Starting to notice some things
I’m aware of my heartbeat.
Heart palpitations are a normal effect. The docs and interns monitor the pulse daily, and look for “urgency” of heartbeat, which is a slightly different quality than the rate. When I feel my radial pulse, it is still slow and strong, perhaps a tad more firm than before. My carotid pulse feels the same as always – not that I’ve spent many hours studying it.
My vision goes blurry for a brief moment when I stand up.
Orthostatic hypotension is an expected effect. Patients agree to take precautions against falling or putting themselves in situations likely to exacerbate hypotension, such as hot showers standing up.
I’m hungry. Sort of. It doesn’t dominate my attention, but if someone opens the door and I smell the food cooking across the courtyard, then I experience a sense of longing. If a growling stomach is not heard and not felt physically, but is an emotion, then that emotion pops up like nostalgia for a moment, until my thoughts move on to something else.
I don’t have a headache — there’s definitely no pain — but occasionally I can feel my pulse inside the small layer of flesh surrounding my skull.
The physical sensations are similar to those felt when I have been deprived of sleep. I feel vaguely heavy; the environment seems obscurely dark.
Have you ever been in a situation at a retreat, a group travel experience, a conference, or something similar, when you found yourself feeling at loose ends (despite usually having a million things to do) and had to check the itinerary before feeling oriented again? Several times today, (although I’ve been staying mentally active with books, blog, and educational DVDs) I’ve felt that the day was about to become coherent, there was about to be a formula or structure that would make the day make sense — and then I realized I was expecting dinnertime to serve that purpose. But I won’t be going to dinner. I’m in a group of people with a both a common purpose and intention, but also their individual rooms and stories and timelines. I think most of them are eating rather than fasting today. So, even though this is a health center known for fasting, it feels odd that I am not going to a dining room for dinner, with the majority of the participants.
Oh, and it’s a night when most of our culture opts to “party.”
So off I go to the True North version of the New Year’s Eve Party, just hoping the aromas or sights of food won’t make me grouchy. And hoping I remember to stand up slowly.