Why I Couldn't Stop Laughing When I Passed Out in My Kitchen

As I sit in my bed in my usual spot surrounded by my comforts of water, meds, and my laptop, I think back to my life before this illness. I loved to be outside, I loved my job, and spending time with my family and animals. I was an adrenaline junkie and would try just about anything once. I loved to laugh and go out with my friends and see new things.

Then one day it all changed. Walking into work I felt dizzy, out of breath and suddenly I fell over. This ended up being a severe tachycardic episode. Luckily my work just happens to be a doctor’s office. This episode eventually led to my diagnosis of dysautonomia. I convinced myself that I could fight through my symptoms. I thought I could get through anything. Mind over matter. I didn’t want anything in my life to change. I did everything the same and tried to ignore my symptoms. Then I think back to when it all hit me. That I had a incurable chronic illness. That this was my life. My new norm.

I was home on my lunch break and talking to my mom when I suddenly passed out on my kitchen floor. All my poor mother heard was “I feel a little dizzy,” a loud thump from my body hitting the floor and my phone crashing on the linoleum. I wake up to hear pounding on the door and suddenly I’m surrounded by a policeman and three EMTs. I slowly inch my body off the floor to lean against my kitchen cabinet as they begin to ask questions about what happened. And as I try to explain my condition and that this was normal I couldn’t help but laugh.

Here I am, a healthy-looking 31-year-old woman, passed out on her kitchen floor. And this is just another day for me. Most people would get rushed to the ER to be evaluated by a doctor. Not me. This is just something that happens and will continue to happen. My new norm. And I couldn’t stop laughing. After I stopped laughing I told the team thank you and that I will be OK.

My husband walks in and tells the EMTs that this is normal for me and that he will take care of me from here. As they walk out, my husband and I look at each other and couldn’t help but laugh. To explain to people that passing out is normal just sounded insane to us, but that’s our life. We realized in that moment that sometimes you just have to laugh.

When life throws you a curve ball like a chronic illness, you just have accept it and try to smile your way through it. Don’t get me wrong, there are hard days. Days I’m curled up in a ball in bed all day crying from the pain.

But on my good days or sometimes just a few good hours, I try to get out, spend time with my family and laugh. Take those good days and make the most of them. Sometimes for me it’s spur of the moment because I never know when my good days are going to be. My advice is to take advantage of those moments, even if it’s just to go see a comedy or playing a game of cards with friends. It can help you get through those bad days. Laughter truly is the best medicine.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo by SIphotography

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Dysautonomia

Young woman in college.

6 Tips for Your First Year of College With a Chronic Illness

I went to the school clinic a while back to get something for an ear infection. The nurse asked me the usual questions: “Do you drink?” No. “Do you smoke?” No. “Do you do drugs including marijuana?” No. “Are you sexually active?” No. She was surprised because without a parent there, there would be no [...]
Young woman sitting on a living room couch, covered with a blanket, holding her head, having a splitting headache and pain

20 People Describe What It Really Feels Like to Live With Dysautonomia

Dysautonomia is a difficult condition to explain to friends and family, especially since symptoms can vary from condition to condition. You simply “don’t get it until you get it.” Dysautonomia Support Network asked our members, “What does it feel like living with dysautonomia?” in the hopes of generating responses that were transparent, honest, and helpful [...]
two women with arms around each other on bench

25 Ways to Be a Good Friend to Someone With Dysautonomia

Having a chronic illness is different than having the flu or a broken bone.  Some days are better than others, with no indication as to how long “good days” will last. What can help the most is an understanding friend. Dysautonomia Support Network asked our members for ways they wanted their friends to reach out [...]
female patient talking to female doctor in the exam room

12 Suggestions for Advocating for Yourself as a Patient

When living with chronic medical conditions, one must advocate for their own health – actually, their own life. In my case I have several conditions which are rare or more difficult to diagnose and challenge doctors’ knowledge of medicine. These diagnosis include dysautonomia, Sjögren’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and mitochondria dysfunction. What these conditions have  in common [...]