I've returned to exercising. I have a stepper now and I make sure to get on it at least once a week for up to fifteen minutes (woohoo!). A lifetime of exercising and hiking, martial arts and motivation, reduced to this. A middle aged man, overweight, smoking, large swaths of memory erased, barely in love with life.
But before that, what shook me to take some positive steps was that the fainting started. The worst case was a Friday, recently. I tried to crawl to the bathroom at 06:30, thinking I needed to vomit. I woke up about half an hour later on the floor of the shower stall. I needed to call someone. Segev was with his mother and so were his brother and sister, but the phone was in the living room. The distance from the bathroom to the livingroom is about six meters (20ft) but as I slowly raised myself off the tiled floor to a half sitting position, I wasn't sure I could make it.
I looked at the clock as I crawled towards the living room and knew that I had been out for about 30 minutes on the bathroom floor. I woke on the carpet about two meters from the phone, less disoriented than the first time when I woke thinking I was in bed, thinking, 'ahhh, finally I've had a good sleep'. Less than five minutes passed, the second time. I was still another fainting spell away from reaching the couch where my phone lay. Strangely, the first time I have ever in my life left the phone anywhere at night but by my side .
The preprogrammed numbers of my children and Segev's mother were invaluable since I would never have been able to input their numbers manually in the state I was in. No one answered their phone. I made it to the kitchen, another 2 meters away, without fainting and from a kneeling position poured some bicarbonate into a glass, let the tap run till the glass was overflowing and drank in gulps, as though it were some medieval potion destined to upright this sinking ship. I drank some juice, which was harder to reach at the end of the counter since I feared standing would just increase the likelihood of injury on the way down . "Perhaps my blood sugar is low", I thought, and gulped that down as well. The couch seemed the safest bet. From there I could lie down and continue trying to reach someone. In such a condition it might be excusable not to think of calling an ambulance. Honestly, in my entire life I never felt so at a loss so that the thought occurred to me, 'Perhaps I am dying'.
The palpitations were rampant and it was difficult to breath. But I experienced no numbness in my arm, no tingling, no constriction in my throat or chest, no radiating pain to my jaw. It wasn't because of a muddled mind or frantic fear that it didn't occur to me to call in paramedics. I don't trust them. My experiences have been nothing but negative, primarily from the multiple times of rushing my son to the emergency room. I remember thinking, 'I'll be unconscious and who knows what erroneous conclusion they'll come to?' Alright, despite being familiar with some emergency medical procedures I'll admit it was a bit irrational. Still, it was my state of mind. I passed out on the couch but as I had ingeniously set for myself a mechanism to assess the severity of my condition, by looking at the clock and seeing how much time passed between fainting and regaining consciousness, I was cognizant enough to see that the time between was becoming shorter.
I passed out again after redialing a few times and this time only two minutes went by before I woke , dialed, fainted and woke up. I crawled to my bed, my heart fluttering with every beat, and lay there, fully conscious.Finally my daughter called. "Come quickly" I said, and she did.