I don’t know if people passing out happens often. I don’t mean passing out after a night of binge drinking with your frat brothers or a long night at work. I mean physically losing consciousness, waking up on the floor of your bathroom with cuts and bruises and having to piece together where the last 30-45 seconds of your life went.
Well, it never happened to me, until a few weeks ago.
Let me start by saying I never get sick. Ever. I don’t even get head colds. I have no allergies, I never see my primary care physician, and the only time I’ve ever been in the hospital is when I was a Brownie Girl Scout and I jumped off a piece of playground equipment at Serrania Avenue Park and landed on my ankle (I only did it to fit in. Shout out to peer pressure).
It was a typical summer vacation Monday. I woke up lazily around 11 a.m., turned on my television after reading on Twitter that my favorite season of “Bad Girls Club” was rerunning and started making plans to have lunch with a friend of mine before she set off to Italy for a few months.
It was seasonably cold and overcast (damn you, June gloom) and as I began getting dressed, I realized the necklace I had just put on broke. An overdramatic wave of sadness flushed through me as I struggled to repair it quickly, but my overgrown acrylics provided no help. As I went to take off my necklace and pull it through the lion’s mane on top of my head, I turned my neck and heard the most awful sound. Now, maybe I’ve just seen too many “Saw” movies or maybe it was because I just watched “Hostel” and “Hostel: Part II” back-to-back, but it sounded like the bone-crushing, ligament- snapping and cringeinducing sound that makes you want to throw up your popcorn in the middle of the theater.
I shouted an overdramatic “Ouch!” in the middle of my apartment, even though I live alone and no one was around to hear me. I continued to choose other neck décor when I immediately began feeling dizzy and nauseous.
Soon the edges of my vision started darkening. Naturally, I needed to consult Dr. Mom. I grabbed my phone, dialed her number and started explaining my symptoms. I walked to my bathroom and the next thing I knew, I was waking up on the floor. Breath erratic, completely disoriented and a Liz Lemon kind of “What the what?!” going on in my head, I had no idea what had just happened. The only thing I could think of was my poor mother, on the other end of the line, two hours away, listening to her daughter pass out on the floor. Can you imagine?
After an overdramatic (are you noticing a pattern?) few minutes, 911 had been called and suddenly my apartment was filled with hot emergency medical technicians.
Now, even though I couldn’t move my neck and the probability of my face being covered in mascara from all the crying was extremely high, I couldn’t help but put my best face on and try to make light of the situation. Hot men make me nervous and even though I was 60 percent invalid, you best believe I got my flirt on.
The EMTs led me down the stairs of my apartment and from then on, it was like living an episode of “Grey’s Anatomy.” They strapped me into a stretcher (actually, they duct taped me into a stretcher, I’m not sure if it’s protocol, but it happened) and loaded me into an ambulance where I was greeted by another EMT with a stunning handlebar mustache. Oddly enough, this made me feel safe. After protesting that the hospital has so close, and really, we should just walk, we headed to Sharp Memorial Hospital, less than a mile away from my apartment. The next five hours were the most unattractive moments of my life. Laying still for that long in a neck brace is not comfortable and definitely not cute. In my hot pink sweater and pink glitter flats, the grey and pea green clunky piece of plastic holding me in place did nothing for my complexion.
After copious amounts of blood drawing, an electro cardiogram and a CT scan, they sent me home saying it was a muscle spasm. I was a self-proclaimed cripple for six days and finally regained full swivel of my neck back Saturday afternoon.
The biggest lesson I learned from this experience, other than being more careful when it comes to taking off necklaces, is being in a hospital is not as sexy as they make it look on television. None of the hospital staff is that attractive, Patrick Dempsey’s perfectly coiffed hair was nowhere to be found and to be quite honest, I didn’t fall in love with anyone while I was there.
Needless to say, my illusions were completely shattered. Although it was an exciting start to my summer, I have to admit nothing as exhilarating will probably ever happen to me again. But I’m fine with that, because being a cripple for almost a week made my tan fade incredibly fast. I have some hasty catching up to do. That is the biggest cripple of them all.