There it is, again
I passed out, again
When I came to, I was lying flat on my back staring at the kitchen ceiling. My head was throbbing. The AirPod I had in my right ear was, umm, somewhere. Not in my ear anymore, at least. I turned to my side. And that’s when the familiar cold sweat kicked in.
This was at nearly midnight this past Thursday night. I had woken up to give my daughter Em her nighttime meds via her feeding tube. Usually, I would’ve been awake still but I had spent the vast majority of the day asleep. The COVID booster I had received the prior day hit me fairly hard and I just wanted to rest as much as possible. I would feel waves of fever-like symptoms and my body ached all over. It wasn’t the worst I’ve ever felt, but it wasn’t great either.
The unusual thing is that I felt fine when I woke up. Well, I felt better than I had all day. I took a few swigs of water, walked out to the kitchen, grabbed a snack, and started to fill Em’s meds.
Filling her meds is a whole process, by the way. She’s currently on six different meds. Each night, I fill up seventeen syringes comprised of all of her meds for the following day. Some are over-the-counter things like Omeprazole to help her with reflux. Others are prescriptions for things like treating her rare form of epilepsy called ESES, or at least our latest attempt to treat it. And, of course, they’re all supposed to be taken at various amounts and frequencies throughout the day. And, not to mention, she’s a toddler who’s constantly growing, and outgrowing her med dosages, so they need to be adjusted regularly. We have a print-out taped to the kitchen backsplash with her daily schedule so we don’t forget anything.
As I was beginning to fill them, I suddenly felt like I either needed to puke or use the bathroom. I stood there, hoping it would pass. But it only got more intense and I became more sure that I was going to hurl. I leaned over the kitchen sink, ready to let it go, hoping it would make me feel better. And then…
I woke up on the floor.
Some of you might remember that I’ve written before about how I pass out easily:
But having extensive experience in this department doesn’t make it any easier. It’s a bizarre feeling to just, kinda go dark for a while.
As I was laying on the ground, feeling like my head might’ve banged the ground as I fell down, I thought about death. What if my head had hit the corner of the kitchen island or something and my head busted open? I could’ve bled out and died. But I wouldn’t have been aware of it at all. My conscious life would’ve ended with me feeling like I needed to puke and then, poof, nothing. Donezo. No white light. No final moment to say something profound to my family. Nada.
I have nothing against your belief system, whatever it is. You can believe whatever you want. But through my experiences with the unconscious, I’ve come to believe that there’s nothing beyond our conscious lives. In my opinion, most belief systems that propose some sort of eternal resting place that we ascend to after we pass are just trying to make the living feel less scared about death. Because it can be scary. Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic by comparing my passing out with brushes with death, but they’re not really that far off.
It’s not worth arguing about this stuff because it ultimately doesn’t matter. What really matters is how we spend our conscious lives. Every time I pass out, it’s a reminder of how fleeting life can be. How it could end in an instant. For any of us. And while that could scare you, I think it should inspire you to live a more full life.
Because when else are you going to do it?
Before Thursday night, it had been 2,826 days with no fainting incidents. But knowing me, there are many more stories to come. Stay tuned.
By the way, thank you to the several people who reached out because I didn’t publish a piece last week. That was very thoughtful of you. I was fine. Actually, more than fine. I was on a much-needed vacation with my brother in San Diego. We couldn’t remember if we had ever done a trip with just the two of us before, but we know we’ll be doing it again sometime in the future.
Here’s a view of the beach that was just below our Airbnb:
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Insightful Lyle, hope you and the fam are well. Did Allison take a pause from writing? Not finding anything recent. Thanks again for all your work
I'm sorry to hear this. It must be incredibly frightening!