Appalachia Appalachian Dialect

Faintified – Feeling Fainty

I feel fainty

faintified, fainty adjective Feeling suddenly weak or faint.
1952 Wilson Folk Speech NC 538 This hot, dry weather makes me feel sickly and faintified. 1967 DARE faintified = having a sudden feeling of weakness, when sometimes the person loses consciousness (Maryville TN); fainty = having a sudden feeling of weakness (Gatlinburg TN). 1995 Montgomery Coll. I’m a little fainty this morning (Cardwell).

Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English


Although I’ve felt fainty before, I’ve never actually passed out.

Since The Deer Hunter and I never had our wisdom teeth surgically removed we knew very little about the procedure the girls underwent last week. We were totally amazed at the speed with which the teeth were removed and we were surprised that it could be done in a dental office. We wrongly assumed it would be out patient surgery in a hospital.

The folks who took care of the girls had the process down pat. Kids were going through there like an assembly line on the morning Chatter and Chitter had their teeth out. Lucky for us, the girls were the first patients of the morning.

Chitter went first and seemed fully awake and alert by the time Chatter was finished and both girls were in the recovery area. After about 20 minutes of sitting with them, the nurse said we were ready to go.

While Chitter was talking up a storm, Chatter was still so drowsy I was worried about her and questioned whether we shouldn’t stay just a little bit longer. The nurse assured me she was fine and after giving us a list of instructions she helped us out the back door and into the car.

I left worried about Chatter, but it was Chitter who scared us to death.

We’d barely got back on the highway when Chitter said she thought she might be sick. I was in the backseat with her and as we headed for home she got paler by the second. Twice she leaned over and squeezed my knee with the scariest expression on her face which made me feel totally panicked.

We’d only gone about 2 miles when she said she had to stop and get out because something was wrong. The Deer Hunter pulled into the next gas station and opened the car door for Chitter in case she threw up. In a flash Chitter passed out cold on us. I said “Let’s take her back! Let’s take her back!”

The Deer Hunter jumped back in the drivers seat and quickly headed us up the road.

Chitter came back around but kept telling us she couldn’t see, that everything was white. I was practically sitting in her lap. I kept patting her face and telling her it was going to be alright.

By the time we pulled back into the dentist office her lips were white as snow leaving the rest of her face the color of ashes.

I ran inside and got one of the nurses, who calmly came out and helped Chitter back inside to a dental chair.

Chatter still wasn’t talking, only staring around like a newborn baby. While I was grabbing my stuff she looked at me and said “No separate.”

I knew that meant she didn’t want to leave Chitter. I said “Yes you’re going to separate! Your Daddy is taking you home, you got to take care of yourself and there ain’t no where for you to lay down in there anyway.”

Once Chitter was laid back in the dental chair and covered up with a blanket her pretty lips became pink again and her skin gained back its youthful glow. The nurse said Chitter’s blood pressure dropped really low, which can make you dizzy, nauseous, and even cause you to pass out. The drop did all three to Chitter. Although rare, the drop in blood pressure can happen after anesthesia is administered during dental surgery.

Chatter made the trip home without incident. We had a friend staying with us so The Deer Hunter was able to leave her at home and come back and get us.

On the second try Chitter made it home without a hitch.

Later I asked Chitter why she kept squeezing my knee in the car. She said “I knew I was going to pass out, I could feel myself fading away and I thought if I held onto you I’d be holding onto consciousness.” I said “Ah that was why your expression scared me so bad. You were conveying that strong feeling of need directly from your eyes to mine.” We sometimes tease each other about having spidy senses-you know like spider man. Chitter’s face alerted every motherly spidy sense in my body.

The girls having their wisdom teeth surgically removed made me feel faintified. Actually I still feel fainty about the whole thing.



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  • Reply
    Rev. RB
    July 22, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Wow!!! What excitement.
    So glad everything turned out ok.
    Prayers everyone has a safe and blessed weekend.
    God bless.

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    July 22, 2016 at 2:17 pm

    So sorry to hear Chitter had such a hard time, it can be very scary going to the Dentist! We took our youngest daughter Amy to the Dentist one time after she had graduated from college, she had to have several teeth pulled and all went well until the last one and the Dentist BROKE HER JAW by accident!!!!!! She had to go to a Dental Surgeon immediately and have her jaw wired shut and was on a liquid diet for 6 weeks. She felt fanitified quite a few times!
    I feel faintly every time I open the door and feel how HOT it is outside!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    I hope Chitter and Chatter are much better now. Having those jaw teeth pulled can be a terrible event.
    I called the radio station and thanked our radio gal for playing all those Gospel Songs,
    a lot of them by my friends over in Brasstown…Ken

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Glad the girls are doing better! This is why I think this surgery should be outpatient in a hospital. You can hang around longer there!

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    July 22, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Tipper, I am so sorry you had that scary situation with the girls, but so thankful everything turned out ok. It reminded me of something funny that happened years ago. One of my friends from church has a son that had to be taken to the hospital for an emergency. The nurses were trying to see if he was conscious and asked his name. He calmly replied “Eric Rudolph.” It caused quite a stir for a few minutes. It turns out that earlier he had been watching the news about the hunt for Rudolph not far from where he lived. I seem to remember the boy’s name was Jerrod and he ended up well and fit.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 11:25 am

    I’ve awakened in the recovery room several times and I usually feel ‘all swimmy-headed’ for a while. I remember that I once wrote a little note to my wife, who was on the waiting room, immediately as Ii woke up, just said “I’m OK”, and my first name. She kept the note (I think she still has it, been 25 years or so) and though I was sure I had perfect control of the pen, I had taken up half the page with a scrawl that would be expected of a 5-year-old just learning to write. I guess that’s the equivalent of “feeling fainty”, hm?
    “No separate…” Those two words were the most powerful phrase in your post today. Thanks, Tipper for this look into your lives…

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    July 22, 2016 at 11:20 am

    Not only is blood pressure supposed to be taken before a procedure where a type of general anesthesia is used and then of course, due to a patients anxiety it should be a bit high and taken into consideration. This should be known by the experienced anesthetist. \
    After the procedure, blood pressure should be taken again, and definitely right before releasing the patient from recovery to go home. These original baselines will/should give a savvy anesthetist a clue before releasing a patient.
    I as a CDA working for a Oral Surgeon was not comfortable releasing a patient until a double check was done by the anesthesiologist or at least by the registered charge nurse!
    My Granny would have said about Chitter, “You sure are lookin’ “peak-id”, honey, I wish you had waited to have surgery when it was cold weather, this heat will make anyone “faintified” ‘specially after having teeth pulled in this mountain oven!”
    The girls are so blessed to have such caring parents.
    There were often times the doctor ordered we send youngsters home because they did not bring a parent or caregiver with them to drive them home or watch them for twenty four hours.
    Yes, it is very sad.
    Thanks Tipper

  • Reply
    Joe Lineberger
    July 22, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Never heard the word faintified until today. I have heard the phrase “sinking spell” and “my head is swimming” used many times.

  • Reply
    Carol Rosenbalm
    July 22, 2016 at 10:12 am

    So sorry for what happened to Chitter! Tell her I said to take care! This had to be scary for your family. But as twins do chatter didn’t want to leave her. Precious!
    My girls were two years apart so by the third one we knew how to do it! But double all at one time! Chitter gave you a need you mommy! My girls are independent but they call & say in their voices mommy I need you!
    Stay cool!
    Carol Rosenbalm

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 10:10 am

    Poor girl! I know that experience of not being able to see anything and feeling like you’re being disconnected from life. When I was a child – maybe 8 or 10 years old – It used to happen to me in church, of all places, and every Sunday I used to pray and pray that it wouldn’t happen THIS time. It was horrible to have that feeling come over me, then lose my vision, and then feel myself start to lose consciousness. And my parents thought I was doing it on purpose. As if anyone would. I suppose they felt embarrassed that attention was being drawn to us during church service.
    Did Chitter have a splitting headache afterward? I always did.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 10:10 am

    I just had to put my two cents worth on this post. Having been in the medical field for much of my life, I have very set ideas about safety. I personally think far too many medical staff treat most procedures in a very cavalier fashion. Rather than efficient, I sometimes refer it as assembly line medicine. There is good and bad in all fields, but no room for bad in dentistry or medical field. I am frankly surprised there aren’t far more mishaps. Too much of the time they are trying to finish seamlessly so that lunches can be scheduled, and 9 times out of 10 all goes well.
    But, unlike manufacturing humans can be unpredictable, and must each be evaluated individually. I have learned the hard way to follow my gut instinct. My entire family has been cajoled and prodded into being the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. When staff wants to let them go while they have unpredictable symptoms, they are met with a firm, “no indeed.” This has saved many bad experiences following surgeries or ER visits. I sometimes compare it to making hot dogs, and if they leave off the mustard we can always ask for mustard. Quite to the contrary, in medicine forgetfulness or carelessness is major, and yet ER sometimes handled like selling assembly line hot dogs.
    I overlook most errors as just being human–no big deal. Unfortunately, I place the medical field in a high alert category, and I am so so very glad Chitter had two caring, intelligent parents to oversee her recovery. This will always need to be noted on her record! I promise to try to never go on another rant on The Blind Pig, and love the calming influence it has on my day. I have been on both sides of the fence, and sometimes mortified by what I see when they don’t know I spent my life as a nurse!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    July 22, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Your story revealed as never before how close the girls are to each other and how close they are to you. What an ordeal for you all but especially for you. I could feel your terror and relate to it as a parent. I suspect it was just as much for Matt but I suspect he never said so. We would rather suffer anything ourselves than have our children do so and be unable to fix it. Those kind of events reveal ourselves to ourselves beyond what we thought we knew. Thank God the cloud passed over.

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    July 22, 2016 at 9:30 am

    That’s enough to scare you all to death. It really bothers me the way they send people home so fast now. I’m glad they are both ok. And what a tribute to how much she trusts her mama!
    My son had a traumatic time as a kid about 7 having an IV for a MRI and ever since has had trouble getting any blood taken. We were at the doctor & leaving after one when he turned pale & huge drops of sweat came out on his face. We were right at the waiting room and he started to try to sit down right in a lady’s lap. She was saying, “I’m sitting here, I’m sitting here.” as I tried to guide him away to another seat. The nurse came out (they were each other’s favorites) and got him a wet rag and petted him till he was ok. The next time we went in, he pretended to almost faint in the hall & scared her half to death. This has become one of the family tales we all laugh about.
    This kid has always loved to mess with people. When his Mimi visited once he put a Freddy Kruger head in her bed with a flashlight on it under her covers. He hid in her shower once and she knew he was in there–she kept saying, “I know you’re in there.”, but still yelled when he pulled back the curtain. I have a brother who is even worse. This might make a fun topic for you if some of your bunch are pranksters like this.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    July 22, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Wow, I know you and your husband were scared. When something is wrong with your child there is gut tearing feeling like no other. I’m glad they are doing well now.
    Never heard faintified but fainty was common. Also, feeling swimmy headed
    was another expression along with woozy.

  • Reply
    Cullen in Clyde
    July 22, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Back in the late 70s or early 80s, I had, either 2, or all 4 of, my wisdom teeth pulled. Being a young feller, I didn’t know much about the procedure at all. And I was riding a motorcycle about everywhere I went back then. The dentist office was about 15 miles from where I lived. I rode the motorcycle down to the dentist that morning and had them pulled. Needless to say, I don’t recall much about the ride back home. But everyone lived happily ever after. . . . So far anyway . . .
    Glad you and the girls are recovering well. Your husband sounds like a mighty fine feller. Those Haywood County boys are tough to beat, ‘specially them what’s from over ’round Canton! I vote you oughta keep ‘im!

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 8:56 am

    I feel faintified just reading about her passing out. The last time I passed out was during a biopsy I had where I had to remain awake. The nurses said they tried to start a conversation with me as I was coming around and asked me where I lived. No telling what I told them! They said I told them I lived in a haunted house! They wanted to hear the rest of the story as the doctor continued the procedure.
    The thought of getting my hands on a June Apple makes me want to get in the car and drive to Canton.

  • Reply
    July 22, 2016 at 8:39 am

    That was a scary episode for a routine procedure. Need to let the Dr’s know about the reaction if she needs anesthesia anytime in the future. Hope they have avoided “dry socket”; that’s no fun.

  • Reply
    Larry parker
    July 22, 2016 at 8:38 am

    Are you feelin lank? This could be fainty,weak,tired or tard, but mostly hungry. My grandma asked me this question often. She always was trying to fix me something to eat. That was the good ole days.

  • Reply
    Wes Bossman
    July 22, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Hi, Tipper
    I’m sorry the girls had such a time, and I’m glad everything turned out well. It reminded me of when my son, who was 16 at the time, returned home from his wisdom teeth removal. I was working in the basement when my wife pulled in the driveway and my blood ran cold when I heard him screaming. I charged up the steps to my wife’s shouts of “Help me!” When I reached the driveway I could hear him screaming,”I’m blind, I’m blind!”.
    I looked into the car, and there he sat, in horrified agony, with his eyes closed. I shouted “Open your eyes! Open your eyes!”
    That took care of it.
    Once my heart calmed down I laughed myself silly…

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    July 22, 2016 at 8:05 am

    Glad to hear that all is well now. Your family will remember that event for the rest of your lives.
    Never heard “fainty” or “faintified”, just “I feel faint.”.
    When I was in college, I went back home and my family dentist removed 3 of my wisdom teeth, but left the fourth one, saying that it was going to be very involved, so he was leaving it until I had trouble with it. Several years later, when I was in the Army at Ft. Riley, KS, the last wisdom tooth had to come out. It was removed by an oral surgeon on Friday and I spent all weekend in bed and in severe pain. He had to remove a piece of jawbone to get the tooth out in 4 pieces. What an ordeal! Hard to believe that it happened 40 years ago. I haven’t forgotten that event, though.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    July 22, 2016 at 8:04 am

    Our family say sickly and woosie for that moment just before we go out.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    July 22, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Sounds to me like that doctor and his staff need to slow down a little bit and really care for their patients. Sounds to me like they pushed your girls out so the next ones could come through. Sounds like dollar signs clouded their good judgement.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    July 22, 2016 at 7:20 am

    That’s a wonderful word, faintified. It perfectly describes the condition. I have been faintified a couple of times in my life, it’s a real scary feeling. We can always count on Chitter to bring the excitement.
    I think that it’s so sweet that Chatter didn’t want to be separated from her twin.
    I’m so glad the thing is over and they are both back to normal, well you know normal is a relative word.
    The whole process way harder on them than I expected it to be.

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