September 9, 2006 20:14 | Confession


I had a very strange and in some ways worrisome experience early this morning.

I went out last night; a going away party for a filmmaker friend and then some chilling out at Laika. Nothing extravagant or crazy. I did have 2 or 3 more drinks than I might usually, but I went home feeling fine, even ran a Grand Prix on MarioKart.

At some point during the night, I got up to go to the washroom to pee. That done, I suddenly felt very warm, sensed the possible need to do #2 and then got intensely nauseous. I stood there for a moment, feeling out the situation. No matter how drunk, high or otherwise influenced, I pretty much always am quite aware of myself, able to reason etc.

The nausea throbbed a little and I moved closer to the bowl. (Sorry for the description... I imagine most of us have had this painful experience.)

Then I apparently lose consciousness.

The next thing I know, I am on the floor, half in the hallway, half in the washroom. All the stuff usually stocked on the toilet's tank is on the floor too and the carpets are all out of whack.

I get up slowly. I feel totally fine, better than before even, except for the throbbing in my head. Makes sense as it seems that's what I landed on. There's a gash in my forehead where I impacted, and a small bloodstain on the floor. I have a small scrape on the bridge of my nose and a bigger one on my tummy (which still burns now due to friction with my t-shirt. ;)

I throw some cold water on my face and almost cry at how good it feels. The gash is already semi-dry. How long was I out?! I wash it and pat it with some peroxide. Wash my hands. I sit down on the toilet to collect my thoughts.

I'm naked, I am cold, I am confused and now I am suddenly very aware how alone I am. And then the fear hits me. What the hell just happened? I cry for a few minutes.

I think of the only two people I would want to talk to at this moment, but both are at opposite ends of the planet from me right now. There is precious little anyone can do for me anyways.

I find one of them on IM and explain what happened. Everything's ok, I should take some time off, stress must be it, see a doctor too, you never know, maybe your heart... aack.

Bed time. I go lie down. I feel totally fine as I slowly lower myself into sleep; but cannot help wondering ... what just happened?

Earlier in the evening, before heading out, I watched Kurosawa's Ikiru. This helped nothing of course.


Woah dude! Go to the doctor and have a full health check done. Losing conciousness isn't normal.

You fainted. It can happen randomly and can be preceded by feeling nauseous or out of it, and typically one feels much better afterwards.

"The first symptoms a person feels before fainting are dizziness, a dimming of vision, or brown-out and feeling hot. Moments later, the person's vision turns black and he or she drops to the floor (or slumps if seated in a chair).

Factors that influence fainting are taking in too little food and fluids, low blood pressure, hypoglycemia, physical exercise in excess of the energy reserve of the body, and lack of sleep. Even standing up too quickly or being in too hot a room can cause fainting." (wikipedia)

More specifically:

"Micturition syncope is the name given to the human phenomenon of fainting shortly after or during urination.

Responsible for 2.4 to 8.4 percent of all cases of fainting in adults, it most commonly occurs in males from the ages 30-49."

(wikipedia again)

wow! thanks Kate. :)
how utterly bizzare. hehehee

Ouch. Get well soon!

(flippancy) damn urination. If that's the cause, stop doing it...

Blood pressure when waking up is all over the place - I have had many nosebleeds in the morning when waking up.

You were probably just offline too long, your system couldn't take it ;).

scary ... you should have a chat with christine when we get back (friday)... if you wish.

dude - this happened to me a few years back when I was staying in a hotel in SF. I, like you seem to be doing, dusted myself off and got on with life - until about a week later when I came down with a completely dreadful viral infection that took months to fade. I'm not saying this is the same with you, but ado is right - you have got to get this investigated.

I swear my viral thing came from flying so much - have you been doing any of that lately? ;)

See, for this and many other reasons, you need to quit tom cattin' and get a girlfriend.

Or else hack a wireless ping response system into your corporeal OS so I can write a script to email me when you go down.

Thanks everyone. :)

I love how the medical description of "Micturition syncope" reads like the documentation for hooks and triggers in a Plugin API...

I'll make my way to a doctor for sure in the near future. But I am also just "coming down" from many many months of bearing far too much work-related stress. I have finished with the client who was causing me most of that and am now very much looking forward to doing some great work on GVO, *maybe* taking a quick week to go windsurfing in the Caribbean... and getting out to Asia for the winter.

I feel totally fine, went jogging today and resolved to get back on a fitness kick (which got kicked due to work).


Back to work. We're providing, amongst other things, a web-based IRC client for a talk being given by Ted Turner, about the future of the U.N., hosted by Reuters... and guess who has to set it up... :p