Things I Don’t Remember

As if I needed it, there was drama over the Memorial Day weekend.

I was at the Jersey Shore (stronger than the storm, bitches!) with my family – well, most of them; Sister 2, BIL 2, Youngest Neph and Shiny New Niece were elsewhere. Anyway, I was at the Jersey Shore, and Sunday night we went out to one of the local establishments – my parents, Sister 1 (BIL 1 was at the house with Twin Nephs), Sister 3, her boyfriend, three of her friends and their boyfriends, and a pair of former neighbors who have been friends of our family for nearly 20 years now. It was a nice night, not hot, not crowded. We were dancing. I had maybe four drinks? In three hours? After dinner. Vodka tonics on ice. Some guy at some point came up and started dancing with me, in which I was not the slightest bit interested, so I humored him for maybe 3/4 of a song.

Somewhere around 10:30, I bought beers for two members of our party and a drink for myself. I delivered the beers. I  took a sip of my drink. And then I rather suddenly realized I needed not to drink it. I felt weird. Sure, inebriated, but not dizzy, not room-spinning, not hot, not nauseous… just weirdly drunk. Instead of sipping my drink, I started sticking my fingers in it, pulling out ice cubes and chomping them. And then I put the drink down on the bar, turned to the bartender and asked him for water. He gave me a cup full, I laid a dollar bill on the bar (because the end of my drinking should not mean the end of a bartender’s tips if he still has to fetch my requests)…

…and that’s the last thing I remember.

Well, the last thing until I came around, sitting with my legs straight out in front of me on the curb outside the bar, with three paramedics in my face and an ambulance behind them, Sister 3 to my right and the rest of our party lined up on the sidewalk behind me.

Apparently, during the few minutes between me laying a dollar bill on the bar and sitting on a curb surrounded by emergency medical personnel, I collapsed.

According to my sisters and the family friends, I went limp and Mr. M had to catch me. He was holding me up with his leg and arms when Sister 1 came over to ask what had happened. She says I never closed my eyes, but I had turned gray and unresponsive. She and Mr. M shared the burden of my body weight while Mrs. M, who is a nurse, grabbed my arm and found me clammy. They tried to get me onto a chair, but I slid off it. The bartender vaulted the bar to try to help. Mr. M and Sister 1 picked me up and carried me out of the bar.

They say I started to come around as soon as they got me outside, but I don’t remember the beginnings of that. They say the medics asked if I had my ID on me and I told them it was in my back pocket. I told them my debit card should be back there, too, but it wasn’t – they found it inside on the bar, which is odd, since the bar only takes cash. (I’ve checked – the card number has not been used by anyone but me.)

What I remember is answering the medics when they asked me my name and how many fingers I was holding up. Then I turned to Sister 3 and said, “What happened?”

She had her hand on the back of my head, stroking my hair, as she answered me. She was very calm. She did a great job for a 23-year-old who had just watched her 36-year-old sister collapse for no real reason.

I was so alert, I could tell the medics exactly how much cash I had in what denominations in my back pocket. When they couldn’t find my pulse in my left arm, I told them to use my right because the veins in my left tend to roll. Given that degree of alertness, they didn’t transport me. BIL 1 had come to get us, and I vaguely remember climbing into the car, though I don’t remember getting out at the house. I stayed awake and talked to my family for about an hour, just to make sure I didn’t have some other weird episode. I felt boozy, but still not dizzy, not nauseous, not room-spinning drunk – none of those awful things you feel when you know you’ve had too much. I drank a ton of water and went to bed. Sister 3, sharing the room with me, woke me up a while later to check on me and have me drink more water. I woke up in the morning with a monster headache, a little dizzy… two cups of coffee and a two-hour nap straightened me out.

Then I was fine. Tired, but fine.

We wondered if I had been drugged. Had the guy who tried to dance with me slipped something into my drink? I never put a drink down – I need something in my hand when I’m out – like a prop, a security blanket, something to do with myself. But I drink slowly. Sister 3’s boyfriend remembers that the guy had tried to “grind” me, and I had told him no and walked away. I don’t remember that at all, though I do remember that I didn’t dance with him long. I think, if I had been drugged, the effects would have lasted longer.

Mrs. M. wonders if it was some sort of freakish medical event that was exacerbated by the drinks. Honestly, I wonder that, too. Someone told me my blood pressure had been 134/60. That’s odd for me; I’m usually around 100/70.  As I went to bed that night, I said a little prayer that if there was something wrong medically, it would be a quick and quiet death in my sleep. Seriously. I said that prayer.

I still haven’t figured it out. I’m waiting for my medical insurance to kick in, and then I’ll go for a physical and let the doctor know about this incident. I’m sure I’ll get a lecture about alcohol, but I’m no more than a moderate drinker on a high-intake day. Who is taking a break for a while.

15 thoughts on “Things I Don’t Remember

  1. I’m glad you’re okay! You know, relatively speaking 😉

    The first thing I thought too was drugs, especially since you still had your eyes open (it’s not like those guys walk out with a girl thrown over their shoulders). But you’re right, it probably would have lasted longer. You know, stress does some super weird stuff to people; it could be related to that.

    • Yeah – I don’t seem like a prime candidate for drugging, since I’m not 22 and falling all over myself, and I was with a group of people who ranged in age from… well, 22.. to 62. It’s possible that all the mental exhaustion might have taken a toll.

      • I had a drink at the bar at the hotel where I was staying and started on another, when I felt sick and just….weird. I had left my drink to go to the bathroom at one point, but there hadn’t been anyone approaching me, so I thought it was fine. I made it up to my room, and was awakened by the phone ringing. It was room service that had been pounding on my door and I hadn’t answered. Apparently, I’d ordered two meals. I went back to sleep and awoke with one of the worst headaches ever. I still remember how fast it hit me, and then how strange it was to remember nothing.

  2. I don’t know if you were reading me when I had a similar episode, passing out on my bike and running into a parked car. The possible catalyst was heat instead of alcohol but it was very puzzling. Muri took me to the ER where they found nothing. I had a complete physical that found nothing. My doctor said that such events are sometimes caused by a brief arhythmia so they did a thorough heart exam. The bottom line is that they never found anything and it never has happened again. Hopefully, you had one of those, whatever those is. “Knowing” you, I can’t imagine he was able to slip a drug in your drink and as you say, that would have lasted longer. You are going through A LOT of change right now … maybe it’s stress. Take care of yourself.

    • Were you dehydrated at the time? It wasn’t hot that night, but the more I think about it, the more I think dehydration may have played a significant role. I usually drink 64 oz of water a day. That day I’d had maybe half that, and in the preceding days I hadn’t had as much as usual, either. And I don’t remember feeling sweaty, which is unusual for me, because if I’m dancing and it’s above, say, 50 degrees, I get sweaty. I hope you’re right and it never happens again – I thought of the arrhythmia possibility as well – I actually do have an irregular heartbeat, but it seems few medical personnel pick it up when they listen because it’s not consistent. And yes… it’s possible that all the “stuff’ in my head is accumulating in a medically significant way, if only for a moment at a time. For fun.

      • Yes, there’s a good chance I was dehydrated. It was really hot and I’m sort of notorious for not drinking as much as I should on the bike. So, that’s a possibility.

  3. Yikes! That is scary. Yeah, I was thinking you got roofied. Maybe it was just a small dose. Enough to affect you, but not totally knock you out. I’m not sure what else it would be, unless it’s some neurological thing. Are you taking any meds? Maybe a reaction with the alcohol even though it wasn’t a high volume? Yeah, I’m in the wrong field for guessing, really. I’m just glad you are ok.

    • Based on the research I’ve done (and by “research” I mean “Googling”), it seems unlikely that it could have been rohypnol or GHB. What it could have been is Ketamine, AKA Special K, aka a horse tranquilizer, depending on the dose. But still, my symptoms don’t classically match any of them. They don’t classically match anything, actually. Which figures. I am supposed to take a daily anti-anxiety medication, yes, but I hadn’t taken it that day.

  4. And now this. I’m sorry it happened, but glad it wasn’t worse. Maybe it was just a catharsis, with your disgust at the grinder being the trigger (and the last straw). Do you feel better now? Hope so!

    Meanwhile, look at the bright side — at least you didn’t wake up in a hotel room with a stripper’s baby and Mike Tyson’s tiger.


    • So I had had it up to *here* with nonsense from men and decided to exhibit my disgust by collapsing with my eyes open. Hmm. Could be.

      I feel pretty much fine now. It took about three days for the fatigue to wear off, but I’m not as young as I used to be, so hangovers (be they involving Bradley Cooper or not) don’t quite wear off the way they used to.

  5. I’m going with drugged. It’s hard to know how they will affect you – the only first-hand knowledge I have is from when my former roommate got roofied (or something’d) when we were out at a bar. Fortunately, it didn’t kick in until we got home (we lived about three blocks from the bar), so she was home and safe when things started to go fuzzy.

    It started with her saying, “Something isn’t right.” And ended with her collapsed on a toilet, losing it from both ends simultaneously. She couldn’t walk so we had to carry her to the couch. The next day she had no real recollection of anything after the bar. And she’d only had two drinks (which, in those days, was nothing).

    When we back-tracked through the night, we realized there was a point when her drink had been sitting unattended on the bar. (In our defense – that was 15 years ago so it wasn’t a common practice to be paranoid about letting your drink out of your sight. Or maybe we were both just naive?)

    Anyway. That gets my vote, although it would be a pretty obtuse person to attempt that when you were clearly out with your family. (Although let’s not give ANY credit to someone who would even think of trying to drug another human.)

    In any event, glad you’re feeling better. When it rains it pours. And this is how novels (or memoirs) get written.

    • Your poor friend. Such an awful experience. I’ve realized in the last day or two that there are parts of the day from before I even had my first drink that I don’t remember. I found photos and videos on my phone that I didn’t remember taking (not illicit, just didn’t remember them). Something was definitely weird.

      Sigh. Damned book seems fated, doesn’t it?

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