Distress.

There is distress, unknown and unrecognized.  Must struggle. Must struggle but I don’t know why. I don’t know who I am or where I am but there is a problem.

Must defend.

Dim awareness. Tejo is here. Why is Tejo here?

My head is held firmly and I taste maple syrup. I hear voices and again I taste maple syrup.

I hear someone say do it one more time and taste maple syrup again.

I feel a need to pass stool. I know if I don’t get to the toilet immediately I will soil myself and I find a voice. I use that voice to express the need to get to a toilet.

I am being carried. Tejo is carrying me. Why is Tejo here?

I am being undressed.  A man is undressing me. Tejo is undressing me. I have never been undressed by a man before. I have undressed in locker rooms in front of men but I have never been undressed by a man before.

I am on a toilet and sweet release.

I become aware of who I am and that Tejo is in the bathroom with me, but I still don’t understand why and ask. I hear Vidya’s (my wife) voice calm but with the authority of  someone who raised 5 children, “You went low sugar in your sleep.”

I begin to understand.

Tejo is saying you need to take a shower. I try to argue but he sweeps aside my objections, finishes undressing me and holds me up in the shower.

Coherence comes over me and I don’t resist. He pulls me out and towels me off, and Vidya dresses me.

“We have to go.” she says, “Or we will be late for your appointments.  Drink some grape juice.”

By this time I have returned to full consciousness and am able to drink by myself.

I have gone hypoglycemic in my sleep. This is considered a medical emergency.   Treatment is getting some sugar into the victim. As we have been through this before Vidya knew what to do but as is not uncommon I become combative when this happens and won’t let her near me so she called our neighbor and dear friend of 38 years, Prabhupada disciple Tejomaya, New Vrindaban’s water department head.

He was able to hold me down and administer the maple syrup which once received I was able to get back out of the confusion that is a symptom of hypoglycemia.

I drank the grape juice and went to the toilet again. The antibiotics I was taking for pneumonia had given me raging diarrhea and I wanted to maximize the time I would have between trips to the john so  the 30 minute trip to the hospital wouldn’t be interrupted. I had an appointment to get a subclavical catheter put in so I could start dialysis and and also a paracentisis to get fluid drained out of my abdomen so I could breath easier and we didn’t want to miss them.

We set out and within a few minutes I feel an urgency to pass stool again. It is foggy and I am telling Vidya pull over anywhere because  I can’t make it to the convenience store which is 18 minutes from our house.  Pulling over isn’t easy on  a West Virginia ridge road because they are narrow and have no shoulders.

Fortunately we make it to Pine Hill and there is a pipeline in progress crossing the road and a Porta Jon. I have never been happier to see a Porta a Jon.

Sugar from fruit juice absorbs into the blood stream almost immediately and good thing because within 10 minutes I had to have Vidya pullover again  and I  puked it all out.

We eventually get to the hospital but I am 20 minutes late. I really don’t like being late but in this case I am glad to get there at all.

I am shivering. Despite wearing a t shirt, insulated vest and a hoodie pulled over my head, I had been covered with a blanket in the car and had the heater going. Set in a room to be interviewed before the procedures, by the time the nurse arrives I am begging her to bring me a blanket to cover up with and am shivering.

I have lost all my body fat over the last few months and the combination of pneumonia and not eating for 5 days had me struggling to maintain my body heat.  I was concerned I would be shaking during the procedures and cause the surgeons to miss the mark but after they brought me several blankets I was able to stop shaking.

After getting registered and having an IV put in I was ready for my procedures.  I hoped they would be quick and routine but I was going to be disappointed.

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