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» Saturday, February 25, 2017In Which We Have Interesting Times Followed by Anachrocon
This was the original scenario for today: get up at seven, dress and grab our things, and zip out to the Butlers for Hair Day. Sheri was coming at eight because she had to leave early—her son is getting married next month and everything is at sixes and sevenses. Then we would drive out to the Marriott and join Maggi and Clay for breakfast at the hotel.
I spent a restless night. Since it got warm and things have started blooming, my joints have ached from my allergies. Between my knees and my hips, I kept waking up. Almost the last straw was having to pee at 5:30 after the dang weather radio went off talking about thunderstorms in Pickins County. Arrgh! All I want is a good night's sleep!
I went back to bed, but felt James stirring around. He kept patting at me like he does to see if I'm still in bed.
Suddenly he sat bolt upright at the side of the bed and started shouting about not being hungry and not being sleepy and not being...well, whatever he wasn't, he wasn't making any sense. He had a death grip on the hose of his CPAP machine and just kept sounding off about the same thing with occasional spasms of apologies, but it was all understandable verbiage that was at the same time incoherent.
Well, I was scared out of my wits. I remember Alice when Ken had his stroke, saying that she had spoken to him at the movies, and when he replied it didn't make any sense. And here was James on blood thinners, the very thing that had given Daniel Taylor a stroke! I leapt out of bed and started giving him the stroke test—you know, see if the pupils are equal and if he could make his fingers touch and seeing if his voice was slurred or his mouth was twisted, all that. He just kept repeating that he didn't feel hungry and didn't feel sleepy and... He was almost acting like he was drunk.
Could his blood sugar be low? You have to understand that James has pretty much always kept his diabetes reined in. I have heard of other diabetics not managing their insulin and acting weird after taking too much of it, but the worst James has ever been was a little woozy; he's gotten up and said "I need to have some juice" and sometimes I need to get it for him or sometimes he can manage it alone. But he's never been incoherent. He finally shambled into the bathroom, but he couldn't figure out how to work his own test kit—he kept looking at the items and couldn't name them, and when I asked him what the dog's name was he couldn't remember (although when Tucker barked a few minutes later he automatically said "Shut up, Tucker!"). I tried to get a blood sample but couldn't work the lancet properly and instead skinned out to the kitchen and ripped open one of the juice boxes for Anachrocon, dumped it into a glass, and had him drink it.
A few minutes later he wandered out to the kitchen while I was grabbing for the telephone to call 911, and sat down at the dining room table. The nice dispatcher kept asking me questions and as she did James became a little more coherent. At this point he managed to take his blood sugar, remembering again how to do it, and he was at 57—this after a glass of pretty much pure sugar. By the time the paramedics showed up (in a firetruck, not in a rescue squad!), he was talking coherently again and the dispatcher said to let him go ahead and eat something else. He had a 90-calorie brownie and a cranberry bar and then tested himself again and was only up to 74. Both the paramedics and the 911 dispatcher said it sounded like a clear case of severe low blood sugar and James signed a release and everyone left and then I burst into tears.
(We figure what happened is that James had a no-carb breakfast on Friday, very little carbs at lunch—he had brown rice instead of white rice at Tin Drum, which metabolizes slowly and evenly—and no carbs at all for supper. His score was 145 when we went to bed and he took a full dosage of insulin at bedtime, as the doctor instructed, except it was probably too much for that lower score.)
We ended up eating breakfast at home—Sheri wasn't going to be at the Butlers' until 8:30 anyway—and by the time we got there I felt like I'd already been through the wars. Juanita said I'd done exactly the right thing, but I kept thinking I should have known what it was earlier—I was just so afraid of the stroke because I know minutes count when that happens. And I was horrified to think of what if that had happened one of the mornings after I'd already left for work!
Anyway, I'd let Maggi and Clay know what happened and we'd see them later. I'm not sure what James did, but I just sagged down in a seat in the Doctor Who Season 9 panel room, which was occupied by just two people, me and Patrick Taylor, who was the head of the Who track. Eventually Sue Phillips wandered in—it was good to see her; hadn't seen her in a dog's age—and so did Clay with coffee and yogurt, and instead of having a formal panel we just yakked about what we liked and didn't like about the latest season, and so very much about Peter Capaldi. James came wheeling in near the end and it was all very nice, especially after one hell of an early morning.
James went off to a panel about nuclear myths and Sue and I went off to "Supernatural TV Today." I asked if she had watched this season's Sleepy Hollow and she said she'd watched the first but didn't know if it was worth continuing. I have them all on the DVR but don't know if I want to watch. It was on last night when we came home; they were back in the vault at Sleepy Hollow and Jenny was reminiscing about Abby. Never was an "Ichabbie" shipper, but still don't know if I like the new format, which is rather X-Files-y. Anyway, it was a good panel, and it was great fun to hear Leanne Hieber going off on the season finale of Penny Dreadful because she was so upset about what they did to a main character. I don't watch the series, so I don't know what happened, but it sure sounded like they sacrificed a character in favor of a dramatic finale.
Next I trotted off to a panel about episodes of classic Doctor Who that you would recommend to a fan of the follow-on series. Normally this has been a great panel in the past and both Patrick Taylor and Jevocas Green (who has played the Doctor in a web series called The Forgotten Doctor and who's very enjoyable on panels) were on it, but the only two people in the audience were me and Mel Boros. So we basically chatted about our favorites of the older Doctors instead and being in classic Who fandom. It was fun, but I guess I should have gone to the Supreme Court panel instead.
At one o'clock I went to a panel called "Truth is Stranger Than Fiction," in which authors talked about historic events which inspired their fiction. The interesting draw here was the presence of Dacre Stoker, who is Dracula author Bram Stoker's great-grandnephew, who talked about events in his great granduncle's life being used as inspiration for incidents in his works. (I ate my lunch here, mortadella in a nice big ciabatta roll. The roll was a bit dry. I think I'll stick to Publix' torpedo rolls.)
Now next I intended to go to "The President Has Been Shot" and then "1860s Bestsellers," which was supposed to include discussion about Louisa May Alcott. I didn't realize the Presidents' (Lincoln and Kennedy) panel was two hours. And once Jeremiah Mitchell started talking, I was hooked. He's got a great narrative style and a good voice. Maggi was sitting next to me and I think we were both mesmerized through the whole thing. The first half of the panel was about Lincoln, starting with the fact that Booth at first only wanted to kidnap him and exchange him for prisoners. JFK took up the second hour and he also discussed some of the normal police procedures that were not followed after the investigation, and, despite the Warren report, there is still question about other shooters.
This panel was also neat because classic author Christopher Stasheff is here with his daughter, and he talked about his own personal memories of the Kennedy assassination; while pretty much everyone else were only kids at the time, Stasheff was an adult and at his job as a teacher when the word came through.
At five it was back to Patrick Taylor and Jevocas Green (and a few others) for a panel about Doctor Who's favorite villain...no, not the Daleks, the Master! (Well, that's how I feel. I hate those wretched little pepperpots.) Patrick had a full Roger Delgado-Master outfit and he had even made his own tissue compression eliminator from an Airborne container, "grabs" from a toy, a ping-pong ball for the center piece, and sounds from the do-it-yourself Sonic Screwdriver kit. It was keen. We mostly talked about Delgado or the newest incarnation, the scheming Missy.
Finally it was dinner time. Since we hadn't had the breakfast buffet, we could be extravagant at dinner, but instead had the dinner buffet (which is cheaper than the breakfast one because they have a chef to make omelets in the morning). This was roast chicken and pot roast for meats, mixed vegetables, and mashed potatoes and rolls with butter for carbs, plus a big decadent chocolate layer cake for dessert. We spent a pleasant hour or more just eating and shooting the breeze. Clay is debating buying another long overcoat that can be turned into a Peter Capaldi outfit.
Our last panel was called "Shhh! Women Shouldn't Talk of Such Things, But I Will," which was based on the recent book Unmentionable, which talks about all the crap Victorian women went through, from smearing poisonous lead on their faces to look ethereal like the romantic consumptive heroines in novels, to "women troubles" that could end them up in mental hospitals, to horrible surgeries to keep them from "self abuse" (the primary culprit here being William Kellogg, who later had some corn flakes you might know). They talked about women wearing crotchless panties (well, pantalettes, not the things you see in Victoria's Secret) not for sexual reasons, but because with all the damn clothes you had on, you had to be crotchless to eliminate anything, since you basically just squatted over a hole.
It was very close in there and James bowed out before the panel was over. We left after that since Tucker was probably crossing his legs, and James was sounding a bit froggy. Pretty much we did the same things as last night: went home, walked the dog, checked Facebook, and went to bed!