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Sunday, March 16, 2003

Orthostatic Hypotension

I made it through nearly 30 years of my life without ever fainting or requiring stiches. In a mere 20 seconds this morning I accomplished both.

I sit here without the use of my lower lip. I have several stitches in my mouth and chin (the wife says it looks like I've grown a fashionable soul patch). And I feel a little silly.

I was feeling a little under the weather last night and decided to sleep on the couch out of courtesy to my wife (I'd been coughing, hacking, sniffling, and pondering the possibilities of my contracting the new super-pneumonia). When she got up this morning, I decide to go upstairs to bed. I stood up, jogged up the stairs (as I usually do), and woke up on my face, bleeding and confused.

Apparently I passed out. I don't really remember that part. It was apparently a pretty bad case of that head rush I sometimes get when I stand up too quickly. Apparently my movements were a little quicker than my body's ability to shoot blood to my brain.

It could've been worse. I could've hit my head. However, it could've been much better, too. The impact made the skin between my chin and mouth explode. I had a complete hole from the outside of my face into my mouth. I could put a straw in it and suck up a Smoothie if it didn't hurt so much (mmmm....smoothie) and the doctor hadn't stitched it up.

The bad pain comes from the rip inside my mouth. Do this: pull down your lower lip and identify that delicate skin that connects the lip to the lower gum. No imagine a two inch rip all the way across that. Ow.

So, I have stiches there too. I have to rinse with a peroxide/water mix every few hours. I'm on antibiotics to prevent infection (which the doc says is a pretty good possibility). I can't chew anything, so I'm on a liquid diet (so far, soup and pudding). And since I can't wrap my lower lip around a glass, I'm drinking everything through a straw.

On the upside, my cough went away.

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Rapid Eye Reality is the personal blog of writer Brad Willis, aka Otis.
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