It’s the Luck of the … Germans?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Remember how I was all “Road Triiip!” on Friday? Well, if you spoke to QB, he would tell you that it was all fun and sun. Me? I’m thinking I might have to draft an open letter to the travel gods.

Driving there in the new car was fine. The last hour felt like it stretched into three. We were all ready to get out of the car. But once there, the reason for the trip quickly settled in and recharged us.

My husband’s parents planned a family trip to Vermont to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. (To give you a quick taste of the overall sentiment of the long weekend, here’s my father-in-law’s Friday night toast: “To my beautiful bride.” Sweeter than the maple syrup that place is known for, right?)

On Saturday we all went out into the heat. Walked around the outdoor commons, checked out the massive Farmers’ Market—it’s Vermont, remember—and treated the toddler to his first coin-operated car ride. (Um, 75 cents for 15 seconds is hardly OK, Makers of Coin-Operated Car Rides. Do better.)

We go have lunch at this “we’re as local as you can get” restaurant (again, it’s VT, where you have a choice to push the half-gallon flush or the full gallon button in the bathrooms.) Afterward, QB goes for a stroll/nap with his father down by the lake and I zip back to the Market to get some of that maple syrup.

Walking there with my mother-in-law, I kind of feel OK, but kind of not. We get there and it’s hotter than when we left it for lunch. There are more people, and the humidity has shot up to the clock tower. I feel some weird flutter in my stomach that rises to my chest. Then …

Dizzy …

Heated …

Nauseous …

Sweating profusely …

Tunnel vision …

Cut to me lying on the prickly Astroturf between the Syrup Man and the Selling Who-Knows-What Lady (could have been candles from what I could tell—from the ground.)

Someone pours ice-cold water on my head. There are shouts of, “Call 9-1-1. This lady has heat stroke!”

And I’m trying to gather my wits enough to say: Just let me lie here for a minute more. I’ll be fine. None of these words make it out of my mouth.

Next, a friendly ambulance guy is asking me my name and if I can walk over to the stretcher or need to be carried.

Turns out, it was dehydration and I had a vasovagal reaction—a malfunction in the autonomic nervous system that causes a drastic drop in blood pressure and slows the heart rate waaay down. My sister-in-law likened it to the body “playing possum.”

It’s happened to me twice before … but never in the middle of a crowded park with relatives, strangers and helpful vendors circling me. Thank goodness my son was off strolling with Grandpa, unaware of the scene—oh, and it was a scene—going down at the Market.

In the end, after a bag of IV fluid and a couple of hours in one of the nicest ERs you could imagine, I was back at the hotel. Resting on fluffy pillows in a cushy bed, nursing a bottle of bright red sports drink and listening to QB reading about trucks with his Dad on the sofa.

Like I said, Road Triiiip!

  • 1
    sharon says:

    you too? i’ve it happen twice in the past month. fall-out fridays, i’ve dubbed it.
    glad you’re better.

    • 1.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      Twice in a month? That’s more than I could handle. Although, “Fall-Out Fridays” is rather funny. Stay well, homey. And stay on your feet.

  • 2
    yvette says:

    What the hell!! I hope all is well!!

  • 3
    Nailah says:

    Wowsers! That is crazy. Glad to hear that you’re doing better.

    • 3.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      Thanks for the concern, sisters. I am doing better, but planning on getting to the bottom of this faint-spell thing. Not cool.

  • 4
    Cheryl D. says:

    Hey Nicole,
    The exact same thing happened to me at a crowded day-time jazz concert afew years back…. ambulance, stretcher, the works. It is always in the back of my mind and I now hydrate excessively in the summer.

  • 5
    ali says:

    holy cow!!! I am so glad you’re okay. sounds terrifying. though, as you said, vermont might be the nicest place on earth, filled with the nicest people, so at least you were surrounded with happy, crunchy goodness to get you through!

    • 5.1
      Ms. Mack says:

      It really was one of the nicest places filled with the nicest people. I’ll take crunchy over salty (which is so NYC’s flavor sometimes) when given the choice.
      Thanks for the comment, Ali!