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It's all about guts - John C. Kirk

Jun. 30th, 2007

10:27 pm - It's all about guts

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While I'm reminiscing (and procrastinating about housework), here's another story from my schooldays. This event takes place when I was about 14: I was in the UF (Upper Fourth), so I was now allowed to go into Horsham (the local town) on Saturday afternoons.

One day I'd been in town, and I was walking back to school (about 2 miles away). As I was walking along, my stomach started to hurt, so I slowed down. This helped a bit, but then the pain got worse again, so I sat down for a rest. When I got up again, I had trouble standing straight, so I walked doubled over. The pain kept growing, and forced me to my knees. At this point I was starting to get a bit worried, and thought that it would be a good idea to get urgent medical attention. Sadly, this was in the days before everyone had mobile phones, and I was nowhere near a payphone. There was quite a bit of traffic, and I waved at the passing cars trying to get someone's attention, but nobody stopped. I crawled along a bit further, but the pain continued to build, and eventually I couldn't even manage that anymore, so I wound up sprawling flat on the ground.

As I lay there, it hurt so much that I knew I was about to die. I couldn't do anything to help myself, and nobody else was coming to help me, so the only thing left was to wait for the end. However, my stubborn streak then kicked in, and I thought "If I'm going to die, then I'll die on my feet." There was a lamppost nearby, and I managed to drag myself over to it. I didn't have enough energy to actually stand up, but I was able to use the lamppost to haul myself up. I stood there clinging to it, and the pain reached a crescendo. My vision "tunnelled", with a dark fog around the edges, and I started to feel light-headed.

I then slumped forward against the lamppost, and as I doubled over I vomited onto the ground. Once I'd finished, the pain went away and I felt a lot better, so I was able to walk the rest of the way back to school without further incident. I'm guessing that I ate a dodgy burger at the Wimpy. So, a bit of an anti-climax I'm afraid, but I think that there are three lessons here:

1) I used to be a bit of a hypochondriac (I like to think that I've improved since then).

2) This fits into my theory that life is like a Rubik's cube: I had to make the pain worse before it got better. (Klingon proverbs are also useful in a situation like this.)

3) Most importantly, it is possible to triumph over adversity, even if you think that the situation is hopeless. As Gunn said in an Angel episode: "Never give up. Never surrender."

Comments:

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From:pozorvlak
Date:July 1st, 2007 05:44 pm (UTC)
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Sounds very unpleasant - particularly the tunnel vision bit! I think I would have wanted some medical attention anyway after that happening.
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From:johnckirk
Date:July 1st, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
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I've had the tunnel vision twice since then, basically when I stood up too fast (and probably had an accompanying issue like low blood sugar).

The first time was when I stood up, felt dizzy, and collapsed back onto the sofa. I woke up pretty quickly (I think), and my initial thought was "Oh, I must have dozed off", but then I remembered hearing the crashing noise as I fell down and pieced it together.

The second time was when I'd been in the bath too long (along with the room filling with steam), so when I stood up I had to brace myself against the wall and ease down slowly - it was a struggle to stay conscious, and it was a very different feeling from when I've just been tired at the end of the day and I'm about to go to sleep. I was able to resolve that one with the aid of cold water, but it's one reason that I prefer to take showers.

There may be an underlying medical issue here, but I tend to blur over this when I fill out forms (e.g. for blood donation), on the grounds that I've only blacked out briefly, and as long as I'm careful I can avoid it.
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From:shuripentu
Date:July 1st, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
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And never eat at Wimpy. :p There are cheaper ways to get yourself food poisoning.
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From:johnckirk
Date:July 1st, 2007 11:03 pm (UTC)
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Heh - I used to go to that branch because a friend's father/uncle ran it, but the chain isn't one of my regular haunts nowadays :)

Looking back on this now, I do wonder whether the laburnum seed incident skewed my interpretation of events, i.e. I was aware that poisoning could have serious consequences. However, if so then it was just subconscious - I just reached my conclusion based on the pain level.
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