My Poor Nerves

1. The title of this post comes from Pride and Prejudice. The mom is always going on and on about her poor nerves and how no one ever thinks about them. They’re always stressing her out, and she’s always having to lie down or put her feet up or have smelling salts administered to her or something. That’s how I feel right now.

2. I always tell my students that although class starts at 9:00, my brain doesn’t turn on until about 10:30. That’s why they often do a lot of work that doesn’t involve me first thing – writing, vocabulary exercises, reading, etc.

By 10:30 this morning, I’d already had to turn a student away who was not eligible to come to class. He missed the first day, see, and because of that, he has to wait for the next registration day to come back. Now the next registration day is next Friday, so he doesn’t have to wait that long, but he basically threw a hissy fit and said that if he couldn’t stay today, he just wouldn’t come back at all. I think he was trying to call my bluff. Only I wasn’t bluffing. We’ll see if he shows up next Friday.

Then, still before 10:30, another student fainted in class, and we had to lower her to the floor, revive her, call her husband to come get her, walk her downstairs, and make sure she didn’t fall over again. It’s kind of hard to decide what to do in situations like that. How serious is it? Does fainting require a 911 call? If an ambulance comes to get her and take her to the emergency room, will she be able to pay for that? She said she’d been sick all week with the flu, and I think she just wasn’t well enough to come to class yet, but she felt bad about missing the whole first week, so she came even though she wasn’t ready. And then she fainted.

So we got her to the floor and the other students raised her feet and fanned her while I ran upstairs to get her husband’s number from her emergency contact form. I called him, he said he’d be right there, I got her some water and wet a paper towel for her face, she sat up to drink a little bit, looked a little better, and then fainted again.

Eventually, when she seemed to be able to stay awake and wanted to try and get up, we got her downstairs to wait for her husband. He came and got her, and we went back to class.

Once again, all before 10:30.

Should we have called 911? I still don’t think so. You just never know what people who are unconscious would want you to do. Can they afford an ambulance ride and emergency room care? I don’t know. How would a Muslim woman who covers her head feel about waking up to strange men taking off her head scarf to make her feel less constricted or worse, unbuttoning her shirt to listen to her heart/lungs? How would her husband feel about that? Especially if it wasn’t that serious. She didn’t hit her head, she wasn’t bleeding or throwing up, nothing was broken. She just fainted. Sick people faint sometimes. It’s happened to me, and I didn’t go to the hospital.

But of course now that it’s over, I’m analyzing it all and hoping I did everything right. I think I did. And I was surprisingly calm the whole time. But just for good measure, if y’all ever faint when I’m around, what would you like me to do about it? Do you want to go to the hospital? Do you want me to call 911? I don’t have any smelling salts. Perhaps I should invest?

Author: beth

I'm told that I'm cleverly stupid, and that's why people are friends with me. And here I thought it was because I was so dang cute...

2 thoughts on “My Poor Nerves”

  1. Is there a policy where you work that defines what to do? I’d check there first. Also, if you call an ambulance and she wakes up, she can decline to be treated (that happened at our church recently). So it’s kind of a no harm, no foul, assuming she (or whoever) is assertive enough to decline treatment.
    As for me – I have a fainting condition, so I prefer that no one would call 911 – I just need a ride home. 🙂

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