Falling Down but Not Giving Up

Senior Jennifer Turock does not let her medical condition hold her back.

Clutching onto a First Aid Kit, Hamilton Southeastern senior Jennifer Turock does not let her medical condition interfere with her time at HSJI. “My fainting problem is something that can be a problem at times, but I don’t let it make life difficult,” Turock said. “It’s something I’ve learned to laugh about.”

For many, the doctor’s office represents a safe hazen and a place to cleanse and rejuvenate in times of sickness. For others, visits with the doctor come along with overwhelming nervousness and crippling anxiety. However, for senior Jennifer Turock, doctor’s appointments symbolize something entirely different: fainting.

Turock attends Hamilton Southeastern in Fishers, Indiana, and is an active participant in several activities and extracurriculars at her school. Not only is she the people editor of the yearbook, but also a member of the softball team, Student Council, National Honor Society, and Harry Potter Club. However, while she may be recognized in the halls of HSE for her involvement in the school, she is also known by her peers for her fainting problem.   

Turock first discovered this health issue when she was at the doctor’s office before her sophomore year.

“All of a sudden, I started getting really light headed and as soon as I knew it, I black out,” she said.

She awoke to a concerned parent, a confused nurse, and a bloody nose. At first, the doctors had no clear explanation for the incident.

“My mom was really worried I had some type of heart problem. No one knew what to think,” said Turock.

Since that day, Turock has fainted almost every time she has been to the doctors office. After multiple tests, her doctors determined her diagnosis was a disorder called vasovagal syncope, a sudden drop in heart rate and blood pressure that ultimately results in lightheadedness and fainting.

Although she has become more aware of the condition and when it might be triggered, at times, her fainting comes in unlikely situations.

“The weirdest place I’ve ever fainted is definitely Forever 21. I fell into the display case, and it broke my fall,” she said.

Turock has started to take some measures into her own hands in hope to prevent the occurrences of her fainting. As a result, she has become much more conscious of her body and her surroundings at all time.

“Although it could be embarrassing, if I feel as though I might faint, I take as many steps as possible to prevent it, whether it may be drinking water or lying down,” she said.