Ralph Melton (ralphmelton) wrote,
Ralph Melton
ralphmelton

I want to post more about yesterday's delirium while I still remember it. I remember with my rational (or at least rationalizing) brain, so details are already starting to slide away.

A brief rundown on the illness I've had this week:
The first symptom was diarrhea on Sunday morning. This was accompanied with some mild stomach upset. In the afternoon, I felt drained and tired; I felt that I had to nap and forfeit the work that I needed to do for the evening's WoW raid. (I went to the raid anyway because I ended up being needed, but I was very slow of brain and didn't notice perils quickly.) When we went to bed, I was chilled and feverish. We didn't get out of bed to take my temperature, but it was qualitatively noticeable.
On Monday, I stayed home from work, though I felt mostly all right. I had a headache in the evening.
Tuesday, I went in to work, which was a mistake. I watched the MacWorld Keynote in a bit of a fog, then got befogged enough that I didn't feel safe to drive home, so took the bus instead.
Wednesday, I worked from home because of the hassle of walking down to the bus in the rain. Though I had a headache, I felt well enough to go to a company party in the evening.

When I woke up on Thursday, I couldn't untangle my thoughts. It was like the experience of falling asleep and realizing that my train of thought made no sense--but I was awake. I always get a fair amount of random thoughts coming through my mind and derailing a train of thought--but this was an order of magnitude worse than I normally get.
I tried to fall asleep for a while, but my brain was buzzing too much to do the relaxation exercises that normally help me fall asleep. I considered chemical sleep aids, but I didn't feel that I could trust myself to use any chemical sleep aid safely.

I can't tell how long it took me to post my anguished entry, but it was a struggle; it felt as if each word had to be plucked out of a tornado. After I posted it, I broke down crying helplessly for some time, because I felt I couldn't trust my brain and I was so terrified about that.

After my crying stopped, I pushed my way through the chaos a bit to try to establish priorities for what to use my limited reserves of focus on. They went something like this:
- I need to be drinking water. I should get a big glass of water nearby, so that it will remind me to drink.
- I need to make sure I have a phone nearby, so that I can call for help if things get worse. (If they get worse, I'm not sure I'll be able to dial the phone, but...)
- Food... not a priority. A human can survive a long time without eating; if I don't eat until Lori returns home, it'll suck, but it won't be too bad.
- Excretion will probably remind me about itself enough for me to carry it through.

(Note for the future: If I'm in a situation where I'm not confident of my ability to feed myself, it is reasonable to call for help then, not just plan to call if things get worse.)

I flopped on the couch with a glass of water and my phone nearby. After an unknown while, I hoarded enough focus to put in a DVD of cartoons in hopes that that would focus and calm down my mind. It more or less worked--I had just about enough focus to handle a Looney Tunes cartoon.

It's a sign of just how much I use my rationality as a tool for handling the rest of the world that I ended up trying to be rational about how to compensate for my brain being so awhirl. I ended up being super-cautious for the rest of the day--for every action, I would ask myself "can I be confident that this is safe? If it's safe, it's okay if it turns out to be a stupid action." This checking made me stay off the Internet all day, and nearly led me to eating cold soup instead of risking the microwave.

I slept for a big hunk of the afternoon (soundly enough to miss Lori's call although the phone was right next to me). When I woke, I felt tired but lucid. (I also felt clammy then, so I may have been feverish earlier.) Still, the day had been frightening enough that I agreed when Lori suggested an urgent care facility.

The urgent care center and the hospital they referred me to were boring--I was fairly lucid and not in pain the whole time. I got blood tests, urine tests, and a CT scan--nothing came up on any of the tests to indicate anything unusual that would explain these problems.

I'm proceeding on the working hypothesis that I have some sort of minor sickness with one really scary symptom, and the normal treatment of lots of rest and fluid will fix everything, even that scary symptom.
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 5 comments