The Importance of Eating

So, yesterday I fainted on the subway.  THAT sucked.

I drank my usual protein shake before leaving the house.  While I was standing on the platform waiting for the train, I felt really anxious (that’s my body’s current way of alerting me to hunger), but since I couldn’t do anything about it, I just ignored it.  The train arrived and was completely packed.  I momentarily considered asking for a seat, but didn’t want to be the annoying whiny lady, so I just stood up against the closed doors.  The train was really warm, and I didn’t have enough room to take my coat off.  I tried to read my book, but it made me nauseous.  This all seemed uncomfortable, but not dangerous, so I just leaned back and looked out the window and tried to suck it up.

Suddenly, things were not right.  I thought I was going to puke, and desperately tried to figure out how exactly that would work on a crowded commuter train.  Then my hands got clammy, I got super dizzy, and everything went dark around the edges like tunnel-vision.  I thought “if I just sit on the floor, everything will be okay,” so I started to bend at the knees, when…

I was on the floor, and there were a bunch of REALLY freaked out business people standing around staring down at me.  A woman pulled me up and told me I fainted, then handed me my earring (plus backing!) that she had found on the floor.  Thanks, lady!  They all hustled me over to a vacated seat, then all stared at me like I was a wounded wild animal.  I told them “it’s okay…I’m pregnant,” like that made it okay instead of making it scarier.

Once I was seated, I suddenly felt much better, although still super anxious and jittery (aka hungry).  A woman standing next to me admonished me (sweetly), saying “you have to demand a seat!  no one will just give it to you – you have to ask!”  It’s true.

We arrived at the next stop, where most people get off, and the earring lady leaned over to me again to make sure I was okay.  I thanked everyone profusely for their help.  Then the conductor announced over the loudspeaker “we’re going to hold here for a few minutes due to a medical emergency on the train,” and I thought “holy crap, I wonder what happened!”

Ha!  *I* happened!  A paramedic suddenly stuck his head through the door and everyone pointed at me, and he said “would you like to get off so we can check you out?”  I initially wanted to say no, since I was already feeling way too center-of-attention-y, but went with him anyway.  We sat on the platform and they checked my blood pressure, oxygen rate, blood sugar levels, everything.  We decided that I need to seriously look into the whole eating concept.

I went to work for an hour, but still felt all crazy and anxious so I went home and spent the day on the couch.  With the Lumberjack force-feeding me every few hours.  And…I feel way better.

Today there was a seat available, so I didn’t have to ask anyone.  One stop later, a couple got on and the man asked me and the guy sitting next to me if either of us could get up so his pregnant wife could sit down.  The guy got up, so she sat next to me.  She turned to me and said “it’s so hard to ask for a seat – I’m glad my husband was here to do it!” and I almost hugged her.  We talked the whole way in about pregnancy and fainting and asking for help.  Turns out we work 3 blocks apart, so now I have my first pregnant friend!  Lunch dates in the near future.

Also in my future: EATING A WHOLE LOT.

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  1. Wow scary! So glad everyone was so helpful. Sounds like you need to carry a protein bar with you at all times or something. I’ve never fainted or had any symptoms like you described but I have felt like I had to sit once or twice (luckily I was home and could just sit) so it never escalated. Take care of yourself!

    • Big yes to the protein bar companion! I’m now carrying a water bottle and snacks with me everywhere I go. Definitely not risking that again.

  2. Oh, honey. I’m such a fainter in regular life that I, too, have to be someone who eats. Take care of yourselves!

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