Thursday, November 11, 2010


I just wrote and erased a few paragraphs of explanation about how November is the longest month. And then I realized that writing them was enough and I don't need to share them, now that the thoughts are out of my head. However, the conclusion was that writing is the best way to get through the November Dark'n'Stormies, so write I shall! I promise quantity over quality in the coming weeks. At least you know what you're getting into now.

When I hear the word "swoon," I think of a world before color. I imagine a blonde woman with the back of her hand to her forehead being caught by a man in a suit whose speech is characterized by an excess of clichés and adverbs.

I do not imagine holding a towel to a kid's bloody nose. But somehow, it's be best word I've got to explain the situation. I don't pass out. I don't faint. I simply get a head rush and crumple to the floor, falling--sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. I'm mostly coherent, though not quite in control of my own body. Sometimes it's my initial response to seeing blood but sometimes it's after I've assessed the situation.

And I have no idea where this came from.

I am not consciously bothered by blood. I've never been one for gore but blood doesn't freak me out. I used to get blood taken a lot and I never had any problem seeing a vial fill with my own blood. I would always feel faint afterwards, which I attributed to my having lost blood. Completely logical! I took an intense course in first aid during my senior year of university and had no problem learning about the gruesome stuff. A woman getting mauled by a bear while delivering her child through emergency C-section preformed with car keys? No problem!

So why is it that instead of finding gauze for my girlfriend's nosebleed this weekend, I found myself slumped on the bathroom floor unable to feel my own limbs? I was so embarrassed and assumed that this was a normal response that had gone a little haywire. I mean, someone I care about was bleeding excessively and there didn't seem to be a logical cause. It makes sense to be worried. Maybe I hadn't eaten enough that day. Maybe I had low iron. I wondered if this was just going to be my response to seeing blood from now on--that I hadn't really seen a lot for a while that wasn't my own. Maybe I felt so faint when I cut my finger just because of the sight of my own blood. But then, I figured that as I don't see blood a lot, this isn't something I have to really think about.

Which brings us to yesterday. Child trips, falls, gets a bloody lip. I pick the child up, inspect his mouth to make sure he didn't bite off his tongue or anything. I determine that the blood is just coming from his lip which isn't cut very badly. And then I fall to the ground. Slowly and only to my knees. Suddenly, I'm grateful that the kids never put away the foam blocks and that it's not such a long journey for me to get to the floor. Thank goodness I'm not any taller! After all of this, I ate some chocolate and tried to steady myself. I went home and did some internet research on it and apparently this is a phobia. It may be purely biological, some innate sense of self-preservation that makes one play opossum in battle. I felt slightly reassured by the knowledge that I'm not just freaking out--my body is doing this. Again, I thought, it's not such a big deal because people don't bleed around me that often.

I should probably stop saying that to myself. Today, at nap time, one of my kids called for a tissue so I walked toward him and saw blood dripping out of his nose. I was down. Quickly, this time, without even time to assess the situation. His cries brought me back soon enough and I took him to another teacher. Focusing on the other kids helped. I went back and read to the children still trying to sleep. I got some candy again, which seems to help. But, I did not reassure myself that people don't bleed around me all that often. Instead, I am making a request that people please stop bleeding around me so often. And also, carrying candy and a dark colored (blood hiding) bandana with me at all times.

1 comment:

  1. a wonderful blog. I'm a regular reader and I think your writing is beautiful. Keep it up! hope november doesn't go too slow for you this year.

    You might be interested in my articles and posts on my blog, feel free to check them out :)

    with love from England