June 5, 2009

Thank you, New York

This morning, I got myself packed up and ready to head off to Indiana. I grabbed a banana for breakfast and headed out the door. It was a pretty mild day outside – there was a very light rain (just a few drops), but not even enough to make me bother to get out my umbrella for the ten minute walk to the subway.

I was wearing black pants, a short sleeved button down, and a light spring coat over the top. It seemed appropriate for the weather, and walking to the subway was just a little warm, but I didn’t think twice about it. However, on the platform, I started getting really hot and sweaty, and feeling pretty uncomfortable. I hoped for the train to get there so I could get into an air conditioned, but no such luck. I started to feel dizzy and my vision started fading a little bit, but I’ve had that sometimes happen before and it’s passed after a moment or so. I moved back against the wall of the platform so I wasn’t near the tracks, and tried to lean against the wall to give myself some support. However, a few seconds later, I passed out on the floor.

Although I was on the floor, I wasn’t completely unconscious – I couldn’t really move, but my eyes were open and I was just staring at the subway ceiling. However, what shocked me is that for several minutes, no one came to my assistance. The platform wasn’t crowded where I was, but there were definitely people less than 10 feet away from me, and I was really surprised that I could collapse on the floor and no one came over to see what was wrong. I was well-dressed, had a suitcase with me, and was doing the crossword – all factors that I thought would indicate that I wasn’t some crazy person who likes to lie on the subway floor (ew) but a very normal woman who was on her way to work when something went wrong. A few minutes later, a guy wandered over and inquired if I was all right, but he didn’t seem overly concerned. When I said I had gotten dizzy and passed out, he offered me a hand to get up, but didn’t offer to call a station agent or escort me to a bench – two things I would have immediately done had the situation been reversed.

I think I’m fine now, but it was a really scary situation, and I’m really shocked to find that no one else came to my aid. I’ve always thought that New Yorkers had a bad rep for being rude, because in general I think people here are fairly polite and generous. It makes me very nervous to think something like that could happen and almost no one would help me. I’m kind of afraid to be out on my own now.

I’m not exactly sure why I passed out – I was hot, but it wasn’t that hot to cause something like that. I had just eaten a banana about 30 minutes prior, so my blood sugar was definitely not low, and really, I can’t think of another reason for it. However, I’m not giving up on my planned marathon this weekend. I’ll be in South Bend, Indiana, doing the Sunburst Marathon tomorrow morning. Any readers doing it too? Watch for me on the course – I’ll be the one apparently passed out on the sidelines :-/


16 thoughts on “Thank you, New York”

  1. Unfortunately – welcome to the Big City. Glad that nothing else worse happened to you (places here in Los Angeles served by the trains are bad news!). Whew!

    Hope things go well this weekend. Stay cool and hydrated! It was *hot* there this past week.

  2. I hope you’re ok and that it doesn’t happen again!!!

    I read somewhere that you are least likely to have people come to your help when there are more than a few people around, because people just assume someone ELSE will come to the person’s rescue.

  3. OH NO! That is so scary! I’m glad you’re okay, but seriously, that is RIDICULOUS that nobody tried to help until several minutes had passed! I think New Yorkers aren’t necessarily rude, but they ARE very self-concerned, inward people who tend to build a wall around themselves and ignore others–which probably explains why nobody bothered to check if you were okay. Still, there is NO excuse for that!

    I hope you feel better! Take it easy and rest up!

  4. That’s why I never want to move to the north. If I’d done that here, people would know my entire medical history before they had even come to see if you were okay. We’re very friendly and also very nosy people. My mom moved to DC and says people don’t even talk to her on the elevator. I’m glad you’re okay and hope it was just a fluke. Maybe your iron is low?

  5. If that had happened here you would have had 50 people crawling all over you. (I hope you experienced that “Hoosier Hospitality” while you were here this weekend!)

  6. my response to that guy would have been “WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE YOU STUPID F&%$# I JUST PASSED OUT”

    sorry. I had to say it. How rude of those people to not help you out!!

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