I have a weird reaction to certain types of pain. There’s a sudden rush of adrenaline, then my blood pressure plunges, and then I faint. In particular, there’s a certain spot on my kneecap that seems to be linked directly to this reaction… I’ve passed out several times in my life by clobbering that spot.
It’s not much of an issue, since there’s a good wave of dizziness warning me it’s coming and so I can put my head down, ride it out, and then get on with life.
So today I was happily ensconced at the counter at this little noodle shop in Berkeley, reading a local paper and watching passers-by while I slurped my noodles. And I shifted my position and WHAM, my knee impacted the counter support. I felt the pain, thought “uh, oh”, and put my head down on the counter to try to avoid further problems.
Except that I was in a restaurant. Alone. Surrounded by earnest, caring college students who’d never seen someone suddenly drop her chopsticks, push her plate to the side, and quietly faint for about 30 seconds. So I opened my eyes to find one earnestly offering to call 911 while another fetched the restaurant owner. I was offered a cold towel for my face and a glass of water and (this one amused me) a fresh pair of chopsticks…
I managed to talk them out of calling an ambulance and left as soon as I could soothe their fears but now, hours later, I’m still mortified.
Maybe I should start wearing knee pads or something.
And I find I’m rather put off by the idea of noodles, now.