11/12/12

"What is Fainting?"


I haven't been writing as much as I once wrote because for me life here is normal and it has been more difficult for me to think of things to blog about. My life here just sort of is what it is at this point.  However, something I realized I have not written about is my fainting stories. I will preface this by saying that PCMO ( Peace Corps medical) knows about this and has helped me out so no worries there.
   The first time I fainted was last summer. I was coming back to my village after getting groceries on a mini-bus. This mini bus was very crowded so I was standing in the aisle for about 45 minutes when I started to feel sick. I had been standing near a woman who worked at the junior secondary school in my village and her friend and had been chatting with them when I first got on the bus. When I started to feel light headed I asked this woman from my village if she could shout to the bus driver and ask him to pull over so I could get off the bus and sit on the ground because there was literally no space for sitting anywhere on the bus. There was not even floor space because it was so crowded, and I was surrounded by several children standing in the aisle alongside me. Before the bus driver could stop I fainted right across the laps of this woman from my village and her friend. When I became conscious again both women were yelling at everyone on the bus to open every window and at a couple of people across the aisle who had been laughing at me. They wouldn't let me stand or move at all. I sat on their laps for a good thirty minutes until someone else offered me his seat and helped me move over to it. 
   The second time I fainted was a few weeks later on a different bus on the way to my friend's village to celebrate the holidays. I was luckily traveling with another PCV friend. Unfortunately, this bus was also very crowded, and we both had been standing for a while when I started to feel sick. My friend saw that I didn't look so great and tried to ask if someone we were standing near would give up their seat for me, but nobody wanted to. I don't think they really understand what was about to happen or maybe they thought I was just being lazy. Sure enough, I ended up fainting on one of them because they wouldn't move. Then someone gave me a seat. It was awkward. 
   After a series of medical tests nothing was found so it was determined it was most likely environmental-the heat, the closed in space, the lack of people opening windows etc. I did have some problems with dizziness a handful of other times afterward, but I had not actually passed out again until recently. This time I had walked to one of the primary schools in my village and was watching some students practice dancing for an upcoming prize giving event. I started to feel a little sick and went into the school to get some more water from the sink. I sat down with my water in case I fainted, and I did end up fainting for a  few minutes on the floor right in front of the sink. When I became conscious again it had only been a few  two tiny 6 year old, standard one students were standing next to me giggling. "Ke a lwala" …I am sick, I told them and then rested for a while before letting the teachers I had been working with know what happened ( and the PCMO again of course). 
  Bots summer is a beast!  I'm totally fine otherwise and have had updated tests that show so. I'm going to up my water intake even more, eat small things throughout the day to keep my blood sugar up, and pay attention to how I'm feeling. 
Go siame! 


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