So last Friday Cabbage and I had the pleasure of participating in one of San Antonio's biggest parades, the Battle of Flowers Parade. It's part of the famous citywide Fiesta event, and the parade route winds through the heart of the city and past the Alamo itself. Very cool.
Cabbage and I were invited to judge the horse entries in the parade, which threatened to make me feel very legit and accomplished. Not really. But it did sound like fun, and promised a change from the daily grind.
That morning we dropped Beep off at the babysitter's as usual for a weekday, and made our way downtown. Parking on the outskirts of the parade route, we walked about 3/4 of a mile to the Alamo, where we met our hosts for a pre-parade luncheon in the courtyard behind the historic building.
The Alamo is one of my favorite places in San Antonio. People have mixed reactions about it, and some remark it's "so small" or "not what I expected" but I love its crudeness juxtaposed with the high-rise buildings around it and the nearly palpable sense of history.
Plus there are those lovely courtyards surrounding it on three sides.
We checked in with the parade organizers, mingled and talked with our hosts and other judges, and generally enjoyed ourselves and our sense of civic involvement. Suddenly, though, I started to feel hot. Like... sweaty hot. I ignored it and hoped it would pass, and I hoped noone would notice I'd suddenly become a melty mess while everyone else seemed cool and comfy.
Then things got a little more desperate as I started to feel lightheaded. I wished for an easy way to excuse myself, but within a minute or two I became downright dizzy. I turned to Cabbage and said "I don't feel good." That was about all I could get out, and fortunately he clued in and asked me if I needed to sit down. I nodded, and he tried to help me to the nearest chair. Suddenly, I could barely walk, was stumbling at best, and although I could hear Cabbage, I couldn't even respond to his questions. I couldn't follow Cabbage's instructions to sit down, either, but after a minute he got me into a chair and people gathered around
For the first time in my life I had very nearly fainted. At a luncheon. With tons of people around. For no real reason. Fabulous.
As soon as I was able to talk again, I apologized and said "I'm so embarrassed. I'm five months pregnant, that must be it." (and may I add, "so embarrassed" doesn't even cover it. Mortified? Crawling under a rock? Ridiculously conspicuous?)
Several doctors and medical professionals came by to check on me, and within a short time I felt like myself again. I sat and ate a little lunch, drank plenty, and tried to not cringe at the scene I'd caused. Everyone was very kind and concerned and urged me to go home and rest, but I knew we had a couple of hours until the parade so I asked to just stay and see how I felt.
True to my usual hale and hearty style, I was soon fine and able to safely stay and be part of everything. Which was great because Yay! We love a parade!
The view from the judges' stand across the street from the Alamo
Loved these bright orange Converses as part of this band's uniform.
LOTS of parade royalty- the court members wear these elaborate gowns... and cowboy boots! Hey, man. it's Texas.
And some really great horses in the parade, like this Budweiser entry. I don't have photos of the others, though, because we were busy being very responsible-like and marking score sheets.
After the parade was over, Cabbage and I took a quick spin around the front of the Alamo to enjoy the grounds and all the flowers the parade entrants left as they passed in front of the shrine. It's customary for the parade participants to leave a bouquet, and the military floats stopped and saluted in a touching tribute to those who lost their lives here.
I had an appointment with my doctor yesterday for a routine baby check-up, and we discussed the fainting episode. I'd been eating and drinking, it wasn't overly hot, etc etc, so there really wasn't an easy culprit to blame. She explained, though, that the Vagus nerve, which helps control blood flow, can sometimes get a bit wonky (my technical term) during pregnancy and send some random crazy-ass signals to drop blood pressure suddenly. Once that happens, it can lead to being dizzy or even fainting.
In summary: the Vagus nerve is the devil.
So even though I'd been taking care of myself, my body suddenly turned into its own worst enemy and EVEN THOUGH nothing like that has ever happened to me before.. and hopefully won't again... I almost didn't remember the Alamo. But they'll remember me.