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Sunday, August 12, 2018

Vegan Down!

Note: This occurred Saturday, August 4 and I wrote it in a dehydrated, headache-induced stupor on my iPhone while lying in a darkened room. Still, I wanted to share because it was an interesting experience and I found the situation somewhat humorous, even if it was at my own expense. Enjoy!

Today was supposed to be a special day of shopping with Zane because my baby leaves for college in 16 short days and I’m running out of time to do the obligatory Bed, Bath, & Beyond and Target run for bedding, bins, towels, and the like. But first, I said, let’s stop by the first-ever St. Louis VegFest at the World’s Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. I’ll buy you some yummy vegan food, I said. Do tortilla chips and guacamole count? We’ll meet up with some of my new friends, I said. We sure did and they were lifesavers. We won’t be long, I said. Not so much. We were late. Another story for another time. Parking was at a premium but we scored a great spot after just one roundabout. Good thing I know how to parallel park. 
First stop, we missed STLVegGirl’s last demo but I was able to stop and chat with Caryn for a few minutes. She’s the instructor of my Forks Over Knives class and a great resource. So Zane and I are on the prowl for the promised lunch and I spot the booth for Frida’s. I send Zane off with $20 in search of something pleasing for his palate while I wait for their yummy kale salad, which is part one of my lunch. All the while I’m texting Laurie, my friend I met at the screening of "Eating You Alive" a few months ago. I get my yummy kale salad and get in line for the Bombay Food Junkies food truck, which is in the full-on sun, and Laurie and her husband catch up with me in line and Zane comes back empty-handed. We’re talking and I’m enjoying my kale salad, which I eventually finish, and all the while I’m starting to feel pretty warm. I ask Zane to take that $20 I gave him and to go buy three bottles of water. I’m talking to Laurie and realize I’m feeling ever so odd, like I’m going to pass out (although I’m not sure what that feels like because I’ve never done that before) and I’m trying to will myself to stay alert (because I think I’m badass and can just will myself to not pass out which you will learn I cannot) and my next memory is that I’m slumped over on Laurie. I realize that this isn’t normal, even for me, so I walk about five feet away to a tree and lean up against some tables that are against the tree and, guess what, I pass out again. This time I wake up on the ground. At least I slumped to a seated position somewhat gracefully. At this point, I’ve attracted a crowd. Zane hands me water, which I gladly accept and start drinking. A VegFest volunteer starts talking to me and asking me if I’m okay and I recognize her and ask her if she was at the Full Moon Gathering (FMG) last weekend. Why, yes she was. She works at Seedz Cafe. I know I should have probably been more worried about the fact that I just passed out twice in the course of, well, I’m not sure of how many minutes because I was unconscious, but you see the FMG was awesome and it was so cool to see someone from there even if I was a gibbering idiot slumped on the ground at that very moment. (Shout out to FMG's Savanna and Samantha!). 
But, wait, there’s more. Another VegFest volunteer shows up with a walkie-talkie and she means business. How old am I? 50 DoI have any medical conditions? Other than passing out and almost dying of embarrassment? Am I having chest pains? No, thank goodness. And so on. Okay, the EMTs are on their way. Wait, which one of those questions did I answer incorrectly? 
So now I get up on my own power and walk to the World’s Fair Pavilion and am seated in a chair (some poor guy had to give up his seat for me-hey you gotta pass out to keep your chair) and I get front row seating in front of a big, high-powered fan. By this time, I’m drinking my fourth 16-ounce water bottle. Can you say I was dehydrated? And Zane is holding a cold water bottle on the back of my neck. Son of the year award right there. I’m waiting rather patiently for the EMTs because I don’t want them to arrive. I decided to look at my phone because if I die I don’t want to have any unanswered texts. I check Facebook and there’s a message from my another friend from the FMG, Stan, “are you alive?” Well, maybe not, Stan. It’s been a rough few minutes. I look up and Stan is sitting ten feet away. I fill him in. 
The FMG/VegFest/Seedz (she wears a lot of hats!) girl comes to check on me and I ask her if I’m the first medical emergency of the VegFest and she replies that I am. Stan sees the look in my eyes and knows what I’m thinking. I’m the first medical emergency at the first-ever St. Louis VegFest! That’s like a badge of honor! And this, just a week after finding out that I was the first person to register for the first-ever Full Moon Gathering. Now I’m feeling a little badass again. So I’m waiting for the EMTs thinking I could be dead by now if I were dying, (I suppose they knew I wasn’t dying hence the slow response time) when another VegFest volunteer starts getting loud and clearing the way and telling people to give me room. Woah, calm down. You’re gonna make the sick lady pass out again. I fully expected her to start yelling, “Vegan down!” And then I felt a little guilty because I was worried all the non-vegans would think I was protein deficient and that’s what caused me to pass out; I assure you I am not. I have my food log to prove it. Well, VegFest panicked volunteer cleared the way for the EMTs who arrived. They asked me which hospital I wanted to go to. I said none of them. It wasn’t a lie. They had a stretcher. I pointed to it and told them that I wasn’t getting on that unless it came with a 90-minute massage. They did smile. I was channeling my dad at this point. They took my blood pressure. I had a normal blood pressure but my heartbeat had a distinct reggae rhythm; that may have had something to do with the DJ music set up a few feet away. My blood sugar numbers were normal. They did a quick EKG which was normal. All checked out. I refused the hospital and they refused the massage so we had to part ways. I asked the female EMT what my condition was (heat stroke, by the way) and she said to tell everyone I was pregnant. So there you have it, tell all your friends! But please don’t tell Kurt, because I would have some explaining to do!
I am home in bed nursing a sight headache and drinking water. Zane got me home safely. We will try the college shopping tomorrow but Kurt is taking us because apparently I can’t be trusted to stay upright and not cause a ruckus. Mad props to Zane for water retrieval, hand holding, and general son of the year stuff. Genuine thanks to Laurie and her husband for watching over me during the incident and making sure I was watered when I wilted and that I landed safely and that I got the care I needed. I’ll try not to literally fall on you the next time we meet up. And to Stan goes the Oscar nomination for cinematography of a traumatic event (although I didn’t include ALL of them because you can imagine how unflattering it is to have your picture taken after passing out twice, but I’m grateful for the photographic evidence) and thank you for hanging out with us after "the incident" and enjoying some more water and conversation. And maybe next time we hang out I can actually do something besides drink water and attract a crowd. Oh, and upon re-reading Stan’s earlier message that I thought said: “are you alive?”- it really said, “are you still here?” Maybe I was worse off than I wanted to admit.
So that was my Saturday. Oddly, I still had fun.

One EMT is checking my blood sugar here and the other is finishing up the EKG, both of which were normal. Before beginning a WFPB diet, I am certain I would have been carted off to the hospital, massage or not, in this situation.

I'm telling the EMT that I'm not interested in a trip to the hospital. I knew I was okay, although it did take a few days to feel fully recovered. I saw my doctor the following Monday and while we don't know exactly why this vegan "went down," because my follow-up EKG and full lab workup were all normal, I suspect I was dehydrated. So drink your water! What you can't see in this picture is Zane holding an ice pack to the back of my neck. What a great kid!

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