But isn't that how everyone wants to die? Peacefully and in their sleep?

Guess whose in the ICU and was, apparently, mere hours away from shuffling off this mortal coil? If you guessed Teressa, you guessed right! Please enjoy this complimentary year's worth of Turtle Wax and this huge bucket of Jello, which is the most solid thing I can eat as I'm on a liquid diet for for some ungodly reason. I hate Jello.

How it all went down:

Jesse, after picking up my prone ass from the floor for the third time in as many hours, snagged a blood pressure cuff from a friend. 80/50. Not good. Neither of us knew if it was hospital worthy, so I called the Ask A Nurse. The nurse strongly recommended to go to the ER - and more than a little horrified that I'd spent three days actively passing out before even considering medical help. So we pile my Ariel bag with hospital overnight needs and mince our way to the car.

The waiting room at the ER is packed. Standing room only. We didn't want another hospital, since this is the one with all my records and doctors. They know me and my case here. So, I told Jesse that we'll just go home and get a clear start in the morning. I did not want to wait six hours just to be seen.

After all, I told him, it's just low blood pressure. It's not like its life threatening, its just really annoying, I said. Against Jesse's wishes, we go home, I take my meds, and I go to bed. Seconds before falling asleep, I had the strangest feeling. I thought to myself, as unconsciousness drug me under, that this felt it was going to be the deepest sleep I'd ever had.

I would've been right.

The next part must make Fate giggle so damn hard, me having said it's not life threatening. Enjoy it while you can, you fucker, cuz I swear if I ever meet you, I will set you on fire and bury the ashes hundreds of feet down. It turns out blood pressure that low CAN be fatal. Turns out that had I gone into the ER the first time, I was straddling the life/death line close enough where I would have been whisked into treatment right away. Alright, lesson learned. Don't hesitate to go the ER. Whatever.

What comes next is Jesse saving my life. . Concerned, he could not sleep. He placed his hands around my sleeping form, to find that even under three blankets, I was cold. Only my torso, close to the ventricles of my heart, was warm. He said it was like trying move a corpse - no response to calling my name, body at a dead weight, pale as hell. Around what must have been 2 AM, he took my blood pressure again. I was so down that it didn't even wake me.


Sixty over zero. The bottom number was so low it didn't even register. Jesse called 911, to have the same stats confirmed by the EMTs equipment when they arrived. Willow_Granger said that super low blood pressure represents internal organs slowing down or else halting entirely, as the heart tries to triage where the blood really needs to go. The extremities will naturally get colder as the heart prioritizes which organs needs the blood the most, which are situated in the torso area.

I did not know that. My body was literally in the process of of shutting down entirely - and it was almost finished by the time we got help.

Jesse had to shake me awake multiple times, put clothes on me. I was groggy (or what I thought was groggy) and protested loudly. Or I tried to be loud, but I discovered I could barely talk. Nor could I stay conscience, as I could not stand, nor sit, and kept passing out, well into the hospital arrival itself. Here's the three things I remember clearly:

(1) The panic in Jesse's voice. I remember feeling bad that I could not reassure him, as all I could do say I wanted to sleep and then pass out again.

(2) They couldn't get the stretcher up the stairs, so they used a "tarp" to haul my ass down. It was a zipped up body bag, with me on top. Makes sense, though. Body bags are designed to transport the weight of human beings. I found this to be hilarious. No one else did.

I still think it's funny, though god please don't ask me why. I have no idea.

(3) In a brief moment of lucidity, I overheard one of the EMTs telling Jesse that had he not called, I'd probably never have woken up.

I'd dismissed this until a doctor in the ICU told Jesse the same thing and that he'd saved my life. It occurred to me that doctors and EMTs try to STAY AWAY from making dramatic and hyperbolic statements, just as part of their profession. So if they were saying this, it had merit. Strong merit.

I might have had a chance if I'd fallen into a coma, but all the doctors say I would have just slept...and not woken up. Both of them put my lifespan in the count of of 2 hours before I would have passed away completely.

Both Jesse and I are having trouble processing that last one.

All in my sleep, never having noticed a thing, while leaving Jesse with the terrible price of waking up next to a corpse. This fucking mortality thing keeps crawling closer and closer. The first round of hospitals, it was that I would have only two years to live without treatment. Now it was 2 hours. Will it eventually be two minutes? Who knows?

And for another joke that no one will laugh at - isn't this how everyone says they want to pass, asleep, unaware of the slowing halting of the clock? I almost got that. When Jesse woke me up, part of my protests were because I was, indeed, getting the best sleep of my life. Death didn't really enter in my mind, but I later realized I would have won the lottery on "good ways to die."

I'm not entirely sure that actually IS a joke. This is problematic.

So what, physically, happened? There's only about a million things it could have been. We know for sure that my medication played a huge part of it. I'd been on the dietetics long after I needed them, which slowly but surely dehydrated me down to nothing. I was so dehydrated that trying to drink more water at home to solve this would have actually CAUSED more problems. The prednisone side effects played a role. That my blood pressure medication was far too high a dosage, especially now without the Prednisone.

As for the rest? Something else is going wrong, too. Something serious, but they don't know what. More tests. This is where having a doctor would be nice. They can do shit like adjust medication after symptoms change or pass entirely.

Jesse feels so guilty, instead of the Knight In Shining Armor that he should be feeling like. I came so close, he said. I reassure that we didn't know and that we were doing our best to figure out puzzle with what very little information we had. "We were GUESSING," he said. That he should have taken me to the ER the first time I passed out.

Well, it took ME days to agree, so it is not his fault. And he literally saved my life - he does not feel it. I don't know what to say to that except reassure him that he did the right thing.

He's not doing so well, Disgruntled Girl. Very tired, emotionally and physically. I keep pushing him to get help. I honestly feel, at this time, he is too tired to do it all on his own. Same as I get, so I want to find a way to help him.

Jesus, this turned into a novel. I realize I hadn't posted in 5 days. That was unusual and should have been a sign of Things On The Horizon. I do intend on writing back, Franklanguage.

So I'm planning another 7-10 day hospital stay, all the while pondering the shock and benefits that came of it. I'm on the medical side this time, so I can have my fill of net access. So yep, expect post whoring.

This entry was originally posted at http://quirkytizzy.dreamwidth.org/1043809.html
As one would have guessed that you might be not doing well as it's been days of seeing an entry appear here.
But that truly puts a cherry on the cake...
Geez Tizzy, 60/0? I didn't even know that was possible. Just as well he woke up and thought to check eh.

I'd imagine he's in shock, and will be for a while, which will be why he's not feeling better about having taken the right thoughtful action. He should really see what resources are available at the hospital, support network wise. There might be... something. A preacher at least.

My thanks for Jesse. I would have missed you awfully.

--As for "good ways to die", for several years now my preference has been to be struck by a ballistic toilet seat from a reentering foreign space station.

Either that or sudden crushing when my shelves full of awards all collapse at once.
Someone get this woman her own home BP cuff with alacrity, please. (I'm staring down the throat of a co-pay I can barely afford, so.)

The Ever-Helpful Oracle (that's Google to the less poetical among us) offered up this tidbit that warrants a moment's consideration once you can think in a straight, or at least unbroken, line: http://www.esitriage.org/algorithm.asp
I've noticed we're sort of conditioned, as a society, to ignore the early warning signs of potentially serious health problems. Whether we don't think we can afford treatment, we don't have the time, or we don't want to bother our doctors for what will probably turn out to be nothing, we end up making a choice concerning our health that is counter to all other practical intuition.

If your "Check Oil" light comes on in your car, you don't generally think, "I'll just wait until it runs out of oil to see if it'll do anything serious." Yet when our bodies start telling us something is not right we do this automatic evaluation in our heads to figure out exactly how much discomfort we can live with before we determine there might be a problem.

It's not even a symptom of being poor. From what I can tell, nearly everybody does this, and the ones who don't -- who actually try to call attention to every possible discomfort -- are generally ridiculed and dismissed as hypochondriacs by those who think ignoring their health is the healthiest possible solution.

So you were dizzy and passing out for several days before you decided it might be serious enough to go to the ER. It's understandable It's the way society has conditioned you and every one of us to think. One more hurdle to jump is to deprogram yourself from that conditioning. You'll need to pay attention to everything. Question everything. Be suspicious of every discomfort until you're familiar enough to know what each discomfort is. Dismiss nothing until cleared by a medical professional.

This disease is the Trump Presidency of your body. Give it no quarter.

All that being said, I'm glad you're not dead. I'm glad Jesse was able to think clearly and save your life. Because remember -- you're my soul sister; you can't die. Besides, the best way to die is any way in which your last words can be "You have got to be fucking kidding me."