Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Faint of Head

Things were never like this before. The only explanation I can come up with is that I may be going soft in my old age.

Before the birth of my son a couple of years ago, I had a extremely strong composition. I was born, raised, and spent my early adulthood on our family dairy farm in the southwestern part of Washington state. I worked hard, slept little, and witnessed more than my share of what could be called gruesome things. Whether it involved animal or human, there were many times where I watched blood, including my own, being spilled during those years. Enough blood and gore, in fact, that I became accustomed to witnessing it, and though it always bothered me to a degree, it did little to affect my psyche.

However, those days are fading into the rearview mirror for me now. Nearly 10 years have since gone by. And the pendulum that is my composition, my make-up, my ability to deal with such circumstances, seems to have swung the other way along with the passing of time.

The first clue that this shift was taking place came in the hospital after the birth of Lukas. I had just accompanied Mrs. LIAYF through a difficult 80 hour labor. We were both dead tired, but the time had come to make the decision on circumcision. Mrs. LIAYF left it up to me, but only requested that if I decided to have it done, that I be there with him. So I did. It was a new and painful experience seeing my baby boy laying there helpless and in such pain.

In the end it became too much. I felt light headed and the next thing I remember was looking at the spinning shoes around my head, of the doctor and nurse. They set me in a chair, and we all had a long, genuine laugh at my expense.

However, it didn’t end there. I had knee surgery later that same Summer, and as I was being prepped for the procedure, out came the needle. I had not slept at all the night before. My head started spinning, and again down I went. This time it was not as humorous as the last time. Though still worthy of a few laughs.

Fast forward to last week, when I went in to get a seasonal flu shot. I again had not been sleeping well. I was escorted around to sit on a bed. Out came the smallish needle. I felt light headed once again. Had a sense of what was coming. But this time I stopped the nurse. Told him that I needed to lie down and was allowed to. After a few minutes of laying there regaining my sense of normal, I got up and left. Without fainting. And without laughing about it either.

What bothers me now is that I may not be able to respond appropriately when and if that day comes where my child is hurt and bleeding in front of me. I'm not sure what has brought these recent fainting episodes. Though, they didn’t begin to happen until after I became a father at nearly 40 years old. Correlation? Have any of you experienced anything similar?

I guess they weren't kidding when they said 'Everything changes after you have a child.'

Photo by ZaldyImg's


Mrs. M said...

At least you can recognize when it's happening so you can sit or lay down. We will just hope that it gets better for you!

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

My husband is the same way.

Except when his kids are hurt and bleeding, it's like he goes into hero mode and the rush of adrenaline to help kicks in and he's fine, but to hold his child's hand while he's getting stitched up and he's numb with no pain?

Forget it... the guy needs to sit down.

Thanks for coming by Real World so I could find your blog!

Shelle-BlokThoughts or Real World Venus vs. Mars.

Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...


pussy ;)

Just kiddin bro. But you know everything changes after you have a child. The good news? when your child is bleeding you will go into survival mode and will only be concerned with making sure they are OK. So don't worry about that.

SciFi Dad said...

Your instincts and adrenaline take over, and you just react to the situation. When my daughter was under two, she was playing on some rocks surrounding a splash pad (who puts rocks around a splash pad?!?) when she slipped and fell, chipping her tooth and splitting her chin open. There was blood everywhere, and I'm more squeamish than you, yet I kept it together, got her cleaned up and took care of it (with my wife's help, of course).

Irrational Dad said...

Yeah dude, I'm sure if something ever happens too Lukas, instincts/panic will take over. I'm sure afterward you'll be an absolute mess though.

I'm still okay with needles and blood, but I feel physically ill whenever I read or hear about anything even remotely relating to abuse on a child. My stomach tightens and I have to concentrate on breathing so I don't get sick. I've always felt sympathy when I've read stuff like that, but the emotions have increased a thousand-fold. Enough to actually make me question my belief in God.

But yeah, blood? Guts? BRING IT! Just so long as it doesn't belong to a little kid.

Anonymous said...

Dude... I can't even begin to explain to you the amount of change that took place in me after my little one was born. I never truly understood how much things were going to change once she came into this world. I totally feel you.

Lady Mama said...

I used to pass out a lot. The doctors couldn't figure out why. And then suddenly it stopped, and hasn't happened for about eight years.

Being overly tired may be contributing. And perhaps if you haven't eaten enough? Plus I think watching a loved one endure pain brings a whole different set of emotions/reactions too...

Don't worry, I'm sure if you needed to deal with an emergency your instincts would kick in.

Ron said...

It sure does. When my oldest was 2, he slid on some newspapers and cut his ear on the corner of the wall. The worst sight in my life was seeing him strapped to a board, kicking and screaming, as the Dr's sewed his ear back up.

I'd kid you about the shots, but when I was a medic in the Army, during training we had a thing called "needle week" when you learn how to give shots and IV's. You'd be surprised how many guys would pass out. =-)

Ed said...

I was an ER nurse for over 10 years--I've seen quite a bit. Still, I can't watch when I'm having my own blood drawn or getting a shot--I'll pass out faster than you can imagine. It's weird.

Martin said...

I get a bit queasy sometimes, I won't watch blood being drawn but I'm happy to have it done all day long.

My only fainting episode came after a big hairy man shot metal through my face.

Steve said...

I'm certain you wouldn't pass out, but here's hoping you never need to find out.

WILLIAM said...

I hope it never happens but if your kid gets hurt...your body will react in ways that you did not know you could and it will overcome any faint spells etc until the kid is okay.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Mighty M - Thanks. I thought about trying to tough it out but then thought better.

@Shelle - Thanks for stopping by. I will have to see how this plays out as time passes.

@Petra - Yeah, I figured I was setting myself up for that. But survial mode should definitley kick in in an emergency.

@Scifi - Thanks for that. It makes me feel better.

@Joe - I hear you! Now, I really get worked up when I hear such things as well.

@handstowar - Yeah, I wouldn't have believed it before hand either. It is amazing how my feelings have changed.

@Lady Mama - That is odd. But at least not happening to you anymore. I do think survival mode will kick in. And that sleep issues have affected me in these instances.

@CK - That must have been tough. Thing is that I never was this way before. Not exactly sure what is triggering these physiological changes.

@Ed - Thanks for that. It is odd how the same person can react differently depending on the circumstances.

@Xbox - Ok, that needs further explanation. A post perhaps??

@Steve - Thanks man.

@William - Good to hear from an experienced veteran such as yourself. Thanks!

Knatolee said...

I bet if the little guy were hurt, adrenaline would take over and you'd be able to handle it just fine! I don't doubt that at all.

Have you had your BP checked lately?

john cave osborne said...

talk about great minds thinking alike...i was in the middle of reading faint of head when my blackberry went off w/ the email that your comment on da' swine intervention generated.

i wish i could say that i used to have a strong constitution. i cannot. the big question around our house before the triplets were born was above the c-section or below it. i entered the room undecided, but ultimately wanted to witness the birth of each of the triplets, so i braved potential fainting episodes and made it through without hitting concrete. barely.

good post, my friend... -jco-