I spent much of yesterday at Ocean City High School, in Ocean City, New Jersey. The ocean in question is the Atlantic (and a fine ocean it is).
As I was doing my presentation to a group of pleasant, well mannered, highly intelligent ninth graders, I got kind of woozy. I mentioned, in passing, that if I didn't sit down immediately, I would pass out, and one of the ninth graders suggested I sit in an actual chair, which I did (I was sufficiently woozy that I didn't think I could perch on the side of a table and remain conscious, but not so woozy that I was incapable of checking out seating alternatives).
As I burst into a cold sweat and turned grey, I mentioned that given I was at a school, someone really should call for the school nurse.
It turned out they already had called for the school nurse. She had just arrived in time to admire how awful I looked.
So in front of all those ninth graders, she gave me an examination. First she commented on my grey complexion and clammy skin. Then she checked for my pulse in my left wrist. Unfortunately she couldn't find one, which I explained to the students meant I was dead. She switched over to my right wrist, where apparently my pulse had migrated. It was slow or weak or something but it was there.
Then she took my blood pressure. She murmured the number 80, then said she didn't like that blood pressure machine and I should go to her office and have my pressure taken there later.
I had explained to the students that my temperature is always a little lower than normal, so when it comes out normal, that means I have a fever. The nurse took my temperature, declared it normal, and all the students said, "That means she has a fever."
Now if I'd been a student, I would have been sent home. I mean I was grey. They don't keep grey students in school (or at least they didn't when I went to school, which is why I used to try my hardest to be grey, so I could go home). But because I'm a grownup now (and have been for countless decades), I kept saying I was feeling better and better and no one even hinted I should go home. Of course home was 191 miles away, and it wasn't like my mother was going to go to school to get me.
So I went back to presenting, although sitting down in a chair while I did. After the session ended, I went to the nurse's office and she took my official blood pressure, which was 90 over 60. She told me to keep drinking fluids and have some protein at lunch (so I had a chicken salad sandwich, and a pumpkin cookie with cream cheese icing).
By the end of the school day I felt fine, although this afternoon I did take a two hour nap just to be on the safe side. When I woke up, I figured I should find out if I had something fatal, so I went to Dr. Google, and typed in my more attractive symptoms: Cold Sweat Clammy Skin Low Blood Pressure.
Sure enough, many websites offered diagnoses. I picked one, and it turns out that low blood pressure is indicative of low blood pressure. But there was an actual name for my condition, something with three initials, most of which I've already forgotten (I think there was an N in there somewhere).
I have low blood pressure brought on by standing. This mostly affects young people, but maturity has never been my strong suit.
The treatment is simple enough. Don't stand for long periods of time and eat more salt.
That sounds easy enough. I'm glad I didn't search No Pulse In Left Wrist though. I'd hate for Dr. Google to tell me I'm dead!