Do you know where you are?

Potential trigger warning.

I wouldn’t say I have experienced many traumatic things in my life, but two things have happened to me in the last three years that keep me up at night on occasion – remembering the trauma, the feelings of
helplessness, the fear, the worry.

Most recently, on Halloween night to be specific, I experienced fainting. And let me tell you, it is nothing like the romance books paint it. It isn’t this delicate swaying on the feet or your hand on your forehead with an oh-my expression on your face.

So, my family and I were watching Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and my left shoulder was hurting from the way I was leaning on the couch. I got up to ask my husband to massage it, and part way through, I was feeling very strange and I asked my oldest
son to get my blood pressure cuff so I could get a reading. I suddenly felt like I had to go to the bathroom. I remember standing up; I thought I got up and held on to the pole that resides in my dining room … and then I remember, “Are you okay? Do you know where you are?”

My husband was next to me asking these odd questions while I lay on the floor. The bright lights of the kitchen were in my eyes, and I woke up wondering how long I had been napping. I quickly noticed that I was “napping” on the floor next to the kitchen island where naps usually do not occur, not on the carpet in front of the television where I thought I could possibly be. My husband kept asking me weird questions that I couldn’t quite grasp and I felt annoyed for being woken up too soon.

Eventually, my brain caught up with me and I was being told that I had passed out, That the fruit stand saved me from smacking my head on the kitchen island, and, my back and shoulders really hurt.

To make a long story short, I decided I needed to get to the ER. Every time I stood up the world grayed out on me and I got very lightheaded. So, I stayed on the floor while my husband called 911. They came in less than 2 minutes—the firefighters were in the neighborhood. They got things started until the paramedics came. They were also quick to arrive.

I went to the ER to make sure all was well. My blood pressure was terribly low and kept going low every time I stood up. They checked me out, gave me fluids, ran a few tests, did blood work, and I went home around 2 a.m., the second one since the time changed while I waited for results in the ER.

I have bruises and scratches all down my back from my encounter with the fruit stand. And I have a gigantic bruise on my forearm where the paramedic attempted for the second of three times to insert an IV. I never bruise so I’m actually kind of fascinated by the fact that there’s this ugly dark spot on my forearm. Here’s photographic evidence that Lisamaria did bruise at least once in her life.

A bruise on a forearm

Since Halloween night, I’ve had a hard time falling asleep. I keep remembering what it was like to go dim and have no memory of falling. I keep thinking about my children and how scared they were to see mom on the floor and six strangers all around me trying to take care of me. My oldest son saw me fall and when I was being taken out on a stretcher, he asked his dad if I was going to come back or if I was
going to die. … That was tpugh to hear.

I’ve been giving the kids lots of hugs and kisses and reassurances since Saturday night. I’ve been in communication with my doctor about my blood pressure, which is never low but often high. We’re working on a plan to get me healthier.

Because replaying one traumatizing event isn’t enough, I keep replaying the night I gave birth to my daughter. That night was also traumatizing for me since I lost a ton of blood and I had to ubdergo surgery to stop the bleeding. That night, I kept shaking. I mostly remember being tired from 53.5 hours of labor … but all the shaking … I couldn’t stop.

Needless to say, these two nights keep running circles in my head causing me to have not-so-restful nights. I don’t sleep well as it is, but it’s been special lately.

Hopefully, talking about this, writing it all down, sharing it, will be cathartic. I’m not looking for sympathy or anything like that. I
thought it would be helpful to share my experiences in my blog. Often, we hide our health issues and are timid to share with friends, family or others. I think though that sharing our experiences helps heal and as a society we all need to be better at leaning on each other in times of need. I personally feel we are terrible at accepting any type of help.

So, lean on your friends. Call someone and say hey just because it is good to say hey to your friends, but definitely give a ring when you need another human being.

Signing off for now,
Bay Area Blind Mom

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