Here’s what happened. No pity party, just the facts.
I’m crazy anemic. On top of that, I’m leaking blood somewhere, and this wimpy system got hit with a virus that was less like “the flu,” more like “the Invasion of Normandy.” The triple-threat was disastrous.
I sort of knew I was kind of anemic; I remember a doctor saying something about this years ago. But I didn’t know it was a big deal and I figured it was related to surgeries. Mild anemia is not a big deal, but severe anemia is and it’s not just related to surgeries. Anemia, by the way, is “a condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness.” I’ve always been pasty and pale; now I know there’s a reason I look like a character cut from Twilight. When taping the TV show last year, I caught myself on the monitor standing next to a tanned, Texas-dwelling Liz Porter and scared the badoobies out of myself; I was practically translucent by comparison.
The headache came on Thursday night, an H.R. Geiger creature trying and failing to claw its way out of my head (the failing part made it try harder, see.) I do remember things — spinal taps don’t fade from memory quickly — but it’s all in patches, including a visit from my Chicago GI doctor one of the days I was at Northwestern. Dr. Yun asked me, “Mary, what the heck is going on with you??” I remember croaking out, “I have to get on a plane to D.C. tomorrow morning” and she basically laughed me out of the building. My mother came in from Iowa; if you said you’d give me five million dollars to tell you when she arrived, I would not be able to take that money home. My sister and her fiance visited; I remember stories they told me of their visit to India, but when did they come? How long did they stay? I remember texting three people, one time each, but I can’t remember one of the people I texted and I have no idea what I said. A friend came to visit and all I remember is him opening his mail. I blogged twice and I am so afraid to read those entries for fear they were absolutely unintelligible.
They did an upper GI. They did another pouchoscopy. They did a CT of my brain. No bleeding so far. They tried an MRI but I pressed the panic button; the congestion in my chest was so bad, I couldn’t breathe outside of a head-locking, skull-screw, mask device; inside one, I was a basket case. I’ll reschedule that and the pelvic ultrasound.
So there you have it. Tomorrow, lighter fare. Now I must rest. I am in D.C. again, horizontal, unable to move anything but my fingers. They’re fine! I feel like I got punched in the ribs and someone has been beating my organs with a fish.