Sunday, March 23, 2014

Low Pressure

I'm sick.  And after ten days, I've lost hope for ever recovering.  I have what I self-diagnosed as a severe cold.  I famously self-diagnosed Celiac disease as acid reflux, so I don't trust myself entirely.  But this time my symptoms, while debilitating, were not alarming enough for me to use my "free time" to schedule and attend a doctor's appointment.  By free time, I mean the time wherein I do twelve loads of laundry, vacuum, and grocery shop.  (Lest you were picturing television watching and the sipping of umbrella drinks.)

I don't remember much of my life before all of this phlegm, but I looked way cuter in all the pictures.  And I vaguely recall being quite active and physically fit.  After an eight day exercise hiatus, I counseled myself to get back on the horse Thursday, and I went for what I thought would be a nice little jog in the recently returned sunshine.  It was, in reality, a test of my survival skills and I when I miraculously crawled back into the house, gasping for what I thought would be my last breaths, I called to tell my husband goodbye.  (And to remind him to do laundry, vacuum, and grocery shop after I'm gone.)

A friend texted me later that day to see how I was feeling because she knew I'd been battling a relentless cold.  I texted back "Wondering if I need a lung transplant."  She immediately offered to donate a lung to me, citing two important factors in her decision, "I'd get to come and hang out with you AND lose weight!"  With friends like these, who needs U.N.O.S.

It's not that I'm such a wimp in the face of a cold virus.  Part of the problem is that my heart condition doesn't mesh well with lingering illness.  When I'm completely "healthy", my resting heart rate is 43 and my blood pressure is 90/60 if I'm lucky.  I take a daily non-Barry-Bonds-type steroid to keep my blood pressure at least that high or higher, and in emergencies I supplement with Doritos.  It's a manageable, if thigh-spreading, system.  Until I get sick.  Then my heart is like, I'm tired, let's rest for...I don't know, forever?  And if I try to do too much, my blood pressure insists I sit down.  Immediately!  It will go so far as to turn the lights out and bring the house down.

One day I'll get a pacemaker and my heart will have no choice but to behave, in sickness and in health.  It was going to be guesswork as to when I needed to get that.  No one rushes to put a pacemaker in 36 year old with manageable symptoms.  But thanks to advances in heart monitoring technology, we won't have to guess.  I'm having a recorder/monitor implanted in three weeks and then my cardiologist can see exactly what's going on in there all the time.

Or so he says.  I realize, thanks to Edward Snowden's disclosures, that this could be a big government conspiracy to get a tracking device in me.  They must be aware of my international spy aspirations and desire to get Republicans back in the White House.  And clearly I'm a threat if they are going to such great lengths to get a microchip in me.  But don't worry, I've seen many a movie character cut those things out; I could probably do it in my sleep.  Which is the condition I find myself in more often than not these days.