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Thursday, May 07, 2009

Lessons in Apathy and Kindness

Dear Apathetic Transit-Goers:

Your inability to be conscious of the world around you amazes and frightens me. I get it, it's early in the morning, your tired. But so am I. What happened to our levels of awareness that we don't notice potentially critical situations going on around us? We're so caught up in our iPods, books and newspapers, that we don't notice people anymore.

At 4 months pregnant, I am VERY obviously pregnant. I was raised to give those who needed a a little more help, a seat on the bus. You know, seniors, people with disabilities, pregnant woman.

This morning on the Skytrain, in the span of three stations, I started feeling overly warm and sweaty. When I had gotten on it was very busy and I had already let one train go by because it was so full. Me and my baby bump require more room than most people allow at this time of day. But I was running later than I wanted and had to be at a meeting and print a bunch of documents. So I got on and had to stand.

I don't know if you know this about pregnant woman, but we're not supposed to stand in one position for too long. Why? Because our blood volume is increased so much that if we don't move around a little, it pools away from major organs to our feet.

Now, not only was our train so full I couldn't move anywhere, the heat was on. Bad combo! By the time we got to Broadway Station, I was peeling my jacket off. Halfway to Main Street Station, I was getting dizzy. My vision started going black. I knew I had to sit down before I fell down.

I was standing near the door right beside a row of seats. I leaned over to tap the shoulder of the girl next to me reading her book to ask if I could sit down because I was feeling dizzy. She looked so surprised and then got up to give me her seat. I sat down but I could barely see and my body felt numb. I was swaying around trying to keep myself upright.

We make it to Main Street (two stations short of where I needed to be), I grab my bags and get off the train. As soon as I hit the cold morning air I felt better. I sat down on a bench and tried to wait out the dizziness. Everyone was staring at me, some concerned, but no one said anything.

Another train pulled into the station and all of a sudden a guy walks up to me. I look up and I see our office building maintenance guy S. He asks me if I'm alright and if I need first aid. I was doing okay by that point, and said that I was fine. I told him what happened and he was shocked. He was really nice and stayed with me and made sure that I got a seat on the train (despite some women cutting me to grab the only seat). Since we were going to the same place, he made sure I got there okay. He was the only one who even bothered to see if I was okay.

So just a note to the average person minding your business. If you get a gut feeling that something is not okay with someone, FOLLOW YOUR INSTINCTS! You never know when that could make the difference and help someone.

Sincerely, The Freaked Out Pregnant Woman

I ate right away when I got to work but I was really shaky. After a couple of hours I still wasn't feeling great and would sweat and feel faint if I walked around the office. I called my OB's office but she wasn't there. I talked to her assistant and a couple hours later, after consulting with another Dr in the office, they told me to go home and rest and drink lots of sugary drinks.

I'm feeling better and had a good nap in the afternoon. But this whole thing really scared me! I mean, what if I had actually passed out sitting there on the train? I would have just looked like I was sleeping, so what then?

I have my next OB appointment on Tuesday, so we can discuss any potential issues then. It could be also something silly like low iron. But I'm fine and not too worried about it.

Tomorrow's train ride better be better. If I don't get a seat right away, hormonal protective Mom-mode will kick in and people better beware. Oh, and yes, I will be eating something before I run out the door...


WiseGuy said...

This is pathetic...I am glad that finally somebody was there to help you...this is very scary...I always used to give my seat to old people/disabled/preggos in the local train...

Totally Awful, people don't really understand that their apathy can change somebody's life forever...

Can you rely on a private mode of transport...I know this is a useless suggestion because, if you could, you would... atleast when you are travelling in peak hours, maybe you could? Does your office provide you options? Can you carpool?

This is such an undesirable position...

Kim said...

That's horrible. I don't get people anymore. Even my 6yo niece knows you get out of your seat for pregnant women (elders, disabled, burdened, etc. as well). Assholes. I am very glad to hear you are feeling better.

Marty said...

Damn...I can't believe no one else bothered to help. I am so relieved you are ok.

Another Dreamer said...

That's scary. I'm sorry people are such jerks. Ungh. I'm glad S helped you out.