Monday, December 22, 2014

The Case of the Funnybone Faint

Once it happened to me,
I got knocked out through my knee...

It was in elementary school, maybe 4th grade. The teacher gave us a problem, I think a math problem, to solve. Anyway, it was some kind of speed contest, and the teacher instructed us to stand up as soon as we solved the problem.

I was good at this sort of thing, and I'm competitive, so I finished the problem and jumped up very quickly... and banged my knee into the underside of my desk. I got an immediate radiating sensation, like I'd hit my funnybone, except in my knee.

And then... I was waking up. I thought it was morning. I thought I was home. And then I heard my teacher saying: "John Enright, get up off of the floor this instant!"

Yes, she thought I was faking it. However, as Angela Gentile explains it:

"A vasovagal or vasodepressor response is a reflex the body goes through when a certain trigger is present. When the funny bone, or ulnar nerve is struck hard by a pointy object, a vasovagal response can occur. This can also happen when the peroneal nerve (just below the knee) is struck. The body responds by having a large amount of blood pool into the legs, which in effect pulls blood away from the major organs, like the brain and heart. The brain goes unconscious for a short time, until the blood gets pumped back into the brain and heart."

Why did my teacher think I goofing around?
Did she mistake me somehow for a class clown?

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