As I sit writing this I am slowly losing sensation in my feet… I made it back to university an hour and a half before my exam this morning, having (legitimately) escaped from hospital last night. I genuinely think I failed the physiology exam I then went on to take; but sitting with my completely awesome friends and future flatmate afterwards, followed by a pub lunch, soon fixed the panic I found myself in when I was stranded in Winston in the basement of a building (outside the exam room, I wasn’t just randomly in the basement) 45 minutes after the start of my 3 hour exam. (Yes. It was. That. Bad.) Hello re-sits, goodbye August! All I’m going to say about that horror. Onto the biochemistry panic it is!
Except no. Because let’s rewind to the whole, I am slowly losing sensation in my feet thing. Were you wondering about that? I am. It’s presenting me with a dilemma.
My heart seems to be being pretty selfish with my blood. It doesn’t want to share it out. Either that, or it’s just being damn lazy, because it doesn’t want to shift it past my feet. So it is pooling there, which means that my ankles are huge, and from half-way down my shin, my legs are drained of all colour due to the fact that my capillary refill is now essentially a capillary hmmm… nope, don’t want any more blood thanks. (seriously if I press the skin it doesn’t go white any more because there’s no blood to push out of the vessels, and a pitted dip remains where my finger was). As a result, I feel like I’ve stood in the snow with no shoes on for too long and then stepped back inside. (Yes. I should probably deal with this. But I haven’t even been out of hospital for 24 hours and I have no intentions of going back just yet).
It isn’t actually a dilemma at all. There is only one sensible route to take, I just don’t want to take it. My cardiologist said if this happened I’m supposed to go to hospital. Most people who have seen my ankles are currently telling me to go to a hospital. But a) I don’t want to bother any doctors, because I don’t feel actually feel unwell (admittedly I’ve just been significantly unwell, and my definition of unwell is “help I feel like I’m about to die” by which point I usually am, and so I probably should ignore myself and go get some help… but anyway. Stubbornness. Fear. Guilt. Embarrassment… Need I go on?) b) I don’t know how I’d actually get there because I can’t walk that far, I can’t wheel that far, and I don’t want to burden my friends who have another exam the day after tomorrow – it isn’t fair on them even though they’d drop everything in a heartbeat (oh the irony, that was not intended, but I like it, so it can stay) c) I don’t want to call an ambulance because “hey I have swollen feet and I’m really tired” is in no means an emergency. d) I don’t have time to deal with this right now, not in the middle of my exams. Not now. Any time but not. Now. Just. Not. Now.
It’s funny, because there was a time when this would have scared me. I keep trying to persuade myself that it’s getting better, that the hot feelings spreading up my leg are actual warmth and not related to the strange purple hue that seems to be spreading from my feet upwards. But my usually stick-thin ankles are now wider than the widest part of my shoe, and sort of bulge out the top of my socks like freshly baked muffins (except they’re stone cold, so maybe… not freshly baked)
I just want to last through these exams. Until this, I was feeling a little superhuman. There was a point when the realisation that I’m not would have scared me too. Unfortunately, I’m stuck in the I nearly died but then I didn’t and wow life is awesome nothing really matters let’s appreciate everything and just chill out and go with it because I think my body is a little bit amazing and nothing will actually kill it mindset that I usually wallow in for a bit after I’ve been significantly unwell and made it to the other side. Plus I’m completely covered in bruises and I can’t deal with any more needles after the 25+ attempts it took them just to get in 2 lines.
I’m just going to continue messaging my nephew who lives in Dubai and just sat his biology GCSE this morning, procrastinate by blogging and getting lost in the internet (there’s a lecture recording playing in the background, I’m sort of studying too?) and hope that this just goes away, and that I realise it isn’t going to go away before it’s too late to fix it.
There was a time when this would have scared me.
I think maybe, that time hasn’t passed.
Maybe I’m just pretending it has and hoping it will.