Wednesday, April 27, 2005


This morning, in the middle of our monthly staff meeting, I did something that I haven't done for years; something I've almost only ever done as a result of either too much alcohol or eating seafood and drinking alcohol at the same time - I fainted.

I could feel it coming, that extreme light-headedness followed by the urgent desire to close my eyes and put my head down on something soft, so I did what I usually do when this happens - I left the meeting room, went to the women's toilet and sat there until the feeling went away.

Trouble was, fairly soon after I sat down again at the meeting, that horrible feeling came back - only this time stronger and quicker; I didn't have time to get to the ladies' without risking falling flat on my face along the way. So I desperately tried to keep my eyes open, while the cold sweat gathered on my forehead, and propped my head up in my hands.

Next thing I knew, everyone (including the new communications officer whom I'd just met half and hour before) was staring at me. My boss was wiping my brow with tissues which I'd brought with me to wipe my cold virus-laden nose with and the admin officer was supporting me on my other side. I must have gone as white as a redhead with an SPF 50 habit, because after a while I heard someone say that my colour had come back. I joked that this hadn't happened since the last time I got really really drunk. My boss murmured that this apparently sometimes happens to pregnant women. I wondered if the yoghurt I'd had with my cereal this morning was past it's use-by date after all.

I made some noises about excusing myself to go sit on the toilet for a while, and then I'd be okay, but one of my workmates had already gone to her desk to ring up the boy. Shortly afterwards the boy came by in his shining armour (a Toyota Camry), brought me home and tucked me up on the sofa with the telly and the heater on.

I suppose it was a bit of excitement for the day, for the folks at work. Perhaps one of them will go home tonight and blog about it (or not). For me, it was a little scary because I'd thought I'd worked out how to avoid blacking out in public - don't drink lots of booze, don't mix booze with seafood and try not to eat my own cooking - but now I'd discovered another variable, one which I could't pin down.

Several hours later, I finally got hold of the mid-wife. Although my having a cold could have had something to do with it, normally this sort of thing would only happen if I'd been sitting or standing still for a long time (which I hadn't), leading to my diluted blood pooling a long way from my brain, or if I was anaemic (which I'm not). In other words, she didn't have an answer except that sometimes this happens when you're pregnant.


portuguesa nova said...

Glad you're okay. Seems like a good way to get out of a staff meeting.

Mike said...

Crickey, what a pain for you. Almost like something Victorian (bodice too tight and all that).

Hope you discover the cause and eliminate it with extremem prejudice.

Anonymous said...

honestly, don't worry too much. who really knows what goes on in the body with hormones and such?

do due diligence and check it out, but otherwise chalk it up to the mysteries of women's bodies.

and next time be sure to say, "hey i'm fainting here" then lie down. i speak from experience.

Nigel Patel said...

At least you were already pregnant when you signed on.
Your not "The Fainter" just "The pregnant lady who fainted".
I never go above SPF 45, thanks.

marielle said...

Glad you're okay! How thoughtful of your coworker to arrange for your rescue via Toyota Camry.

glomgold said...

Seafood and alcohol cause fainting? Do you suppose coworkers would get suspicious if you decided to have a fainting spell every other day? A 3 day work-week might be nice! Good thing it was nothing serious.

The Skirt said...

Poor you! Glad to hear you're feeling better tho'.

You don't have low blood pressure by any chance? That used to make me swoon a bit - and apparently if your bp is low already and you'r pregnant, it can cause regular "episodes".

Desiree said...

Cor Blimey! Glad you're okay now.

Just one of those things that happen to pregnant ladies I think...

But just in case, remind me to test your BP next time I see you...8-)

Frally said...

Glad you're ok! That baby must really be sucking the juice outta you.

EB said...

Glad you're ok! Maybe due to extra effort and anxiety about your mum.

Violet said...

Thanks for your nice thoughts - while it was a handy way to get a couple of days off work (that's right, I took yesterday off too!), I can't say it was at all a pleasant experience. Definitely not something I'd do voluntarily (same goes for vomiting - so I'd make a lousy bulimic).

The midwife couldn't offer any convincing explanations, although both she and the GP thought my cold had something to do with it. Plus, I do normally have low blood pressure, so that plus being pregnant making my blood pressure lower still, plus the cold (not to mention the insomnia) probably was enough to tip me over the edge.