When I was 34, something similar happened to me. My husband was recovering from knee surgery he had earlier in the day, and when I got up at night to help him to the bathroom, I ended up out cold on the floor. I was confused. He was terrified.
After visiting the doctor, I learned that I had what’s called “vasovagal syncope, ” or an overstimulation of the vagus nerve. I was intrigued to learn (from Wikipedia
, sad to admit), that people with vasovagal syncope often experience their first fainting episode in their childhood or teen years. Many years may pass before they faint again.
I also learned that warning my doctors about vasovagal would lead to different treatment. Armed with the information, doctors and nurses check in more frequently during medical procedures and encourage deep breathes and resting during blood draws.
But fainting’s a woman’s curse, right? Like so many gendered issues of the past, it’s not true. Vasovagal syncope affects women and men in roughly equal numbers
To that end, here’s a firsthand fainting story from fellow beautiful voyager Andrew B. from Canada. Andrew is generously sharing his experience to help others feel less alone.