Monday, May 2, 2011

Enough already!

I can't remember a time when, in so few months, I've been sick so many times. I may get injured more often than most women my age (mostly due to my choices of activities), but I don't get sick very often. However, in the five and a half months I've been in Georgia, I have had two colds, a bout with allergies, two flu bugs complete with fever, an eye-thing (that is still not completely gone), and food poisoning. Not to mention my run-in with Angry Dog, resulting in a few trips to the hospital for rabies injections. And last night/this morning, I was struck with something new and horrid.

Sharp pains in my stomach woke me up around 2:30 this morning. It wasn't long ago that I had food poisoning, and my first thought was, "You've got to be kidding. Not again." The idea of going through that a second time was not heartening. But the stomach pain was different. It was more like a knife being twisted into my diaphragm and stomach while my intestines rearranged themselves repeatedly. I tried to ignore it (my first reaction to most ill feelings) and go back to sleep. A little after three, the pain had not subsided, so I decided that if I went outside, things might move around enough to allow whatever was going to happen, to happen.

I got up and unsteadily made my way through the large sitting room to the front door of the upper house. I hadn't turned on any lights, and as I fumbled around in the darkness, trying to unlock the door, I felt all the blood drain from my face. That was the last thing I remember.

I must have gotten the door open and stepped out onto the porch before passing out, although I can't recall doing either.

Fainting is one of the things I dislike most. Well, actually, coming back to consciousness after fainting is what I dislike most -- that bleary, confused, befuddled feeling when the senses switch back on one at a time. My hearing always comes back first. Everything sounds far away, like I'm in a tunnel and the sounds are coming from the opposite end. My sense of hot and cold comes back next, and usually, I'm cold. The next thing that happens is the thing I hate most: I feel as though my body were re-inflating itself -- as if I had turned into a two-dimensional object when I slid to the floor, and was being pumped full of air to reoccupy space in the third dimension. The last sense to reboot is my sight. The blackness slowly recedes from my open eyes, allowing my brain to make sense of what I am looking at.

When I came to, I was lying on the cold tile floor of the porch at the top of the stairs. I'm thankful I hadn't gotten one step further, or I would've fallen down the stairs when I collapsed. It took me a minute to remember where I was and why I was outside -- the pain in my stomach brought that back quickly enough. I slowly got up, wondering whether or not I needed to throw up. The pain was sharp, but it was not nausea. I stumbled back into my room in a cold sweat, fell into bed, and curled up in a ball to try to make the painful area as small as possible. I slept fitfully for the next three hours.

A little after six, I knew that Tea would be awake. I texted her that I was sick again. Two minutes later, she opened the door to the upper house and tip-toed into my room, concern lining her face. I told her what had happened in the night and how I was feeling. She went back to the lower house for a cup of water, another cup containing a spoonful of baking soda and a bit of water, and two charcoal tablets. I drank the baking soda, took the tablets, and lay back down to try to sleep. Tea left me to sleep, but a few minutes later, she brought me a cup of something else that she said would help with the stomach pain. I drank it and slept.

At noon I awoke feeling almost normal. The only thing that hurt was my elbow. I must have landed on it when I fainted.

I am feeling much, much better now. And as I sit in my room, windows wide open to the setting sun, I appreciate these moments of feeling good. The horizontal rays of the sun are hitting the apple tree just outside the window at a low angle, tinging more than just the flowers pink -- the leaves, the bark, and the petals all have a pinkish hue. The breeze wafting into my room carries the sweet scent that is as pink as the blossoms. Birds are singing. Bees are buzzing. I can breathe deeply (pain-free) and be thankful for this loveliness.

Now if I will only stay well.....

The apple tree outside my window, awash in the light of the golden hour

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