near the coast of Karnataka, it’s no big deal because the place seems to be the shoulder on which the sky cries on.
But I am not a rain person. Hell, I am not even a cold person. Literally! And although I like the fresh, earthy scent that permeates the air whenever the sky pours, I am a cold sensitive person and so try to stay in the sun as much as I can. So it wasn’t surprising that I caught cold.
But did I immediately start taking medicines and try to cure it? No. I did not. You see, I hate medicines (and I am going to be a doctor for crying out loud!). So I procrastinated for two days and let the sniffle turn into a full-blown cough and cold. (Yeah, I repeat again, I am going to be a doctor!)
Finally, left with the choice of either gulping down the poisonous medicines I loath to the core or die of pneumonia, I decided that I would get the foul experience out of the way in one go.
Yup. This is my medicine kit. I can literally feel the evil rays emanating from it.
The day before yesterday I took two medicines before going to bed. Both sleep inducing in their own evil ways. I guess I underestimated their combined power to throw a right hook on my face (or brain!).
The Almost Faint:-
Yesterday was Tuesday (hey, that line reminds me of Rebecca Black!), we had a two-hour class of Prosthodontics where we were being taught how to arrange acrylic teeth on the occlusal rims we had prepared and articulated for the complete dentures we have to submit later this year.
I was fine at the beginning of the class and was upto my usual mischief (that day we were playing with the flame of the burner before the class began).
I believed at that time that the drowsy drugs had worked their chemical magic and left my system by the morning (like the little elves who helped the shoemaker). But little did I know that they were standing by to strike at an opportune moment.
After an hour of work our table teacher called us all to gather around for a demo of the mandibular anterior teeth setting. And so we left our stations and clustered around her. That’s when it happened.
I usually stand through all my demos because sitting down makes me feel passive. And anyway standing lets me ask questions or lean in to get a better view. But that day was a different story.
As I took my place before the teacher, standing as usual, something in my head told me to grab a chair and sit down. But I ignored it. The mighty Ria doesn’t sit and be passive. I should have listened to my instincts.
Because not three minutes had gone by that I started feeling pukish, as if I was going to barf all over the place. I tried to control the uncomfortable feeling rising in me and sternly told my body to keep it down. But it wasn’t going to listen to me that day.
And then instincts took over. (I am not that hard-headed.)
I asked the girl behind me to let me sit and she left her chair immediately. I think it was more the fact that I was sweating like crazy and white-faced than my awesome, powerful personality asking a peasant to leave the chair for the queen (yeah, right!).
That’s when things got worse. The teacher saw my face and realized something was wrong. And then the agitation began.
Some girls ran to get me some water and the rest turned and stared at me with concern (that I didn’t want because it was making me feel so weak!).
In the end it took the combined effort of my teacher, friends and my instincts to finally let go and get up from my place and walk out of the class. But I was adamant about going alone when my good friend Sonya said she would accompany me.
For one I didn’t want her to miss the demo because of me. But the bigger reason was that I wanted alone time; didn’t want anyone chirping around me in concern when silence was all that I needed.
And that’s how I walked out of the class. A bottle of water in hand, lab coat hanging on my back and sweat dripping off my brows.
I think I had taken too long to drag my ass out of the class because as soon as I opened the door and stepped out, things went dark yellow and orange. I couldn’t hear anything and my eyes couldn’t focus on anything although I knew that they were wide open. In fact it felt like seeing things through my peripheral vision – obscure and unfocused.
The walk from the Prosthodontics lab to the bathroom was the longest walk of my life. I had never given the long corridor two thoughts before when I was alright because I love to walk. But that day it was a lesson in pain and strength.
My head was splitting with every step that I took. An aura of buzzing dots surrounded me (it was just one step better than the auras I get before a migraine). And every footfall jarred through my body, every vibration shaking every bone.
Till that time I had known I walked forcefully but I had never realized the power with which I hit the ground. And yes, it was powerful because I made myself walk in my normal gait. Anything less would have been a black mark on my person.
With every step I took my brain told me to just let go and sit down, maybe slow down a little, maybe black out. But I silenced the poisonous thoughts with encouraging ones, “Just a little bit more. You are almost there.”
Finally, I made it to the bathroom. Blindly entering a stall, I put down the lid of the toilet and sat down (I still couldn’t see properly). I also took off my lab coat and shut the door and locked it (later I found out that the bolt hadn’t hit home, which was a good thing if I had fainted inside).
And there in the darkness of the stall (the light was switched off) I sat and started chanting, “Please go away. Please go away.” I didn’t let my eyes close because I didn’t trust myself to be strong enough to pull myself out of the grasp of sleep-faint if I did.
I drank a lot of water and before long the buzzing stopped. My head cleared up somewhat although there was a throbbing around my nose and sinuses (the cold maybe). And finally I could hear and see again.
I left the stall and splashed cold water on my face and lo and behold, I was perfectly fine after that.
I think the dizziness was triggered by heat; a lab where the air conditioner was useless when so many burners were on, a lab coat on top of that and the suffocating body heat of twenty fellow classmates clustered around me. But I reckon the drugs had messed with my brain too.
I returned to the lab in under ten minutes. I know this because I had glanced at my watch once before the demo had begun and once after the episode was over.
Somehow I don’t regret going through this though. The experience has removed all the doubts from my mind that sometimes told me that I wasn’t really all that independent and brave and strong as I liked to think of myself.
Thankfully, my record of never fainting is still holding itself up, maybe a little bent than it was before, but still holding up. And I hate medicines even more now (those dastardly drugs!).
So have you ever fainted? What was it like? My friend told me that she saw white when she was about to faint. Was your episode tinted by a different color? Mine was dark yellow and orange.
Do share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you.
So that’s it for today. I hope I didn’t bore you. But if I did, hey, you were the one reading it whole, not me. 😛 Anyway, come back this Friday for an amazing guest post about a man who derailed a train. Till then, have fun… and don’t faint!
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