It was at a comedy club. Fred Armison was performing. I had just met my husband’s best friend’s roommate and the girl he was seeing. They live in LA. We literally met no more than 15 minutes before this happened.
Girl, let me tell you…
We were all standing out in front of the club having a conversation. Everything was normal. I was feeling perfectly fine and then all of a sudden my head started to feel like it was spinning. My breath wasn’t coming in it’s normal rhythym. My heart was beating like crazy. I felt so dizzy that I could not stand up. I started freaking out.
It hit me so fast that I had no idea what was happening to me, and I’ve passed out plenty of times in my life. The only things I could focus on was getting my husband’s attention and trying not to die, which for some reason I was pretty sure that I was about to do.
On some level I knew I was acting weird but I had no control over my body. I have this one split second of memory that keeps haunting me. In this instant I remember grabbing my husband by his shirt and just kind of pleading with my eyes. It reminds me of something my dog would do when she really has to go outside. It makes me cringe every time I think that I acted that way in public.
The next thing you known I wake up on the sidewalk in front of the club in-between a chain link fence and a bush. I guess there was a whole part where my husband got me to walk over to the bush and sit down and then lay down but I don’t remember that part.
My initial emotions upon awakening was that of extreme humiliation. Before I even opened my eyes or tried to figure out who I was, I remember screaming in terror, “Oh my God, what am I doing?” And trying to get up off of the ground I gradually became more aware of the situation but that just caused me to be more and more embarrassed until I was almost sure to pass out again if I didn’t calm the fuck down.
I have been passing out since I was 16 or 17. The first time it happened was in the back room of my job at RadioShack. Since then I have also passed out in the photo lab I used to work for, at an old navy, a gas station, and i feel like there is somewhere else I can’t quite remember just now. All that was before I was 21 or so. Since then I have managed to only pass out in my own house.
I’ve passed out at home several times. In general, I only do it maybe once a year, or once every couple of years. The last time I did it was about a year ago. The good news is that I was at home. The bad news is I was standing at the top of the staircase. I fell all the way down the stairs. My husband tried to catch me but our cat attacked him pretty viscously and he dropped me. I landed on my knee, my head, and one finger. I’m lucky my knee took most of the brunt of the fall. It was really jacked up afterward but now it seems fine. Of course it’s probably one of those things where when I’m older my knee will act up in cold weather or something but for now it’s fine. My finger still hurts
I’ve gone to the doctor about this problem several times. They never find anything wrong with me. This last time I went to my regular doctor and a neurologist and a cardiologist. The neurologist explained it to me like this, “You pass out. Some people are tall, some have blue eyes and you pass out.” So that clears that up. He said everyone’s levels go up and down through the course of a day and for most people those levels don’t effect them. For a few others a dramatic change in levels causes them to pass out. I’m a lucky member of the latter group.
(Sidenote: I don’t remember what “levels” he was referring to. He was a neurologist so I guess it was probably some brain chemistry level, or brain activity level. I don’t remember. I probably have it written down somewhere.)
This time was really scary, because I was in public, of course, but also because I usually can kind of tell when I’m going to do it and this time I had no idea. It just happened so fast that by the time I realized what was going on I no longer had the ability to speak or to figure out how to take care of myself. I felt dizzy, I started panicking and the next thing you know, I woke up screaming on the ground in front of a comedy club in Los Angeles.
I wanted to stay and see Fred Armisen and I maybe would have been fine if we went in and sat in the dark and watched the show. But I was still shaky and dizzy and I couldn’t be sure it wasn’t going to happen again. I figured I had embarrassed myself enough for one evening. We lyfted back to our hotel.