Tuesday, November 9, 2010

#273: Faint of Heart

Hey, cool. My beard is growing back. I'm thinking of this shot for the dust cover of my first novel.

But first, we still have some details to work out on the nutrition front. I fainted again last night on the way to the bathroom. The doctors agree that this is a dehydration issue, so I'm dumping quarts of water, shakes, and even ice cream into my belly. I'm gonna be downright juicy.

Have you ever fainted? It is the strangest experience. Here's what happened last night. I woke up around 4:30 with the urge to pee. For some reason I just laid in bed for a while. Didn't want to get up. Finally it became clear that the sensation was not going to go away. I threw back the covers and swung my legs over the side of the bed. I wanted to get this over with. The last thing I remember is opening the bedroom door. Then there was a thump as my head bounced off the floor. I had fallen backwards and landed in a perfectly prone position. I heard Mrs. P's voice in the dark, asking what had happened. I wanted to answer, but it felt as if she were a dream, not really standing over me. I remember noticing that my arms were straight down at my sides. It didn't feel like I was inside myself. Instead, I seemed to be observing my body there in the dark. Mrs P offered me her hand, as if she intended to lift me off the floor. She's strong, but not that strong. I slowly re-inhabited myself, and sort of wiggled over to the quilt rack in the hall. I climbed up the rack and she helped me into the bathroom. Don't tell the He Man Tough Guy Club, but I sat down to pee.

When I was finished, I made my way back to bed as gingerly as I could, and took stock. Judging from the pain in my butt, I must have landed there first. Both elbows were aching, so I guess they hit the floor together. Amazingly, my head did not hurt at all. That's noteworthy for two reasons. First, I distinctly remember my skull bouncing on the hardwood floor. Second, I missed the turned posts on the wooden foot board of the daybed by just a few inches. Given the amount of blood thinners in my system, had I cracked my head enough to bruise or cause a concussion, I would have been in serious trouble. As it is, I don't seem to have any bruises at all. Just sore spots.

The docs and I will discuss all this again. Dehydration is almost certainly part of the problem, but I'm also concerned that my blood pressure medicine may be working too well. It was fine seventy five pounds ago, but I'm wondering if losing all this weight has naturally lowered my pressure enough that the meds are making it too low. I have about five thousand different doctors writing me prescriptions. I see the surgeon next. He and I will talk about messing with the dose on the Metoprolol. These spells always come on me right after I jump up out of bed. Well, jump may be an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

In the meantime, I have to find a way to get more food into me. It's really unpleasant. I can chew, but the food sticks to the roof of my mouth (top plate of my dentures.) This makes it hard to know when to swallow. It also means that eating a half a sandwich can take me twenty minutes. I could spend my whole day eating, or I can drink most of my meals. Neither option is very appealing. Does this sound like whining? It feels like it, a little. On the other hand, it's a real problem when I start flopping down to the ground in my underpants at night. Believe me, no EMT wants to deal with that sight at 5:00 AM.

Who would have ever guessed that the Fat Man's biggest problem would be not wanting to eat? It's a whole new world. On the other hand, Mrs P brought home some apple pie from church last night. It was smooth and delicious. I wonder if I can design a diet based on ice cream and pie?



1 comment:

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