Monday, January 24, 2011

Parenting by Example, Not for the Faint-Hearted

me, right side up, the way a mother belongs

To my friends and family who love me, I am known as a passer-outer. I'm not proud of it. It is, as they say, what it is. I faint when I get scared because I breath-hold or over-breathe and end up with what's known as a vasovagal response. (I know it's wikipedia, but trust me, it's close enough).

I know it's a mind over matter thing, and for a short while in my late teens, I was able to let my mind win out, but little since then, so I've mostly learned to deal with it. I bury my pride and ask to lie down when I have my eyes "touched" by anything that they shouldn't be touched by (IMHO this includes pretty much anything and everything except my own finger/contact lenses), or when I have blood drawn or any major medical work done. The fear isn't in my rational mind, but obviously it's there somewhere. I also get lightheaded if I think my family is in danger or there's a health scare.

I seriously couldn't even *look* at the photos
of real ears with needles sticking out. Oy.
Which leads me to yesterday and my son's appointment with an accupuncturist. And the part where I tried to demonstrate how simple and easy it was to get acupuncture by letting the guy stick needles in my ears first.

It wasn't just the needles, however, it was his lack of gentle delivery when he saw an "issue with your uterus" that I may have wanted to "get checked out."

Son watching. Mind racing to the "C" word, to the specialists I would have to see, to the teary videos I would leave for my children in an effort to say a proper farewell. And, of course, NEEDLES being poked in my EARS.*

Suffice it to say, it wasn't my best parenting moment, but we've learned that my son is very good in the face of an emergency which includes watching his mother turn an inhuman shade of green-white, as her eyes roll back in her head and her normal self disappears from conscious view.

Also suffice it to say, No, he did NOT choose to get acupuncture himself after that.

- gae

*and, yes, everything is fine, as far as I know, with my uterus. Turns out the dude was merely being awkward about asking if perhaps I was pregnant (no!) and/or had my period (bingo -- and kind of impressive that he could tell that from my ear).


  1. I love this story. I know a better version though. ;)

  2. Hilarious/fascinating post.

    I have the same problem, btw.

    Love your son!

  3. you got on a table and let a guy stick a needle in your EAR. you did this to soothe your son's nerves. sounds like great parenting to me.

  4. This is so sweetly heartbreakingly funny!

    Sorry you're lightheaded, thrilled the verdict is good.


  5. You are somewhat of a Super Mom, in my book. I have this same issue, as well. But it happens when I am shocked by pain, ie. stubbing my toe... the acupuncture would've did me in, I'm sure. Glad you're okay ;)

  6. Next time just slap the crap out of the acupuncturist.

  7. OMG. same problem here, Gae. the fainting one, not the uterus one. ;) of course--same. believe it or not, I've had acupuncture and find it really healing. but only if I'm lying down.

  8. This was both disturbing and fascinating! (I have been your good friend for three fricken years and didn't realize you fainted that easily!!) I demand an autobio on you immediately.

    But I DO know well how deeply your heart goes out to those you love. I'm blessed to be counted among them. Or would that be amongst?

    I'm okay about ears. But do not START about belly buttons. I draw the line (and puke) there.


  9. Oh, Gae--too funny. I had someone give me a massage who could tell I had a tilted uterus from my back pain description--wacky what the more holistic providers can tell.

    Glad to hear your son is good in a crisis! (And I've had acupuncture several times--I am a true believer, but probably not for someone with needle-phobia!

  10. I can relate. Though needles don't bother me, I can be a serious hypochondriac and god forbid my wife or one of my daughters sneezes. When that happens, I quickly get it in my head that she's going to die from some rare disease (I know you think I'm exaggerating, but I'm totally not :)

  11. I told you I was looking forward to reading this and you didn't disappoint!

  12. glad to hear there are so many of you in the same boat or at least river. I mean, not glad for you, but less lame for me.

    Thanks for sharing your stories. :)

  13. who wouldn't pass out if someone looked into your ear and saw your uterus