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Sunday, 17 July 2011

Nothing like Humiliation for a little perspective....

So, Friday, I had tickets to go see three 80's bands at an outdoor venue with some friends. It's an annual concert, and has become a bit of an event for us.  The big headliners were INXS, so you get the drift... Sometimes you just have to embrace your past and go shake what your momma gave you with the other old folks in order to feel 24 again.... It was a gorgeous day, so that was just a plus.  If you've ever seen the movie Music and Lyrics, it was like that...

CG is out of town with his kids for the weekend, so I figured it was a good opportunity to hang out with my buddies from work, who rank among my favorite people in the world.  I told you before, I'm in IT which is a great joke if you know me, because the temperment of the group as a whole is very smart, analytical and thoughtful.  They are logical thinkers, and so there is no drama in the group...ok, well mostly no drama, but what happened at the concert could be construed as drama for sure.

Because there would be no parking near the venue, and since some of the people attending were gonna be working on Friday while it was my day off, I decided to go and park near the office and take a shuttle bus with one of the work peeps. 

As I've told you before, I have been trying to lose my annual 15 pounds... Managed to lose 7 of them in the last two weeks, which means I've been eating mainly lean protein and veggies. I knew they were going to feed us at this event, so I budgeted for a bit of a cheat...

Booze has a ton of calories, so I knew I would only be having maybe 3 drinks the whole evening, which even sounds more scandalous than it actually was, because the event started at 2:30 and ended at 9.... I only actually had two and a half drinks, and here's why....

One of the potential side effects from being on a low carb/high protein diet, is that some people can develop gallbladder problems... I had mine out years ago, but have had the odd attack afterward.  Apparently it's due to a spastic duct they left in, and isn't as uncommon as you might think... anyway, if you haven't seen it coming, the next part of this story wasn't much fun for me.

 I started to get some pain during the concert, even though it's been over three years since I had a problem.  I was hoping it would go away, because there were only outdoor bathrooms, and the thought of having to go lock myself in a porta potty for an hour to let it pass wasn't appealing... it was already super hot, and just the thought of being in one of those things surrounded by the smell of other people's poop was nauseating enough. 

You GOTTA know the pain's bad when that alternative became preferable to sitting in plain view having a full on attack.  Basically gallbladder pain puts your body through the ringer.  Generally speaking, you get severe pain on the right side of your abdomen, then you get really hot and sweaty, to the point where you can soak your hair and a t-shirt through, and you may be writhing around on the ground moaning with pain.  It will pass within an hour or so, and once it does, beyond being exhausted and feeling a little bruised under the right side of your ribcage, you're good to go.

As we were sitting there, the pain got worse and worse until I figured I couldn't ignore it any further. I told my good friend "D" I was headed to the porta potties because I was having a gallbladder attack, and started to walk that way.  I had told him if I wasn't back in half an hour, to come look for me.  I think he figured I was joking.  I stood up without my purse or anything and started to walk.

Problem was, I waited too long... I made it about 100 yards from my friends, in a crowd of 17 thousand people with no cell phone and nobody with me.  I started doing that pinball walk you do when you're completely loaded, and started feeling super faint.  I stopped in place, hoping my head would clear, but it didn't. 

Thankfully, there was a hay bale beside me, and I dropped onto it, probably hitting the person sitting on the other end.  I know I dropped hard, but at least I was sitting, because what happened next is a blur.  I know there was a woman who asked me if I was ok and asked what was wrong.  I told her I was having a gallbladder attack, and the next thing I know I was on the ground.

Now here we were, in a venue with booze and music, 17 thousand people and hot weather, so I know people were looking at me thinking... "Wow!  Look at that pathetic old drunk broad!"  I know I've done the same when at those things and watching some person drop.  The next thing I heard was someone saying "OMG, are you okay?!" knowing it was one of the people I'd come with.  Thankfully I'd been wearing a super bright green tank top, and she saw me fall.

EMS arrived on the scene, took my blood sugar, asked if I knew my name and where I was, and when it started to pass, took me to the ambulance they had backstage.  Once my blood pressure came back up I started feeling much better.  The paramedics were teasing me, asking if I'd faked the whole thing to get a backstage pass to see the bands... I told them that 20 years ago, flashing my boobs might have done it, but that at almost 50 I have to resort to more drastic measures... They said it was the end of their shift, and they were hoping I'd stay there to finish the last few minutes with them... It was actually as pleasant as it could be under the circumstances... they even "sent out" for a fruit plate for me to get my blood sugar up.

Once the attack fully passed, I was actually able to go and watch the rest of the show.  I was quite the celebrity in our little corner.  The people who don't know me must've wondered how I sobered up so fast...  20 years ago, I'd have been so mortified I'd have slipped out of there and changed my name and haircolor, but I actually sort of embraced it... I gave people a little excitement in an otherwise run of the mill concert...

When I sat down on the hay bale I badly bruised my tailbone, then bent my sunglasses and scraped and bruised my arm when I fell flat on my face, but mainly the only real damage was to my pride.

My thanks go out to my IT friends, because they never left my side, except when I really did have to go to the bathroom, and insisted I could make it there unescorted.  They sat outside the ambulance, and made sure I was fine.  They are a wonderful bunch of people, and I am reminded of that daily.  I am privileged to work and play with these people, and I hope they know I'd do the same for them....

Later....

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