One foot in front of the other. Just. One. Foot. In front of. The other. Walking demands 100% of my attention as I will my body not to lose consciousness in front of my grandparents.
You’re doing the stupid thing again. And suddenly from nowhere I remember why this feels safe instead of stupid, although there isn’t even the energy to freak out at this flashback.
Just. Don’t. Pass. Out. Come on, you’ve got this… Nope.. No you don’t, grab the wall grab the wall! Did they see? No, they didn’t.
Abort, abort. Bed, just get to a bed. I change direction, could I even drink water anyway? My legs shake.
Screw you, you aren’t giving way. I think at them. They hold my weight. Just.
Brilliant. Whose idea was the stairs?!… Oh yeah… Right. I walk up the stairs like a sloth on snail tablets. My legs feel heavy, as if I’m trying to move them through syrup and unstick them from each step at the same time. I’m suddenly incredibly grateful that my grandparents’ house is small enough to fit in my parents’ living room.
Can’t breathe. Oh crap, can’t breathe. Skippy buddy, I know the situation isn’t ideal, and I know you’re going to get super upset at this, but please get us up the stairs? I think to my heart as the stupid thing races like it’s trying to outpace Usain Bolt.
You can breathe, you can breathe, you can breathe. I tell myself, but my lungs are heavy, they feel like a balled up towel that’s been dropped in a swimming pool and gained several pounds, like a weight in my rib cage. I heave in breaths; I’m not hyperventilating, I’m focussing on dragging in air one slow, labourous breath at a time and I… Don’t have the energy to do it.
You’re ok. Just need to lay down. THE BED THE BED THE BED!
Rapid breathing – Fighting for air, shallow, crackly beaths… Mine.
Breathing – good. Fighting for breath, but still managing to take in air.
Did we make it to the bed? I try to look but I don’t have the energy to move my head. I feel my feet hanging off of the end of the bed. Just about. Good. Right. Achievement. Now roll over.
Damnit body, roll over! I weigh a tonne. I can’t even move my arm. My muscles tense in preparation to move a limb or my head and each time I just slump back into the bedding again, panting like I’m trying to sprint a marathon. I remind myself of a floundering fish.
Ok, just go for it. This is going to be interesting. Just… Have to. Get this arm out from underneath our chest like…
I “come to” more quickly this time. I think. My arm is by my side instead of underneath me. Success.
There we… Wait, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Body, if you could just stop doing the whole unconscious thing, that’d be great. I’m trying to help you. You are not helping.
I don’t have the energy to move all over again.
Breathing. Why is it such an effort? Do we even need air? Lungs, chill. Can you just not? Can this please stop for a minute, breathing is too much effort and I don’t want to do it for a little bit.
I don’t know why but I feel like I need to lay in my back.
I don’t think we can manage that. Wait, I’m the brain, that’s it we’re rolling over.
The world turns to nothing again, and this time when I open my eyes, my head is pounding and my heart is still racing and the dizziness picks me up and lifts my head into the clouds.
I think I might be ill.
I hate that word. But I think I may be the definition of it right now. I notice a wheeze now that I’m laying on my back. I take a deep breath – a rumble this time instead of a crackle. I cough up watery stuff, and the effort makes me black out again.
This is ridiculous! I wake up all over again. No room to worry, just an argument between me and my body. I have to deal with this. Who knows what happens if I give into the overwhelming urge to sleep? No fear. Not now. Autopilot. I try to push myself up and dizziness washes over me like a tidal wave. A searing pain right about where I saw livers in the cadavers during my anatomy practicals.
Ok. Stop. Just stop. Just lay here. Let your body do whatever on earth it wants. Just fill your lungs. Over and over just breathe. It can’t deal with being human right now. Give it a break. It’s limitations are yours too. There. Right here is good. “That’ll do donkey, that’ll do” – Shrek (I thought to myself in a Shrek voice – don’t ask me why I started quoting Shrek).
I try to sit up and feel so awful for my attempt that I half collapse in a swirl of nausea.
Stomach, if you think you’re doing that you can just get lost. Now. Is not. The time.
Ok, get on the bed properly. Can we get on the bed?
In a word: no.
Ok, ok, here is good. Here is totally a great and super uncomfortable place to lay for an unspecified amount of time. We tried so hard to stop this, why did we leave yesterday, I AM SUCH AN IDIOT. (No time to think that a service dog could have helped stop this getting so far by notifying me a mile in advance) Maybe we should call an ambulance? Oh shoot, the grandparents. Am I dying? I can’t die in their house! I haven’t felt this ill outside of an ICU. When did we get this far gone? That’s it I’m sitting up. Body you will get yourself together!
Sleep. Don’t know how long for. I wake up. Feel like I need to sleep for a million more years. Am reminded instantly how unwell I feel. I stop to assess the situation. Still tachycardic, but less so. There’s a weird foamy stuff on the bed next to my face, I think I feel it on my tongue. I let my breath out slowly, and cough. The crackling in my lungs is so much louder, I feel like there’s soup in them instead of air – I can feel it shifting. I take a deep breath and it catches as I choke on what must be water in the back of my throat. I can taste ketones all of a sudden – not helpful. My stomach is swollen with fluid. I think I’m going to be sick.
Right, ok, we don’t need to live this and think about it. So I don’t.
So the rugby earlier was awesome, and not just because England beat Australia. Can’t wait to watch the New Zealand v Wales game Granddad recorded. (I absolutely LOVE rugby union. When I was younger and in hospital the six nations were on and I watched it all day every day including re-runs of the highlights over and over. After that, I sort of got a little bit obsessed with rugby and started following it. Hopefully someday I’ll get to see a match in person). Leigh Halfpenny is still injured right? 2013 was definitely a great year for Welsh rugby. Since then… Little bit of a slip? And so on and so forth. I got lost in thoughts of rugby and convinced myself I’m going to watch a game. Then I wrote this blog post because hey, I’m kind of stuck here and I honestly have no idea what I’m going to do.