I think to some degree, most mothers think their body is in alignment with their million+ checklists. I certainly did.
After a week of fitful sleep due to a crying toddler (probably 4 hours a night), incessant caffeine consumption, dehydration, a full time job, my weekend master’s program and a prickly sinus infection, I was standing in line at the grocery store last Thursday. As the cashier bagged my groceries, I searched my wallet for my credit card. In that moment, my vision started to narrow. I saw blotches of black and the lighting began to fade. I felt woozy, dizzy and extremely lightheaded.
“Ma’am, are you alright?” I heard the attendant ask.
I was confused. I handed him my credit card instead of swiping it on the card reader.
“Ma’am? Do you need to sit down?”
I briefly looked up and nodded. I remember making a beeline to the wall, probably to sit down, stumbling and then crashing into the wall. My knee hit the wall, I saw a flicker of black as if the lights went off and then regained consciousness as my butt hit the tile floor.
I remember hearing the store go up in a mini uproar.
“She’s diabetic! Get her some Gatorade!”
“Look for a medical bracelet!”
“Call 911. She looks like she had a seizure!”
“I just called 911.”
I AM calling 911.”
Two cashiers swarmed, asking if I was pregnant, one asking if they could call someone. I feebly handed my cell phone to an attendant and said, “Call home.” I was unable to sit in the chair they provided.
My dad answered and the attendant tried to explain the situation. She handed the cell phone to me (which was on it’s last life) and I heard more frantic questions on the line.
“Where am I?” I asked the cashier. I knew it was a grocery store but I couldn’t articulate the name.
In a state of complete confusion, I couldn’t remember which street the grocery chain was located, so I gave the phone back to the cashier.
Before I knew it, fire fighters, EMTs and a police officer were all loading me onto a gurney asking similar questions. Drugs? No! Alcohol? No! Pregnancy? NO! Medical issues? Not that I know of.
The lovely EMTs ushered me into the ambulance, took my glucose levels (normal), vitals (rapid pulse), and hooked me up to an IV. We took a short ride to the hospital where I answered the same questions and paid my fee.
It took $125 and a few tests to tell me what I already knew: I was over taxed, exhausted, dehydrated and in need of a BREAK.
I’m okay now. I was able to complete my final during the weekend with an A+ and start work today. But I learned an invaluable lesson: Mommy exhaustion is real.
To all the single working mothers or mothers in general, take care of yourself first and foremost…
A big thanks to all emergency responders, doctors and nurses out there- you guys are true angels.