And after I gave blood, I passed out. In the middle of Toronto's Manulife Centre. And I was unconcious for several minutes. And when I came to, I was sweating and my lips were blue and Nathan was terrified.
This kind of thing happens sometimes. Not to me, but to other people. In this case, it was entirely my own fault. I'm a regular blood donor, but I'm also a bit of a doofus, and instead of following the proper guidelines and eating a hearty breakfast and drinking plenty of water before hand, I was very cavilier about the process and didn't remember to eat at all. So I have no one to blame for the whole "oh, I'm unconscious" thing but myself.
Why blog about it? Well, because it was interesting. Having never experienced a true vasovagal response, the whole thing was facinating. (I was also lucky enough to have had the presence of mind to sit down, which meant I didn't smash face-first into the marble floor, which would have yielded a different -- and not at all pleasant -- experience entirely.
As it was, I was seated, people were around to take care of me, and once it passed, I felt better. I guess that's why I feel able to appreciate how surreal and strange it is to lose consciousness.
So...what's it's like? I've been thinking about that ever since it happened, trying to come up with a good way to describe it. I can't.
You just... go. You're just gone.
Wikipedia (everyone's favourite source, I know) says that what people experience just before passing out in this way is often termed an "almost undescribable weak and tired feeling resulting from a lack of oxygen to the brain due to a sudden drop in blood pressure. Tabor's describes this as the 'feeling of impending death'...."
The feeling of impending death. I'm not sure what to make of such a description, because, how could anyone know, really, what it's like to die? If you come back, it doesn't count. But if by chance the description is valid, I'd say that we, as humans, are pretty lucky.
Maybe to go is to go gently. And maybe it's not bad at all.
* Flow image by Ramzi Hashisho from Stock Xchng.