Last week I met with my psychiatrist and we went over my bloodwork. One piece of the results stood out as being slightly high. I acted all cool like a cucumber that has been chilling in the fridge, but to see the number in red with the bold letter H next to it sent me in a silent mime like tizzy.
My brain went into overdrive and I was like, holy Jesus, Moses and Daria, what is wrong with me, am I going to die a slow and painful death, who is going to properly care after my cats and good gosh golly and Molly Hannah, who will take my shoe collection.
I cried when I got in the car. It was a self-inflicted pity party. In my head it was ANOTHER thing wrong with me. And in my mind, it was the thing that was going to put my spouse over the edge and send him packing. “What do you mean your chloride is high, holy hell cheeses and salami slices, I am outta here <insert door slamming>”…
It was the longest drive home. See, I promised myself I would not participate in the dirty, dirty act of googling symptoms until I got all the way home and could do a thorough evaluation of what Wikipedia had out there waiting to tell me. I made it to the driveway, remembered to put the car in park (there have been days this has been a struggle) and I began to investigate like good ole Sherlock Holmes, but minus the pipe, because I am allergic to tobacco.
So the more looking I did, I find more information and I cry and cry and cry. You’d think that this whole higher level of chloride means that I am dying or something, but in MOST cases, get this, it means dehydration (Please Note: Disclaimer here: I am not a doctor, therefore please do not take anything I say as medical advice). I throw myself on the bed and weep. Oh whoa is me. Not another thing wrong with me, what am I going to do, how am I going to get through this. All over dehydration.
And then, the brain went into overdrive. What if I have to go to the ER to get fluids and there are germs and dirty people and I am all alone. And what if, just what if, the numbers are wrong and it’s my kidneys and there’s really something wrong?
I sprang out of bed, grabbed my laptop and went to my doctor’s website to find an appointment. Nothing until Monday! I may be a shriveled-up raisin by Monday. Do people not understand the importance of this situation… I have HIGH chloride people; I need medical attention!!!
All weekend there were tears (in private, mostly) but then on Sunday, Sunday, my anniversary, I had my melt down. In his arms I cried. Going on about my defective body and all that’s wrong with me and what if this and what if that. And the sky is falling chicken little, and what will I do? He held me and consoled me and was just exactly what I needed him to be. The yin to my yang.
Jump to today.
I see the doctor. I am informed that my levels are just barely at the high mark, as peoples of the medical world have since changed the scale of what is deemed as being within normal ranges. That my medications can cause dehydration and that I live in the desert and we have had several weeks of 100+ degree days. That I need to drink at least 100 ounces of water, just water, a day. This does not include coffee or tea or juice, just 100 ounces of water. I nearly fell off the table. All I could think of is that I am going to be peeing constantly and I have such issues with public bathrooms that I am going to have to buy some depends because there’s gonna be some cutting it close times, I just know it. And there’s gonna be some “sneaky” sneezes… might as well have a change of pants in the car if you know what I mean.
I can add all the humor I can around the situation. Like the fact that I feel like staying hydrated is my new full-time job. Every time I turn to do something, I take a drink. I am running to bathroom every hour, so I guess I will finally get my steps in. But I feel like I need to make some new business cards that state that my new title is 100 oz H20 Drinker… able to jump tall buildings in a single bound, faster than a speeding building… you get it.
All joking aside, I am going to be going through some intense exposure therapy when it comes to using public restrooms and I am mentally not ready for this. I am thinking I may start a blog that just rates bathrooms, their cleanliness, type of toilet tissue, smell, you know the important stuff… I sort of want to vomit thinking about using a Target restroom, but there’s gonna come the day when it’s gonna have to happen, I mean where else am I going to change my depends?
At this point, I am at 75 ounces of water consumed. I feel fluid. I also feel embarrassed for making such a big deal out of what turned out to not be that big of a deal. I have anger towards the anxiety that runs ramped in my head. And I am tired.