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Another Hospital Trip

Sunday was my turn to visit the local hospital. After I fainted two or three times, my wife managed to get me to the local emergency room. It seems the flu was winning — I was seriously dehydrated.

We took Muttley to the vet Wednesday, and the vet had a cold. Otherwise, I wasn't around many people.

By Friday, I wasn't feeling so great but thought it was simply exhaustion. I went to local mall to walk and write. I grabbed a sandwich for lunch, started to walk a second loop around the mall, and started to feel weak. I drove home and took a nap.

After my nap, my wife and I collected a half-pallet of bricks from next door. The construction manager generously said we could claim any of the left-overs from the various homesites and use the brick. Another homeowner has done the same, using the bricks to build a nice box around an air conditioner and decorative edging around a patio. I didn't finish collecting all the bricks, because I felt weak.

Saturday was spent feeling horrible. Nausea, headache, dizziness, and all the other things that accompany the flu. It was pretty obvious this wasn't a mere cold.

Sunday morning, I was barely able to stand.

I recall using the restroom and washing my hands. My wife apparently heard two "thuds" and came to see what happened. I was on the floor. It isn't the fist time I've fainted, thanks to anemia, but it could have been dangerous. You don't want to faint in a bathroom with sharp corners, a toilet, and a tub. Lots of places to whack your head.

The next thing I somewhat recall is being in the hallway, on the carpet, wanting to sleep. I felt like I had stepped out of the shower without drying. Susan dried off my neck and called the after-hour medical number.

We made it to the emergency room, where I received fluids for dehydration and medication for the stomach cramps and nausea.

Without my wife, I wonder if I would have been on the floor for hours. I was so tired, I could barely move. I don't think clearly when I'm tired, and there is no way I was thinking clearly Sunday.

I often tell audiences that "independence" isn't the same as living alone. We need other people, especially friends and family. Without my wife, I wouldn't be alive and successful. She is my best friend — and much, much more. Throughout all my medical adventures, she's been there for me. Throughout personal challenges, she's been there, too.

More than once, I've thought my wife deserves better than living with me. And, yet, without her I'd be lost.

Don't let a desire to be "independent" lead to bad decisions.

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