Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Lesson Learned the Hard Way


Yesterday I learned a valuable lesson the hard way.

Day before yesterday, I was in the zone cleaning the house.  It felt so good to work with the energy in our home and take care of things I either didn’t have the energy or desire to do previously. 

What I didn’t do all day is take enough water.

I woke up at 6 a.m. yesterday, which is the usual time, to encourage Elizabeth out of bed.  Then, I went back to bed until 7, when Elizabeth is ready to go downstairs.

I woke up at 7 and was absolutely freezing.  My body has hot and cold swings since the vertical gastrectomy (weight loss surgery), and it’s primarily because I’ve lost weight quickly.  But yesterday morning, my coldness was off the charts, even worse when my hormones were rearranging after I had Elizabeth in 1997.  I was chattering so intensely, I couldn’t move.  Finally, after a good 10 minutes of trying, I managed to get up, get downstairs, and put myself on the big chair in the living room. I was exhausted and thought I had a relapse of the flu.

I spent the morning sleeping on and off, but what I couldn’t comprehend was that I wasn’t making sense all the time.  Leslie would ask me a question, and I mumbled the answer.  Not normal.  I was also running a fever of 103 degrees, which Tylenol couldn’t seem to bring down efficiently, and as you know, I can’t take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. 

Leslie got that urgent look in her eyes, and took over the situation.  We called the doctor, and a nurse told Leslie to get me to the emergency room. I argued with Leslie, but she was adamant. So I put myself together and off we went.

While in the waiting area at Mills Peninsula, I actually passed out.  First my ears began ringing, and then I had to go to the bathroom.  They put me on a wheel chair, but once I got to the restroom, I was lolling about like a rag doll.  I actually lost consciousness. Scary for me, but it was really scary for Leslie, who yelled for help.

We were put in a room finally and waited forty minutes for a doctor.  I wasn't aware of the time, however, because I slept most of the time.  It’s like I was in a trance. They took my blood (I was acutely aware of this), and tested me for influenza (which was a q-tip shoved so far up my nose, it was ridiculous, creepy, and felt dreadful), and they hooked me up to an IV.  I argued about that, too, but Leslie insisted, thank God.  The lady from the lab remembered me from when I had my surgery and refused to have my blood drawn.  Everyone got a chuckle out of that.

Once my body had the fluids it needed, I began to sharpen up.

The lab results showed that I’m still slightly anemic which means I have to take that god awful iron elixir every day again.  My white blood cells were also elevated indicating there’s a mild infection somewhere. However, what was absolutely clear was that I allowed myself to get dehydrated, hence the altered state of consciousness and the intense sleeping.

You know, I had a clue about this about a month ago.  I was in the mall with my family.  Elizabeth was spending her Christmas money.  I began to feel very dizzy.  I didn’t take enough water then either.

The lesson here is that I can’t take my body for granted like I could when I was a kid.  I must ensure I take enough water every day, even when I’m “in the zone”.  And I must take my iron and all my vitamins religiously. 

A person can’t lose weight this quickly and ignore the body’s needs.

If you do, the body will protest.

Loudly.

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