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The Spontaneous Syncope: A Teenage Girl’s First Trip to the ER

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Hot, cold, hot, cold, hot, cold, hot… Dizziness washes over me in a rushing wave. Poke. Stab! An employee of the Massachusetts Yankee Candle Factory probes my newly-waxed hand mold, trying to allow air to escape. The simple device feels like a dagger digging into my bare skin. Breathe in 1,2,3… out 1,2,3. My head feels as if it’s on a cloud and weighted down by an anchor simultaneously. My judgment is clouded with insanely fast thoughts as I strive to remain conscious. “I’m going to die. I’m going to die.” I somehow manage to mutter, “I feel dizzy” to the woman employee standing behind me, continuing to poke at my pleading skin. My vision is gone, a pitch black picture of nothing serves as my temporary eyes. As I collapse into the woman’s strong arms, a loud ringing fills my ears as I try to filter out vital sounds from insignificant ones. What if someone is telling me their last words? I have to hear! Feeling unsuccessful and helpless, I mentally surrender myself to death’s open arms.
“Rachel? Rachel? Rachel!” Voices around me screech. “What?” I mumble slowly. “Here, drink some water.” As my vision comes back to me, I scan the room. Great, I thought, Lots of people. Apparently, I had an audience. If you know anything about me, I hate audiences, especially in an embarrassing situation like this. I mean really, if you want to watch, grab some binoculars and watch from afar. A twenty-something paramedic man, who I later learned had given me the water, starts to ask me questions about how I am and what kind of breakfast I had. And….here comes the embarrassment. “I didn’t really have breakfast. I had a cheeseburger and French fries from Cracker Barrel.” Call me crazy, but I swear I heard a snicker from the guy’s morning-breath mouth. I mentally sent him a scolding glance, seeing as how I could barley function. Just as quickly as I complained, a stretcher with buff paramedics came to rescue me. Hey, in a situation this bad, it can’t hurt a girl to have some eye-candy, right? I instantly forgot my hatred towards the twenty-something guy as the good-looking medical professionals hoisted me up unto the yellow stretcher and whisked me away like a princess. A pale, vacant, and dizzy princess, that is.
I’d never been in an ambulance before, so even though my head is spinning and thoughts are clouded by paramedics, I decide this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance. As the sirens rang, the paramedics put their strength and wisdom to the test as they hooked me up with oxygen and other devices and start to ask questions. My mom, who is sitting next to me, answers to the men’s questions accurately as if they were on Jeopardy. As they discuss business I drift off, the lined road fading behind me into the distance.
Swinging doors jerk me awake. I am rushed into the emergency room by the paramedics, who were thankfully still there. Waiting patients line the hallways as doctors’ scurry, dodging them to avoid an aversion. I am wheeled into a baby-blue colored room and transported off the stretcher onto a rock-hard bed, where I am told to wait. Sadly, the oh-so-good-looking men leave the room, reporting back to duty. I realize that waiting with nothing to look forward to is a really boring process. Dizziness is still present, although not as strong, as it is slowly dwindling down.
After waiting for a while, a nurse with pink scrubs saunters into the room. I am instructed to wear a dirty hospital gown. Disgusted, I reluctantly put the garment on. It feels itchy against my skin, and suddenly I find myself longing for my plain cotton T-shirt with familiar paint stains covering it. She runs some tests on me, checking for heart rate, blood, sugar levels, and breathing. Finally, we’re getting somewhere. Not quite. “The lab results will be ready in two hours. Please wait here until a doctor comes to check on you.” She ends with a professional smile, which I happen to think looks cheesy. Once again, boredom takes its toll.
Two hours later, a doctor looking strikingly similar to Carslile Cullen from Twilight welcomes himself into the eerily silent room. I feel my mom stare at me, sending me acknowledging vibes as we both admire Dr. Cullen-Look-Alike’s beautiful features. As he speaks, I can’t help but feel like Bella. You know, when James the evil nomad tries to kill her and then she blacks out because of the bite? She’s saved by Edward and Carslile. Hey, doc! I silently hope. Can you send me Edward? Or maybe bring back one of those paramedics? That would be awesome. Thanks! Unfortunately, I don’t think he got my Twilight-fan vibe I sent him, but it’s a-okay because he’s brought good news. As I stare into his golden-brown eyes, he reads off my lab results. Dr. Cullen-Look-Alike reels off the information to my mother and me as we strive to pay attention to his words and not god-like perfection.
After all the chaos, confusion, and countless hours, I learn that what I experienced today is called a ‘Syncope’- a fainting experience usually caused by low blood sugar. Hmm…maybe my lack of breakfast has something to do with that… I ponder the conclusion for a moment, and then move on to reviewing what happened. I realize I learned a couple of important lessons today. 1) Don’t ever make a hand mold with hot wax and cold wax. Ever. But if you do, prominently display it in your bedroom to remind you of the interesting experience(and to never do it again). 2) Always make sure to eat a real breakfast-no more Cracker Barrel lunch menu- because you never know when you need your blood sugar levels in balance (and so it’s not embarrassing). 3) Don’t save unsaid words until the last minute- you never know when they’ll come in handy. 4) Always, always be prepared for the unexpected. This includes hot-medics and doctor movie-star look-alikes. And finally, 5) Always make the best out of any situation. (“Who cares if I fainted? I have men to save me!)





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