One Time at Science Fair

Tuesday, April 16th 2019


The kids at a Cambridge Science Fair event at M.I.T.


I am out performing shows again when Daddy texts me from MIT.  He and the kids have found their way to another Science Fair event.  Awesome!

Then I get this:



In that instant I become a customer of the very place I work.  Holy shit.


I’m thinking she had an episode of syncope (fainting spell) just like her mom’s had so many times.

But then I get more details. It started with her head feeling wonky -“floaty, like a balloon”- progressing to a headache severe enough to cause her to cry. Daddy swoops her up into his arms where her body suddenly feels strange and her TEETH sink into his NECK.


He starts yelling and flailing trying to pull her off his neck. Her teeth finally release and her body collapses to the floor where she lay unconscious. My poor husband pleads for someone to call an ambulance, and one comes.


Things are already calm when I arrive the Emergency Department. (Gavin even got to ride up front and help operate the siren!)


DaddyLove’s abrasion is pretty bad but doesn’t compare to the fright he had.

My first reflex was of course to send a mayday message to my hospital clown team mates who were on rounds that day. Their shift was just ending but that didn’t stop Dr. Gonzo (my clown brother Robb Preskins) from showing up and performing a downright *masterful* plain-clothes visit in no time flat. He brought gifts, made us laugh, broke the tension, made me instantly feel better and by his very presence elevated ClaraJane’s status to V.I.P.

I didn’t get a shot of Dr Gonzo but here is us afterwards, making memories!?!

Together forever no matter the weather. (Nice face mom.)

Sinus rhythm normal; neurologically intact; vitals normal and stable (except when she practiced hyperventilating on purpose to manipulate her 02-sat readings, lol.)

In conclusion this was *not* a seizure -even with that crazy teeth biting action- and was just plain ol’ benign syncope.

Froyo with gummy bears, a comfort unicorn from Dr. Gonzo (for mommy, lol), a sticker activity puzzle, and some QT with the World’s Best Brother.

Snuggling with mom, snuggling with dad, checking out the giant fish tank with brother, and getting a get well gift from him back at home.

Fortunately I have lots of experience to share with her and around managing Ye Olde Benign Syncope. She even practiced lying down pre-emptively the moment she felt weak on the way home. (That’s literally all it takes to avoid losing consciousness, *if* you recognize the warning signs in time.)

She was even cleared to fly cross country to see Grandpa the next day, as we are doing presently. the first entry in our travel journals already complete. In her brother’s words:


“So, it’s that week where all the science events happen. My sister, my dad & I were at one of those events and all of a sudden I hear dad yell ‘CLARAJANE! What’re you doing?’ I look up and see CJ hanging off dad’s neck. When I see him push her off him but then she goes completely LIMP and she falls to the floor. Dad picks her up and says, ‘This is a medical emergency. Someone call 911.” Skip ahead maybe 5 mins and I’m in shotgun of an ambulance with CJ & my dad in the back. We get to the hospital and it turns out she had syncopy (fainting).”


And in her own words:


“I fainted yesterday and I rode an ambulins. It was fun! And I went to the hospitul. We wachtded a movie it was the Jungel Book. the date I fainted was 4-16-19. It was a very stresfull exparyins. But overall it was fun!”

                                        facepalm emoji

Bullet dodged. She was even cleared to fly out to visit Grandpa in California as planned the very next day.  And we even got to bring their DIY spectrometers home from the Science Fair, as seen here from the inside.


Life in full spectrum.


Next up: ClaraJane’s booklet on How to Not Faint.

About circuskitchen

performing artist, mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece... just a regular extraordinary person
This entry was posted in childhood, comedy, evidence they get along, faith, family, health, Hospital Clowning, Laughter League, learning, love, mental health, parenthood, parenting, patience, siblings, work, work-life balance and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to One Time at Science Fair

  1. Bubble Wow says:

    O.M.G. So glad not a seizure! Chip off the (figurativity) old block. How’s Dada? Tetanus shot?
    A science experiment in itself.

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