Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Devil of Dehydration

I am perennially dehydrated; luckily my skin hasn’t yet shown signs of my complete lack of water ingestion, all smooth and supple like a bar of soap after a single use, but it won’t be long before I wrinkle up like a raisin out in the sun being squeezed by vice-grips.
The only water I manage to drip into my system comes from osmosis during a rainstorm, or in the coffee I drink, the caffeine of the latter dehydrating as it hydrates, essentially canceling itself out. I’m supposed to drink, what, EIGHT glasses of water...a day?
Ridiculous; I’d have to permanently affix a catheter to a mobile piss-containment-unit to have any chance of living a normal it is, I’m taking piss-breaks every forty-five minutes due to the coffee I swill like juice from the fountain of youth.
Although: a few years ago, after a truly prodigious night of hell-bent binge-drinking, I showed up at my girlfriend’s place to finish an ugly fight that had led to the binge-drinking in the first place (and let it be said here that I’m giggly and contemplative when drunk, so I don’t mean "fight" as in "fisticuffs"); replacing one’s daily allotment of water with alcohol isn’t ever the smartest choice, but doing it umpteen days in a row? Yikes.
The fight was over quickly, more than likely because I was in such bad shape that the girlfriend’s maternal instincts luckily overshadowed her probably-justified anger towards me. We decided that sleep was the answer to this and many other things, and I awoke with an overwhelming NEED to, um, poop. I stood up and immediately sat back down, concerned because that action made everything go dark; my resolve to poop stood me back up again and bathroom-bound I bounced off the walls in the hallway like kernels in a popcorn-maker; I was still drunk, yes, but this was different: bits of the apartment were lit as though by candlelight, but I had many blindspots directly in front of me, and I knew from clicking the bathroom light on that all the other available lights were off...even in my state, I knew something was wrong.
Then, on top of that, I couldn’t do my thing, poop-wise; the world spun around me a kaleidoscope of muted light and sinking darkness; I called the girlfriend and muttered what I found out later was gibberish to such a degree that I sounded possessed; 911 was called, and paramedics arrived to find me barely coherent on the couch.
After the night’s events were explained, mostly by the girlfriend, one of them crouched down and said, "you’re massively dehydrated." I must have looked like he was speaking an alien dialect, because he continued, "have you even tried drinking some water?" I shook my head, and there was a glass of water in my hand before I even fully understood who was talking to me.
As glass after glass of water slid down my parched throat, the second paramedic told me that feeling the urge to shit (my phrasing) was a symptom of dehydration, and that if I had put my head between my legs while sitting on the throne, I would have felt better almost instantaneously.
Despite the fact that these paramedics were intent on taking me for a ride to hospital, which was unnecessary at that point, as we had bottles of Gatorade to go with our endless supply of water, they were very informative. Nowadays, at the slightest inkling of weirdness, I go and drink a giant glass of it a stubbed toe or encounter with a particularly heinous homeless guy, I drink water to make sure my head’s on straight.
You’d think, at this point, that I’d imbibe water as a preemptive strike, but no - I’m a pain in the ass of reactionary decision-making, and stubborn to boot.
How is it just now occurring to me that I’m a complete and total asshole? I just drank a big ole glass of water, that's how.

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