Sunday, February 01, 2015

I've fallen and I can't get up

So I had a terrifying experience in the bathroom earlier today.

That opening sentence is the kind of thing I would have written as a prelude to some hilarious anecdote before (circa my first book of essays perhaps, which was full of idiot mishaps). Sadly, these days, I say it with a straight face. It really was terrifying, as it forced me to face how much my health has deteriorated, especially lately, with the added stresses and anxieties and inconveniences and self-doubt of the past few weeks.

Basically this is what happened. I was taking a shower. At some point, I went into a sort of squat, to check whether the drain was clogged with hair, as it did not seem to be draining properly. Immediately my weakened legs gave way from under me and I was forced into a kneeling position on the wet slippery floor. I tried to get up -- to prop myself up on my left leg and then push myself into a standing position -- and realized that I could not. In order to push my body up I needed to use both weakened legs and in the position I was in, I could not.

Panic. I was stuck, and my knees were beginning to hurt. Every effort to push myself up failed. There was nothing solid enough to grab onto that I could use to bring my arms into the equation -- nothing that would bear my weight anyway. I could not even reach my phone to call for help. And even if I could, I might have an attack of hypoglycemia before anyone broke in to find me damp and naked on the floor.

I uttered desperate prayers and tried again. This time my other foot slid to the side and managed to wedge itself against the wall, so with this added leverage I barely -- barely -- was able to push myself up until I was standing, at last, shaking from the effort. Never have I been more grateful that I don't have an enormous bathroom.

My doctor saw me later the same day. I told her about it. She is still confident we can beat this. She gave me twice the usual amount of injections, we did some PT-type stuff, she berated me for some minor slip-ups in my regimen over the past two weeks, and we set another appointment for next week.

Mick says we can install a bar into the wall of my shower area, for me to hold on to and to help me in case anything like this happens again. I think it's a good idea.

I would call this a wake-up call except that I've known for some time that my health is crap. Just the fact that I can barely make it up the stairs in front of my own office building tells me that. (Time to start taking the disabled ramp.)

I need to get better. Or, you know, die quickly and peacefully and soon, in my sleep. Either way. I can't handle a slow decline.