Confused in Fiji

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I had planned to go for a dive here in Nadi today, but I don’t think that it’s a good idea. When I woke up this morning, I felt very confused. I wasn’t sure what day it was. I had no clear memory of what happened yesterday or the day before. I now remember that we went for a cultural evening at another hotel on Saturday night and we saw fire-walking and other demonstrations. Last night we stayed in for a quiet evening to celebrate our 46th anniversary. I went around taking pictures this morning while trying to put my memories of the last few days in order.

I’m not sure what has happened to me. I guess that it’s not unusual to have memory lapses and confusion beginning in one’s 60’s and I have experienced both before. For me, it usually happens when I am in an unfamiliar environment. I have to admit that it is very scary. There are some very pleasant and comforting aspects of growing old, but this is definitely not one of them. It is frightening to be suddenly unable to remember clearly the events of the last few days. (See my Update at the end of the post.)

I haven’t been eating properly and I know that my mental state is very dependent on my blood sugar level. I’m relaxing in the hotel room now as I write this and try to get my mind back in order. This morning I went out to take some pictures in the garden. This is an activity which always calms me:

The colours in the one above are about as confused as I felt this morning.

This one is better – nice, curvy green shapes – very calming:

I’m certainly not going to bother to look up taxonomical names for any of these flowers. Since I am recovering from one of those “my brain has crashed and I can’t get it rebooted” moments, I’ll let interested readers fill in the Latin gaps:

I do know that these are bougainvillea:

As are these:

And these, which were growing out over the swimming pool:

There, I feel calmer already.

Here is the UPDATE: Eunie had the look of fear in her eyes this morning. It’s not surprising, because I can now remember how scary it must have been for her. I was definitely not myself. There is a nice doctor in the little shopping mall next to the hotel. I went over there, partly to calm my own fears and partly to be able to show Eunie that I had enough presence of mind to go and see him. He did the usual medical stuff and asked me a lot of questions. Three hours earlier, most of them would have given me trouble. However, as I sat at his desk, I could answer them satisfactorily. There are a number of contributing factors which I won’t explain because they are, uh . . . personal, but the doctor said that he thought it was very unlikely that I had had a stroke, but did say that I should have a compete work-up of (very expensive) scans and such as soon as possible.

“Soon as possible” will probably be in October, when we plan a trip to Australia for several weeks.

Four hours after the episode I am feeling calmer and ready to go down to the pool area to get on the Web and post this. Probably, most people would consider me a foolishly bold individual, if you know what I mean. “Live hard and leave a mangled corpse behind.” is my mantra. However, I am terrified of mental disease. That’s probably because I have lived most of my life suspecting that I am crazy. Possibly that is because I am often unable to explain my own actions. That seems crazy to me.

Or, maybe I’m just like everybody else.

I love the Seal song, Crazy.

A man decides after seventy years,
That what he goes there for, is to unlock the door.
While those around him criticize and sleep…
And through a fractal on a breaking wall,
I see you my friend, and touch your face again.
Miracles will happen as we trip.

But we’re never gonna survive, unless…
We get a little crazy
No we’re never gonna survive, unless…
We are a little…


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13 Responses to “Confused in Fiji”

  1. Tris Says:

    Mate sorry to hear that. Take care of yourself- we like Mad Dog to be selectively choosing what bits of crazy to embrace, and not vice-versa. Will remember to shoot up the odd prayer on your behalf. Stay well.

    Whereabouts will you be when you come to Oz? And where are you staying in Fiji? Will be out there myself in 3 weeks (and with the lady too… 🙂 )

  2. Steven Goodheart Says:

    Ah, my dear, dear friend! I can only imagine how scary that must have been. It is indeed an adventure getting older, but I hope that this was something to do with say, temporary blood sugar issues, or the like, and nothing more serious. Glad to hear it wasn’t a stroke.

    You take good care of yourself, my man, OK? None of us live forever, but that realization doesn’t make our friends and the things we love less precious but more so. And you and your friendship are very precious to me, one of the wonderful things to appear in my life.

    You’ll be in my prayers (my “metta” or loving-kindness) meditations now big time, in terms of your health and well-being.

    With much affection,

  3. Steve Bennett Says:

    Plenty of Bougainvillea there, the first shot is a mix of Bogan and Croton (or Codiaeum), followed by the green curvy leaf of possibly a Cabbage Leaf Palm, or Livistona. I think. And then you had a sweet red Ixora.

    And I hope the head thing sorts itself out.


  4. Walt Says:

    Well, I don’t know that any of us can really explain our actions fully … but I’ve certainly been caught up in some intricate attempts! (Both my own and others.) Anyhow I do hope you feel better and are able to enjoy the rest of your visit to Fiji.

  5. MadDog Says:

    Tris, I’m fine now. I’ll get a good checkup later. Thanks for the prayers; it never hurts.

    We’re at the Hexagon International until this PM and then it’s back to Madang. Oz in October. I’ll start with some skydiving in Queensland. Eunie will join me when she gets back from Dallas and we’ll work our way down to The Big Smoke.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Yeah, Steve, a little scary. However, on the “change of underwear” list, this one is way down. If I don’t have at least one or two near death experiences a year, I reckon that I’m not walking close enough to the edge. I’m a lemon-squeezer, as you know.

    It is good to have so many friends who help me to worry properly. And I find it amusing that I take great comfort that a dear Buddhist friend is praying for me. I have a sneaking suspicion that all righteous prayers end up ticking the same ear.

  7. MadDog Says:

    I knew that I could count on you, Steve. I won’t even bother any more. I’ll just tell readers to wait for your comment. You just made my life easier, mate.

    The head seems to reattached itself. Except for a completely blank hour or so, I feel fine.

  8. MadDog Says:

    Walt, I’ve given up trying to figure myself out. Too much introspection! I’ve about gotten to the point where if I reckon that I’m not a danger to myself or anybody else and I don’t get punched out too often for being a complete jerk, then I’m probably okay. Asking more than that is probably unfeasible.

    I like what Pop Eye the Sailor Man says, “Aye yam whad aye yam an dat’s all whad aye yam!” Take me or leave me. I’m too far gone to change much now.

  9. Steven Goodheart Says:

    A big smile here, amigo. Friends just look after friends. Thanks. 🙂

  10. Tris Says:

    Hexagon eh? What’s it like? I may be staying there in July.

  11. MadDog Says:

    Tris, I don’t know what it costs, because the conference was paying all the bills. I’d guess it’s mid-priced. Clean, not too fancy, reasonable food, short bus ride from town – all plusses. Internet available only at the bar or restaurant and no power points except at the bar, but not too expensive (F$75 unlimited for one week). The images on the web site are somewhat flattering, but aren’t they all. Madi is “hotel city”. There are lots of choices. The fanciest places are around the golf course on the island. If your funder will spring for one of them, that’s where I’d go. The Westin was great. That’s where we went for the fire walking.

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