“There exists an obvious fact that seems utterly moral: namely, that a man is always a prey to his truths. Once he has admitted them, he cannot free himself from them. One has to pay something. A man who has become conscious of the absurd is forever bound to it. A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future. That is natural. But it is just as natural that he should strive to escape the universe of which he is the creator.”
Albert Camus, “The Myth of Sisyphus” (1942)
Don’t go to church on Sunday,
don’t get down on my knees and pray
Don’t memorize the books of the bible,
got my own special way
I know Jesus loves me,
maybe just a little bit more
I get down on my knees every Sunday,
at Zarelda Lee’s candy store
Got to be a Chocolate Jesus,
make me feel so good inside
Got to be a Chocolate Jesus,
keep me satisfied.
“Chocolate Jesus”; ‘Mule Variations’, Tom Waits (1999)
I’ve been ill for almost six days now… I’m not nearly as bad off as I was from Friday to Sunday, but things still aren’t right. I think I’m actually in a recovery mode from the weekend, where I lost almost eight pounds in two days — or a little over ten pounds, depending on the scale. Most of that, I’m sure, was going from slightly over-hydrated to being dehydrated as every little thing that went in came violently and explosively back forty-five minutes later. It sort of started on Wednesday when a friend took me to see “Live Free Or Die Hard”, which was awesome… except for Kevin Smith, which was weird. But then it started for real on Friday with a really sharp pain just below my belly button.
On any given day I will easily go through 16 litres of fluid, which breaks down to about 14L of water or water with a bit of lemon, then 1.5L of milk* and .5L of diet pop. But I can go a lot higher. I drink a lot, I think I would even if I wasn’t pounding 2100mgs of Lithium (salt) into my body everyday, but in order for the pills to work I have to be hydrated. Getting dehydrated while on Lithium is dangerous and a good way to experience a majority of the wonderful side effects… if you’re getting the side effects of Lithium, try drinking at least a Litre of water every hour. Fixes everything right up.
So in almost two years I haven’t gone anywhere without water. The twelve hours on Friday are the longest I’ve gone without a drink since sometime in 2002, over the whole weekend I may have had three regular drinks and this is what I’ve learned… given the right circumstances I’d sell my family for a glass of water. I’d toss in all the kids in my neighbourhood if it had ice.
When I write “through 16L”, I mean “through”. My doctor has requested I perform a “24-hour urine test” on a number of occasions, but the hospital clinic doesn’t have enough 2L containers for me. According to the nurse on the last occasion, handing out one jug is normal. Sometimes two. But — because I kept running out of containers — the last time I did The Test she gave me every container they had, seven of them for a total of 14L of urine to analyze. According to my doctor, to work the test requires a sample from the full 24 hours. Eighteen hours into the last test all seven containers were full. I drink a lot. I tell people that and they relate it to their own experience where “a lot” would be a bit of juice with their coffee over breakfast. In the two hours I’ve been “working” on this post I’ve drunk two regular glasses of 1% milk and 3L of ice water with some fresh lemon.
Then there were the huge streams of vomit… you always think you’re ready, but you never are. I almost got the whole thing on film but I forgot where I put my camera (couch, under a pillow). The last time I was close to being this sick was years ago, but I can remember having an epiphany while throwing up into my toilet and telling myself then I would never, ever vomit into a toilet again. From now on it’s bathtubs.
Why stare at a pubic hair or a stain while you’re so vulnerable, when a bathtub is relatively self-cleaning with the tap on, and the drain is large enough for “everything”. Plus, and this was a revelation, if you turn the shower on the cold water on your hands and head really makes things better in a way I can’t even describe… and it’s all clean. Seriously, give it a shot next time…
*a couple of weeks ago, in the time between walking through the door and putting the jug in the fridge, I went through nearly 3L of 1% milk. Yes, I drink out of the jug.