Monday, October 25, 2010

terminally tired

We went to our fourth Bridge School Benefit concert Saturday night, through the kind auspices of our pals Jennifer and Andrew. It was, as every year, jammed (the grass seating area was entirely full), chock-full of excellent performances, and very long. It was also rainy at the beginning.

After seven hours of Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, Emmylou Harris, David Lindley, Lucinda Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Idol, Modest Mouse, Grizzly Bear, and, oh yes, Buffalo Springfield, we walked as we have done every year the couple miles back to our hotel. We got to our room at 1:40 AM. We didn't get really properly to bed for another hour.

Up at 9 to grab breakfast and drive home, home by 1 PM, to spend the rest of the day in a muddled state of consciousness. One thing I don't like about Bridge School is that after that much stuff in one evening, I lose the impact of individual performances. The other thing is the exhaustion the next day.

I'm still tired this morning, and just about my first conscious thought this morning was to wonder if exhaustion could be terminal in a literal, medical sense. To the internet I've hied self, then, to find what wisdom I could on the subject.

According to this exchange on Yahoo! Answers, indeed, exhaustion can be terminal. We might, however, question whether the diagnosis of death by fatigue is correctly applied by the, um, roofer who answered.

Something called "Wrong Diagnosis" offers the tidbit that exhaustion death is actually a misnomer for Bell mania. I find this disappointing, because Bell mania is a symptom-related syndrome, rather than a proper diagnosis of death caused by exhaustion. Plus, I'm personally just not that into bells.

I found an online test for an EasyDiagnosis (presumably TM) to determine, from the comfort of your own keyboard, whether you are about to die from exhaustion. The disclaimer uses large bold fonts to tell you, repeatedly, that this diagnosis software, whatever it does, doesn't diagnose. Which may or may not cover the EasyDiagnosis people's asses legally speaking, but sure as heck doesn't answer my question, which is why the hell anyone dying of fatigue would spend their last moments on earth trying to get a computer program to confirm it - or, really, to do anything.

I still, therefore, have no trustworthy information on whether a person in ordinarily fine health can (as they say in the South) up and die from fatigue. I suppose this is the kind of thing I should really ask qualified medical personnel. I'm sure my Kaiser Permanente GP will be happy to hear from me, for the first time in five years, when I email him to ask. Maybe I should ask for a referral.

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