Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why I Should Drink Water

This morning was one of those mornings. The kind where I found that my siblings had moved my coffee, and I couldn't find it. The kind where my 8-year-old brother dropped raw eggs on the floor and didn't want to clean them up. The kind where I was wearing extremely mis-matched socks and didn't care anymore. The kind where I had a major homework project done and had been up later than I'd wanted to be.

I hurried out the door with chai instead of coffee (as the coffee was lost). I got to British Literature class, and we had a devo. Dr. W had promised we'd take a “field trip” to his office this morning, as we were talking about Bible translation and he had some things he wanted to show us. We all crowded into his office – 12 of us, in a rather small room. One whole wall was covered with framed pages from all sorts of Bible translations, ranging back to the 1500s – one page was hand written because it was copied before the printing press was invented. He talked to us about each one and went into its history. I was paying close attention, because it was interesting.

It got very, very warm in the office. The air conditioner hasn't been working right on that side of the hallway apparently, and the bodies were closely packed. I started spacing out, and couldn't focus on what Dr. W was saying. I remember thinking about The Last Night by Skillet, as I often do, and my thoughts got stuck in a circle, words repeating themselves and refusing to come into focus. I felt like I needed a drink. I figured we'd be back in the classroom soon enough, and I could get a drink then and sit down. Then it felt like something was shutting off in my brain, like I had been locked away in a glass room. It was the weirdest feeling in the world.

Images flashed in front of my eyes – images of friends, of family, of a Skillet concert, a circus. It didn't make sense, and I was confused. Then I saw a face I seemed to recognize but couldn't place, a guy with blond hair.

“Hey, are you alright?” he asked.

Then I recognized him as RJ, the guy who sits beside me in Brit. Lit. Why was he here? Wasn't I at home? Or was I in the classroom? And why was I on the ground? Was this a dream? I blinked, but the situation didn't go away.

“Yeah, I'm alright,” I said, giving the typical answer and feeling somewhat confused.

“Hurry, lay her out on the floor. We need to get her feet elevated, and I'll put her head in my lap,” Ellie was saying, a sweet girl who sits on the other side of the room from me.

Dr. W was handing Ellie something. I saw my friend M, who's in the class with me, glancing at me and walking away. I was so confused. I was on the ground, and RJ brought in a damp paper towel that they put on my forehead.

It finally processed that I'd passed out, there in my professor's office. Dr. M, a Bible teacher who I respect and admire (but had never met in person before), was there telling them to bring me to the hallway where it was cooler. I think I walked, but then they had me lie down again. The secretary was there. She asked if I wanted her to call my father (who, for those of you who don't know, works at my University). I said I was pretty sure he was doing a set-up in this same building. By this point I was thinking clearly. Ellie was fanning me, but all my other classmates were back in the classroom with Dr. W. They were saying that I was starting to regain color, and that I'd been white as a sheet a moment before.

The head of security came in before too long. He took my pulse and asked me a few questions. He asked what we'd been doing, and I explained, and he and Dr. M both agreed that maybe I passed out from sheer boredom, but told me not to tell Dr. W they said that. I laughed. It was a really weird way to be introduced to some of these people, but every time I tried to apologize for causing trouble they told me not to.

After a while lying down, they let me sit up, and then even sit in a chair. There was a long debate on whether or not to call EMS in. I decided now would be a bad time to mention that I had a deathly fear of all things medical, as it really wasn't my call to make. They eventually decided not to. The head of security said he was guessing that it was just heat, not enough to drink, standing for a long time, and so on. I'm guessing it also had something to do with having too little sleep. The head of security offered to drive me home, as I wasn't supposed to walk. Ellie brought me my stuff from the classroom. She was incredibly sweet – I'd never even talked to her before, and she went way out of her way to help me. She told me to e-mail her if I needed a ride to class tomorrow morning. My father walked with me out to the security truck. I was driven home, and left with very strict instructions to rest for the rest of the morning and not to walk anywhere in the heat. I was told to drink and to stay cool.

I think at this point my greatest fear is that I knocked something over or broke something in my professor's office when I fell – I was too disoriented when I first came out of it to have any idea what I'd hit. I apparently banged my elbow (it's a little scraped up), but they say I didn't hit my head. Overall, I'm just glad I was allowed to go home without any more trouble, and I'm so incredibly grateful to everyone for being so nice and so helpful. Nothing like that has ever happened to me before, and I pray it never will again, so it was really just... weird.

I'm taking one very important lesson away from this: it's important to actually do things like drink water and sleep. So often I don't take care of myself because I feel it doesn't matter, it's a waste of time and energy, and I'm not worth it. I'm understanding now that actually, when I do stupid things (like not drinking water and not sleeping or eating enough), it's causing those around me trouble in the long run. Not taking the few extra seconds to make sure you're functioning right is actually self centered. I'll have to remember that next time I'm tempted to skip meals or to stay up way too late.

The biggest plus of the whole experience? Going home from class an hour early and not being allowed to go into work. I have my midterm tomorrow and a huge project to finish by Friday, and now I have time to do it at home as well as to relax. In a sense, this is a blessing. I'm so much less stressed now than I was.

- Elraen -


Liz said...

*hugs* you forgot to add the other blessing: you will never do that again ;)

Love ya girl!! ♥

Liss said...

*echoes Liz on the never again* *adds an or else in there for good measure*
*huggles tightly* I'm glad you're okay, sis. Please do drink more water and sleep more... pretty please?