I pass out easily.
Well, I used to pass out easily . . . as I have dealt with delivering babies and the annoying IV that came with that (the one that I told Coach to make the nurses remove), kids' stitches, my stitches, wood-chip specks floating around in kids' eyeballs, etc. I have adapted, but I am not 100% cured as I did have an issue when giving blood a few years back. I have typically been able to rise to gross duties dictated by motherhood. Still, there are some chores I would rather skip.
To be clear, vasovagal syndrome is a real thing. There is a vein that constricts in people like me when we get grossed out, and causes the squeamish person to faint. I was unaware that my issue had a name until I fainted during a doctor appointment when I was pregnant with Laddie. The doc was not touching me. No needles. He simply described to me what it meant to be RH negative. "Your blood cells can attack the baby's blood . . . " My eyes rolled back, I laid back on the table and heard him call out the door: "Hey nurse, get me some orange juice. We have a vasovagal in here."
When I recovered from my embarrassment, I grilled the doc about this vaso thing. I felt elated to learn that there was a reason for my passing out track record. I was NOT a freak . . . well, depends on who you talk to.
As a teenager, it took me 4 years to get contact lenses, (as far as I can tell, I have no male readers, but if you're out there - you might prefer to skip this post) and I was unable to handle using a tampon until after Lad was born. I know, I know - talk about not being familiar with your own body.
Well intentioned friends: Use a mirror.
Me: Not helpful.
Years later as I prepared for childbirth, my mom told me she found the mirror helpful during delivery. Again, no. Mirrors belong on the wall for FACES.
Fast forward to our trip to Kansas City over the weekend to visit cousins. Cousins with a pool. You get where this is going?
The morning we were leaving, Curly called my cell. I was in a workout class. "I got my period!" This was not the first time, maybe the 4th - but she is still so young. 12! It's a cruel world.
I stopped at the drug store on my way home from my class. A young woman walked in at the same time, headed to the same isle. Of course we were wearing masks, but I sideways glanced thinking 'Maybe I should ask her which one to get?' Then I realized that I knew her - she went to my kids' high school, swam on their summer swim team back in the day.
Me: Oh, hi! Hey, what should I get? Isn't there like a teen product nowadays? Poor Curly, she's so young.
College girl: Oh, here. I started with these. These are the smallest.
I bought the box she suggested and a mix box of 'light days' and regular.' Covering all bases.
I urged Curly to try one out when I got home, so that she didn't feel the pressure of trying at the cousins' house with the pool beckoning. We first watched a you tube video. Her attempt was not successful.
Then she and I tried again in a nice spacious bathroom in KC while everyone was off doing other things. First we watched 11 million you tube videos. I think my favorite was 'Nurse so and so at your cervix.' Cute.
Anyway, no pressure - unlike a few years ago when Mini tried and her brothers were hollering for her to get out of the ONlY bathroom in our hotel room, so we could head to the beach.
Anyway, Curly came out of the bathroom in KC and wondered "IS THIS IT? DID I DO IT?"
Well, I started to celebrate and she stopped me mid-cheer, "I'm not sure it is right."
I tried to reassure her. "The string is hanging down, you're good."
Then she slowly, awkwardly turned around while maintaining a very stiff posture, to reveal that the tampon was wedged between her butt cheeks. Not exactly going to be of much service there.
Well, if Curly was my velcro-child before, then we are now even CLOSER. Thank goodness, I birthed these children with thick skin. There was no holding back the outburst of laughter. I fell to the floor. Pounded the floor with my fist. Tried to crawl away, as if I might escape certain death by laughter. Tears flowed. Curly laughed at me laughing at her. It was just a beautiful mother-daughter moment, not exactly the kind they make Hallmark cards about, but we tend to do things a little different from most.
So Curly was close on the next attempt, but didn't feel quite right and abandoned ship. The weather in KC was not exactly great pool weather, so the kids hung out in the yard mostly. A bit later, I saw Mini and Meggie, the cousin that we brought with us from Chicago who is a year younger than Mini, pushing Curly around on a raft. Curly was in a suit with boy short bottoms and happy to be the Cleopatra of the pool.
Then Lad said something about her being a dope for not swimming, and Reg dumped the raft upside down. Brothers are brainless and irritating, and make me wonder WHAT DID COACH COVER WHEN HE GAVE THEM THE TALK? Curly hopped out of the pool, wrapped herself in a towel and growled at them.
The next morning, I was out for my walk. Mini called.
Mini: Now I got my period.
Me: Oh, shit. Well, you won't have it next week (which is when we anticipated it arriving) when we go to the beach in Michigan. Maybe I will have to conduct a joint class and see if you and Curly can figure out the tampon thing.
*So Mini, aptly named Mini because she is my Mini-me, has vasovagal and has had a vasovagal convulsion before, which was scary - apparently she wanted to one up me. So I was less confident she could tackle the task. She has not tried since the hotel disaster a few years ago.*
Mini: Um, Curly already talked me through it. Like, she knew exactly what to do. Meggie was in the bedroom cheering me on while Curly was in the bathroom with me. But I got it in, I think, but I started to dry-heave and I was sweating a ton, and I thought I was going to pass out. Curly started yelling at me to take it out, so I took it out.
Me: Oh my gosh. Well, I will be home in a bit and we can try again, (Mini moaned) or not.
Mini: Can you EVEN believe that Curly taught me how to do it and she hasn't even done it yet?
Me: (giggling) Well she did watch 11 million you tube videos.
After my walk, Mini invited me to join her upstairs. Curly followed. Meggie sat in the adjoining jack and jill bedroom. I coached from around the corner of the bathroom in the other bedroom. Curly was right in there directing traffic. And Mini managed. Hooray!
There was much celebrating, until Curly realized she was now a potentially great future health teacher but would be missing out on the pool fun.
Folks, Curly tackled the task next with Mini's play by play encouragement. And I was able to keep my social distance. Afterward, we all enjoyed a little girl-power celebration. Meggie has no sisters, but now she has the sister experience and I believe her status has been raised from cousin to almost-sister.
So how's that for a memory making road trip? Anyone care to share an encounter where you almost passed out, when you hated being a girl, or when you had some awesome girl power bonding?