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I am a stay-at-home mom of two sons, 12 and 10. I used to be an advertising manager. I love my new career and have thrown myself completely into it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

And I Left the Restaurant In An Ambulance

Wow!  I just had the most strange and scary experience of my life.  We took another vacation to go skiing and we went to a restaurant for dinner.  When we walked in, I noticed that it was very warm in the restaurant, uncomfortably so.  The place was packed so we had to wait for a table.  I took off my jacket and sat down.  The hostess mentioned how warm the restaurant was and I agreed with her and said they needed to turn down the heat.  A couple of minutes later, another woman waiting for a table mentioned how warm it was.  I was thinking of going outside to get some fresh air, but I didn't want to make a fuss for my husband and boys, so I told myself to just sit there and relax and I did start to feel better.

We got sat and ordered our food.  Our food arrived and we all started eating.  Out of nowhere, I felt like I was hit by a truck.  I immediately felt extremely sick!  My vision faded and everything seemed like it was getting distant.  I became very lightheaded and weak and felt like I might get sick.  I stopped and told my husband that there was something wrong and I thought I needed to go to the bathroom.  I tried to get my strength to leave the table and the next thing I knew, I was sleeping and I heard my husband calling my name from far away.  In my mind, I was peacefully sleeping and his voice was part of a dream.  However, his voice became closer, louder and more urgent.  I finally opened my eyes to see why he was calling me so urgently and noticed I was sitting in the restaurant.  I was confused and he told me I had just passed out and they were calling 911!  It turns out that my head fell back, my eyes rolled back into my head and I made gurgling, choking sounds.

Everything now looked and sounded distant to me but I could talk and understand what was happening around me.  I was very lightheaded and weak and just wanted to get out of that restaurant because it was uncomfortable and I felt I was making a scene.  The paramedics came and put me on a gurney and into an ambulence.  I was very scared, my boys were scared and my husband was scared.  I was embarrassed and felt really bad about my children seeing me that way and scaring them like that.  They did all kind of things to me in the ambulence and I found out later that they took an EKG, took some blood, tested my blood sugar and checked my heart rate and blood pressure, among other things.  My blood pressure at the outset was 90/60, which they said was too low.

When I got to the emergency room, they did all kinds of tests on me:  they did the same ones done to me in the ambulence and also checked my blood and gave me a chest X-ray.  Of course the first fear is a heart attack.  I had been reading alot about warning signs of heart attacks in women because February is Heart Health month so I was very scared.

Bottom line - my heart was fine (thank God!).  It was an episode of syncope (fainting) due to a vasovagal response, which means that something or a couple of things cause my blood vessels to dilate so much that not enough blood, and therefore oxygen, was reaching my brain.  This caused me to faint.  Talking it over with my husband we came to the conclusion that I was probably a bit dehydrated (I hadn't drunk enough water that day), I got overheated in the restaurant and the altitude may have played a part.  All of this worked together to drop my blood pressure too much.

This was a wake-up call for me, though.  Our family learned how things can change in a moment and I learned what it really feels like to lose control of your body.  I tried to breathe deeper, calm down and take a sip of water.  None of those things worked.

I decided I need to pay more attention to my health because things could have turned out much differently.  I need to lose a fairly good amount of weight and am too thick around the middle, which is a risk factor for heart problems.  I now have a much better reason to lose weight and take care of myself other than vanity - I want to be around for my children and my husband.  It was no fun being wisked away in an ambulance and having a roomful of strangers staring at you.  It was no fun knowing that my boys were witnessing this and feeling frightened.  It was no fun knowing that I was scaring my husband and putting him in the hard situation of having to be strong for the boys.

It was just no fun.

Starting yesterday, I'm changing my lifestyle.  I am not going on a diet - I am changing my lifestyle.  I've been good with exercise, but I will be even better.  I will eat more healthfully.  I will practice portion control and I will try to do things that make me healthier and help to give me a long, happy life and I have an appointment to get a complete physical with my doctor tomorrow to see what the state of my health really is right now.  Party over - time to get serious.


  1. Oh my what an experience! I'm a fainter so I can totally relate. Last time I was on an airplane--soooo not fun!!

    Visiting from Queen of Swag & now following :)

  2. Very scary experience. I am so glad that everything turned out alright. I hope that you continue to keep us informed on your journey to change your lifestyle.

    **I found you via The Queen of Swag's Blog Hop!
    I hope you'll follow me too.


  3. I'm glad you are ok and I hope your physical show you are healthy. Is great that you decide to improve your life style.

  4. Dacia, StuffSmart and Tally, thanks for the kind words. I'll keep everyone informed of my progress with lifestyle changes in the hope that it motivates others who want to make changes also.

    Dacia and StuffSmart, I'm now following you - thanks for the follow. Tally, I would follow you, but I can't find you.

  5. A great post as well as a great reminder. I am now following.

  6. Thanks, Debra. I'm following your highheelsandhotflashes blog - I love the name!

  7. wow. Okay first off, I am here from weekend wander/FTLOB! I am so glad it wasn't anything super serious for you but, also I can just imagine the worry your husband and boys must have felt. Wake up call time! I am fully supporting you in the 'new lifestyle change'. Good luck babe!

  8. Just found you on Weekend Wander. Wow! I'm glad you're okay. What an experience for you and your family. I hope the little ones weren't too frightened. I hope you never have to experience this again. Take care!

  9. I've just recently had my own health scare and am on a similiar journey. Thanks for sharing. I'll be reading to see how things go for you. New follower here.

  10. New Follower From Simple Sundays Blog Hop! Please stop by my blog and follow back thanks

    Evoluchun's Miscellaneous

  11. I am a new follower from Simple Sunday's Blog Hop. I have followed you can you follow me back?
    Pretty Pink Diamonds

  12. Melody-Mae, Jen HaHa, MissMOE, Danyale & Misty, I'm now following all of you. Thanks for commenting. Have a great day!

  13. So glad that you were okay! It's a scary thing to go through for both you and your family. I'm so excited that you were able to turn this experience into something powerful and motivating for you. I think that's one of the great indicators of how we create success and happiness in our lives. Can we learn from mistakes? Can we create meaning from loss? Can we take challenges and turn them into opportunities? It sounds like you're doing just that. Best of luck - I'm wishing you every success! Thanks for following my new blog: Daily Dose of Positive Psychology at http://dailydoseofpositivepsychology.blogspot.com/

  14. Thanks for participating in my simple sundsys blog hop. Following you already.

  15. Good post! During my pregnancy, I had blood pressure issues, so this is a reminder to me. My husband and I have been doing the Wii Fit together, which is helping to motivate me to exercise more.
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