This Failing Body

It’s been an interesting week.

Last Thursday, I wasn’t even able to really get out of bed. I woke up feeling extremely disoriented, lethargic and of course, how could I forget to mention that my cellphone (which I conveniently kept beside me in bed) was spinning faster than a record player going at 78 RPM. And I knew it was vertigo right away.

Seeing my phone spin like it was possessed was probably one of the trippiest things I’ve seen in my life (believe me, I’ve seen a whole lot of shit). I rolled over in bed and found myself in what I can describe as an unfinished Dali surrealistic painting. The whole world was askew. The door to the bathroom was ten feet away but it felt like I was trying to source some kind of mysterious oasis in the middle of the barren desert a hundred miles away. Needless to say, I was down. I didn’t get anything done that day and I was kicking myself every minute of it because I like to stay busy. And of course, the pressure of the headache was insane.

I considered a lot of things and did my best to stay away from WebMD. I just knew I felt crappy overall.

I called off work. For the week. I feel kind of guilty about it but then again, I preferred that to crabwalking into walls at work.

I went to see my doctor on Saturday. It’s a clinical diagnosis, but I have chronic migraines and suffer from icepick headaches (which actually makes a whole lot of sense). She prescribed me topiramate (for other reasons too) which should help prevent the migraines overall. I’m still waiting for the pharmacy to get it together so I can pick it up.

I’m glad something is being done about this because I’ve experienced this in the past, but the episodes lasted a few minutes as opposed to every other day. On the other hand, I’m starting to feel a certain negative way about aging. Obviously, I don’t care too much about how I’ll look and whatnot, but it’s the idea of my physical body failing me that is slowly creeping in on my psyche. I know everyone goes through their own things but I’m so much more conscious of what seems to ailing others now. Before, I only had my thoughts and emotions to battle, but now it’s the idea of aging with all sorts of ailments and illnesses that bothers me.

And of course, knowing my family’s medical history doesn’t seem to help with my nerves. I’m still going to do my best to embrace it. But the fear is still there, losing my mind and my body through time.

Which also brought me to begin to ponder about my past so I can get clarification for the future.

I fell pretty hard one time. And it’s crazy that I can still remember it like it happened yesterday. It was the late afternoon because the sun was still shining through the little bathroom window of the apartment I grew up in from the age of infancy to seven. I was about five when this happened. I had created a greeting card for my mom and decided for whatever odd reason to hang it up on the showerhead that was mounted ridiculously high (because of course she would eventually have to shower, says my five year old brain). With the card in hand crafted out of red construction paper, I climbed on top of the toilet’s water tank adjacent to the bathtub and reached forward to hang the card. I remember falling and like all great stories, everything went black.

I woke up in bed with my mom tickling my ear with a Q-tip and my nostrils stuffed with tissue. I asked her what happened. She was at the sewing machine when she heard a loud crash. My mom found me in the bathtub facing upward and obviously knocked out cold. I was bleeding from my nose and both of my ears (hence the Q-tips). She brought me to bed and cleaned me up. I was probably gone for 30 minutes to an hour.

I wonder if the icepick headaches (and a variety of other things) I occasionally get have to do with that incident. I wonder a lot about how that affected things. Maybe I’m just trying to resolve some doubts in my head.

I remember being on the phone with a nurse two years ago.  I had called the 24-hour nurse hotline for some reason and somehow it ended up with me telling her about the bathtub incident. I felt her voice crack as she began to choke up. She asked me why I wasn’t taken to the hospital. And all I could say was that I didn’t know. And in the background, I heard her whisper to herself, “Why?” again. I knew she passed judgment on my mom’s call and that she felt sorry for me.

I’m going back for my physical soon and this time, I do want to find out about the aftershock of the fall. So fingers crossed that despite how bad it may have been that my health doesn’t get any worse.

In the meantime, I’ll just have to keep popping Advils.