I woke up today to a burst blood vessel in my right eye. I thought at first, oh shit! Conjunctivitis! But then no, upon examination, that redness had a definite origin-point.
I am not a huge fan of baring personal weakness. (I was going to say in public. But really: at all.) But I'm gonna cop to this one, right now: blood in eyeballs. Bloody eyeballs. EYEBALL BLOOD.
So first thing, no coffee, barely any sentience, and I'm looking at blood in my own eye. I try to look closer, because I'm curious, and I know the eye is not bleeding, not really, and I am not going to die, and I can see fine, and there's no reason to freak.
Reason, however, has little place in my physiological reactions. Almost immediately, I feel nauseous. Two deep breaths later, and I realize the whole breathing thing's getting tough, and also the balance thing, and also there's a freight train in my head.
I am the person who can look at open heart surgery, at my own wounds, at Peter Watts' photo-chronicle of his flesh eating fucking bacteria, no problem. I can gut myself through damn near anything that happens to me, too.
But it's becoming rapidly clear to me that I'm losing this round. All the steady breathing in the galaxy isn't helping. My vision's going all tunnely. I weigh the wisdom of fainting in the bathroom and cracking my skull open on the sink or the toilet (and scaring my husband to death), or trying to get somewhere softer. I know I should sit down. But on the off-chance this is an actual stroke or a heartattack or something lethal, damned if I'd die sitting on the toilet. Besides. The spouse won't wake up for a while. If I collapse on or near him, he would. So.
I'm sitting there on the edge of the bed next to a snoring husband, all over cold sweat, like soaked, with two hungry and thus very attentive cats circling, head between my knees, hands on the ground, breathing as deep and slow as I can, thinking, what the actual fuck, body! Stop it!
I am also thinking: remember how this feels. This is writing material.
And so: I have made little flirtatious passes at the mirror all morning. Is it getting better? Is it spreading? Is it worse? Each time, I am forced to retreat and breathe. Now that the spouse IS awake, I can't take refuge where he is. I must slink out here, put my head down, and breathe. (Because while he has sympathy, having experienced vasovagal shock himself once before, he'll say 'why are you doing a thing that makes you want to fall down? Stop it.) He is probably right.
Sometimes I need to remember: however formidable my will, however much control I can exert over my body, I am still a big bag of chemicals, and there are some things I don't get to control. Sometimes the body wins.
Look for all of this in a future novel.