A Little Bit Superhuman

Yesterday. Was. Ridiculous.

I couldn’t stay awake. I slept my whole day away. Each time I woke I didn’t feel rested at all, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I couldn’t move. After a few hours of my failing body stubbornly clinging to a dreamless sleep that signified the need for an A&E department and urgent medical attention, I decided I would move downstairs so my mum wouldn’t find me in bed and… Lose it (that plan worked so well. NOT).

I got a few metres before I realised I was so much more unwell than I’d thought. My entire body felt weak, like it was going to give out beneath me. My muscles screamed and everything felt like it was spinning and I couldn’t breathe – not a panic, not an inability to draw in enough air, a lack of the energy needed to move such a heavy rib cage. I heaved in air and stumbled onwards. I realised how urgent and shallow my breaths were as I got half way down the stairs and I knew I couldn’t stop. I made it to the sofa. I fell into it and it took my weight as my eyes immediately closed and I laid there panting, heaving my ribcage to make up for the deficit that all of me was grumbling about. Only when I wasn’t doing anything else did I have the energy to breathe fully. There wasn’t any energy to spare, there wasn’t even enough to function. So my body just shut everything down, and dragged me back off to a sleep I could do nothing about. I laid there and I thought that was it.

Last time I was in that state was last week, in resus, right before they thought the grim reaper almost had me, before Dr Holler was dragged down from the ICU and told everyone I couldn’t even wait for a central line because they would lose me and I needed an IO. I was there again. I knew I was there again. I went through an entire catalogue of emotion at this realisation. But my body couldn’t maintain the act of being awake or even if feeling, and I slept before I could call anyone or do anything. I don’t remember falling asleep all these times, just waking up. And then at one point I eventually woke next to an injection. I’d found a vein. I’d constructed a rudimentary IV, and by the time my mum got home from work I could keep my eyes open a little longer, but I was beached on the sofa. I don’t remember injecting stuff directly into my vein. I do know that without a doubt that highly risky action saved my life.

So again, and again, I repeated my stupidity and I hoped and I hated the people that had left me to end up reduced to such wreckless hoping. And over and over again I fell into a sleep that I cannot remember taking me, only to wake feeling awful and know that I had to overcome how ill I was in order to try and deal with it. This is what they tried to save me from in the ICU but there I never became so unwell with it. In the state I was in, I don’t know how I made it back up the stairs to fall onto my bed.

I do know that as ever, my body is a little bit superhuman. Somehow I saved my own butt. I saved my own life. I fought fate for it without the support of the people paid to fight for it with me and I so, so nearly lost. I didn’t pull myself out of the emergency, I am still very much dancing with the grim reaper and I can feel his breath on my neck… But my body has lived in his company for months and will learn to do so again. His companionship will become normal. I have no margin for error, no space to slip up. That’s scary but I was given that talk before I left the hospital. I knew it even before that. And it became apparent that all responsibility would be in me. Nobody would even tell me a plan.

Somehow I saved my own butt. I saved my own life

But it should never have been left down to me.


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