Friday, October 23, 2009

I'll Be Sitting In The Corner Munching Some Doritos

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!


Linda Jacobs said...

Yikes! Kind of scary! Glad you feel better now.

melissa @ 1lbr said...

Super glad your lack of pulse does not make you dead!

Anonymous said...

Glad you're not dear, also. There must be a very small percentage of people who get told to 'eat more salt'. Usually we Americans get told the exact opposite. Enjoy your Doritos!


Paige Y. said...

Please take care of yourself -- your post was scary. I'm glad the ninth graders were so attentive and caring. Let us know how you're feeling.

I can't remember if I've mentioned it yet (at 44 my memory is already failing!) but my book club meeting went very well. My teachers cannot wait for the third book to come out and they loved the stickers -- I'm so glad asked you for them last year.

Take care,

forever2693 said...

I hope that you feel better. It would be a true loss to this world if our school nurse really couldn't find your pulse. I must say, you have changed my life and have had a dramatic impression on me. Thank you so much for that. Have a good day darling.

~Anastasia Lily

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Happy Sunday morning Linda Jacobs and melissa@1br and WandaV and Paige Y. and forever2693-

There are some very interesting people with equally interesting names hanging out here.

I'm pleased to say I'm still alive and feeling much better. That's a good thing since tomorrow I go to Houston for a very busy day.

My life will be much easier if the Yankees win tonight, and Houston will be much happier if the Yankees don't blow the whole thing. So for my sake, root for an easy Yankee victory this evening, followed by safe flights, easy travel, and a fun time in Houston for me!

Dawn said...

Oh my, Susan! You need to eat some soup and freezer meals stat! They are very high in salt. This was very scary, please take care of yourself! Scooter would quite put off if Dr. Google told you that you were dead!

<3 Dawn

Susan Beth Pfeffer said...

Hi Dawn-

Well, I've been to Houston and back and I'm still alive. I sat for all my presenations, sipped endless amounts of orange juice (it's amazing I'm not orange), and ate well if not wisely!