Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Serial fainting and competitive sleeping

Yesterday at the supermarket an elderly woman standing in front of The Man at the checkout at the supermarket suddenly collapsed. She was holding out her money for the checkout woman to take when her hand shook violently and she went down like a bowling pin, totally rigid. It happened too suddenly for The Man to catch her, and the sound her head made hitting the floor is not something I will not forget in a hurry. I didn't see it happen. I was occupied with staring mindlessly at a display of toothbrushes at the time, and just heard the awful thud when her head hit the floor. To give an idea of what it sounded like, at first I thought someone had dropped a heavy carton. That's what I heard. And this woman was tiny, one of those old ladies who is nothing more than a twig. It turned out she was 86 years old.

An ambulance was called, and there were plenty of staff there taking care of her, so after making sure they put something soft under her head we left. At that point she was capable of giving her name and age, so at least she was conscious, even if she couldn't get up.

Today we were back at the same supermarket, so asked if anybody knew how she was. They told us she was fine, and looked a little puzzled. The Man explained that he'd been standing behind her when it happened. They thanked him for asking. I thought they seemed a little casual about the whole thing, but then they added,

"She does that all the time."

A serial fainter! How worrying. I don't suppose you can expect everything to be functioning perfectly when you're 86, but still, I hope someone is taking care of her.

The Man's health is slowly improving. He is still sleeping too much, and has problems with his stomach, but all the tests the doctors have done have come back showing that he is in perfect health. One of my friends suggested that he might be depressed.

"Depressed people sleep a lot," she said.

Later, I told The Man what she'd said. That made him snarl a bit, so then I told him what I'd said next.

"Yes, but depressed people don't get grumpy and bite people's heads off!"

In any case he is much better than he was before (and more cheerful). He is now only sleeping ten or so hours a night. And instead of lying perfectly still and corpse-like, as he was before, he is now sleeping more actively. He has become a competitive sleeper. Last night I got elbowed in the ribs, kneed in the bum, rolled over, shouted at, sung to, and eventually shoved out of bed for a little while. Through all of this he never woke up.

It's been far too long, but I think he's finally on the mend.


Keera Ann Fox said...

Actually, increased irritability/grumpiness can be the start of a depression. Any unexplained change in habitual mood can be. But if he's always bitten heads off, he's fine. I'm happy he's getting finer. :-)

kenju said...

I'm happy for him (and you). That's nice to hear!

shammi said...

Glad to hear he's getting better.

Badaunt said...

Keera: He has always bitten heads off when he's not well, or tired. His behaviour is totally normal, for him.

Kenju & Shammi: Thank you. He is not quite there yet, but at least better than before. Things are moving in the right direction, at least.