yours, tiramisu

i faint in the worst of places

I went to Rockaway Beach today with some friends. We enjoyed it much more than Coney Island, where we were last weekend, and I'm glad that now I can finally let go of my misguided hope that New York City might have good beaches. On the way back from Rockaway though, I remember feeling sleepy, then suddenly nauseous. By the time we got off the train to transfer, I was so dizzy and light-headed I sat down on the ground of the train platform... and before I knew it I laid down on the notoriously clean NYC subway station floor.

When I came to, my friends watched as an MTA employee peered down at me and asked me to get up. Do you think I want to lay down on this floor, ma'am? I felt too weak to sit up, let alone stand on my feet, and had lost most control of my body. A blinding white washed out my field of vision, and I could hear my friends talking to me but I couldn't respond through my splitting headache. I must have been unconscious for at least ten minutes, since we missed our train.

What scares me most about the incident is that, for as terrible as passing out on the subway station floor in a cold sweat was, what if I were alone, instead of surrounded by close friends? I could have ended up concussed, or worse.

I also don't know why I fainted. I have a history of fainting that started when I was in elementary school, but no doctor has ever been able to find the cause. I can identify a couple of possible culprits from today, some of them dubious: heatstroke (though it wasn't that hot), dehydration (I was definitely drinking water), low blood pressure (hypotension) or sugar (hypoglycemia) caused by my medications (the most probable, except I take the same ones everyday), or some combination of these four. But since I don't know which, I don't really know how I can prevent that from happening again. Even now, after eating a hearty dinner and drinking lots of water, I still feel weak, and I can't quite shake the fog that clouds my mind.

My occasional fainting episodes make me feel a lot like my incurable chronic disease does. I never know when the next terrible thing might happen to me, and I live with the constant anxiety today or tomorrow might be that day. I have to take extra good care of myself, sleeping enough and eating healthy and staying hydrated, and even still, as today shows, I can't be sure nothing will happen.

Take it from me—please take care of yourself! We've been setting global heat records recently, so stay hydrated, avoid extreme heat, and don't exceed your limits.

thank you for reading; write to me at yourstiramisu 🐌 proton dot me

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