... oh gawdohgawdohgawdoh-*SMACK*
(oh gawd this is my first fic posted please be gentle)
SEASON: 1st Season, early episodes
MAJOR CHARACTERS: Rodney... and Carson. Rodney would think so.
DISCLAIMERS: I own nothing except my own typity-type. No touchies, plz to ask. SGA is owned by people far awesomer than I.
SUMMARY: Hypoglycemia. It sucks.
NOTE: This was inspired by some of the recent glut of fics I've been reading, concerning that grumpy-guts astrophysicist McKay, and one of his 'favorite' subjects, his health; more specifically hypoglycemia. Low blood sugar (as it literally means in Greek) is never an isolated thing, it always has other health problems with it, most commonly diabetes. Not that it's common in the first place... I have hypoglycemia, and this story is based off of my own experiences. Hopefully by the end of it you'll see why poor Rodney's obsessed with food. This will be as long as it will be, but I'm going to try for 4k words...
Curving, graceful hallways felt like a ruin, or a school building that no one had been in for a very long time. For the last few weeks, the expedition's been settling in, bits and pieces, people already dead and things already missing, or running out... The darkened, shadowy hallways and cool, starry sky outside of the massive, potentially mobile (still mobile?) structure meant that it was night.
That didn't mean everyone was asleep.
New galaxy, new city, new schedules, work... meant that some were still up. Not many. Three hundred people, not more than fifteen were awake, in all likelihood. Most likely Marines. Watching. Poking at things they shouldn't be.
Meredith, however, didn't care about the aptly-named 'jarheads' and their grubby hands- at the moment. There would be more than enough time, now that there was just them, the Pegasus, and no televisions or radios with broadcast programs for light-years. Possibly light-centuries. No prying lab 'assistants' who didn't know what titration was, no traffic, no middle managers to keep happy... just the increased reality of death by space vampires.
Meredith didn't (quite) care about that either, at the moment. He was busy. Happily so, in fact. The doohickey he'd found before lunch mess was small and nifty enough for him to have dragged it to pot roast and salad, and he'd let the meat go cold before he finished his food. He had had to give up walking down the sleek hallways while fiddling with the cylindrical thingy, instead rushing as quickly as possible while not running. He had almost run anyway, but then people would have laughed at how silly he looked...
The yellowish-gray cylinder was now in several hundred parts, despite fitting in his palms quite nicely, like a water bottle. Some parts were in a box, most were arrayed like model components, neat and orderly, across a huge workspace table, and he had about half-way to go. It wasn't a power source, he'd gotten no readings. It wasn't a generator, he suspected. He didn't know what it was, and that was the intoxicating thing about it. The cylinder was smooth and only had paint on the outside of it. There were three others in a box, sitting on another table, still whole. Picking and prying, he maneuvered the spindly, dentist-like tool carefully, and another semi-metallic peice 'flaked' off. He carefully picked it up with tweezers and placed it in a specific grouping.
The desk lamp he had pointed at his work seemed to dim, then surge back to it's original brightness, just a flicker. It was enough to distract him, momentarily. His head came up, hands poised over the half-cylinder. Staring. It didn't flicker again, so he looked back down to his work.
Was it cold in here? He suddenly realized that his back hurt, from being tense and hunched over for... what time was it? Looking around, he tried to work out the crick in his neck as his stomach sank.
It was really dark in here.
Dropping his tools to the table, almost carelessly, he felt his shoulders bunch up, twinging his back. He was on his feet before he realized it. What was in those shadows, everywhere? This lab was huge, easily the biggest one they'd found, roughly the dimensions of a hockey rink- oh God what if there were Wraith hiding in the rafters? Well, okay the Ancients didn't exactly do rafters but what if there were Wraith- to study, hiding, sneaking around- he jumped, twitching, facing the opposite direction in a blink.
Radio, where was the radi...
"Ugh." The world swayed, and his stomach ground, pinching in a bad way. Like when he had had food poisoning from that horrible Burger King in Vancouver... "Agh." He swallowed, trying to force his stomach to behave. Chair. Need chair-
He plopped back down in the chair, trying to get his panic (which was quite real and very plausible thank you!) under control- there weren't any Wraith because they would have eaten him by now, they-
his guts bent in a nasty way, like someone had stuck their hand in his intestines, and squeezed- he turned away from his table as he gagged- but didn't actually vomit.
Food. He needed food, but he'd be damned if he- "Ugh-"Wraith, what if there were Wraith here? They've escaped notice before, and he didn't know what they wanted aside from-
"Hgh"- his stomach rolled and tried to get rid of what was in it, which at this point was nothing, a horrible sour taste.
Huffing and swallowing as quickly as possible, he straightened, then leaned on the table again. Even if there weren't Wraith, his mind raced, what if it was the device, what if it had made him sick? What if he'd picked up the Athosian version of Ebola? Oh God, what if he's having a new allergic reaction, to some forsaken version of citrus in this forsaken galaxy, billions of miles from home, he'd never make it back, they were trapped, the Wraith would find Earth and it'd be all his fault-
It was if a switch had been flipped in his mind, without his knowledge. The world- and his mood- was now-had been?- as dark and empty as the between-spaces in space, like the floor had dropped from under him. Nothing was right, nothing would ever be right, and it was all his fault- even his vision was blotty at the corners. Heart thudding and his insides twisting like they wanted to leave in an unpleasant fashion, he swallowed again and tried to push back at the sensations... after all, when was the last time he'd eaten? The thought of food made him gag again as he cast about for a bottle of ... something, water, he probably had a juice box down here somewhere or a Powerb...
As his head jerked around, no one was here, and he shoved back at the panicked thought that the cylinder had somehow killed everyone-that was ridiculous, and he shoved back at the thought that this was the Pegasus Galaxy, nexus of Suck for the universe... his stomach roiled and he noticed his hands were shaking. Even sitting down, he felt lightheaded and unsteady, and even if he laid down, it wouldn't stop, it would still feel like he was falling over... If he could stick a finger down the throat of his brain, he would. It was like his brain needed to puke.
Yep. He needed help. Food. Water. Water first. Faucet, down at the south corner, keep that down first-
He didn't keep track, didn't care how long it took him to inch his way over to the south corner of the lab. Dizzy, panicking over anything that came to mind, which seemed like everything (including his hair- oh God he was balding, he knew it-) trying not to just curl up and die (would dying make it better? He'd shoot himself right now- wait, no, too much work, fun work, too much- )... one foot... in front... of ...
The hallway was bright, and there was ... someone... wait what? The unpleasant tingling, rushing sensation in his hands and legs and the nausea made him dizzy enough to lose his balance and he fell against something, heard someone say something-
Carson! Doctor Beckett! How did ... the light was too bright.
"Rodney, you came to me, lad- what's wrong?" Had he said something?
He blinked in the light, realizing he was on an infirmary chair. "Food. I feel sick."
Trying to make his eyes work made it worse, and he bent over, trying not to retch onto the floor. Doctor Beckett was trying to ask him something; he couldn't really understand it even though he knew the words. "Need to eat. I feel really sick," Rodney said, as he rubbed his face, Jesus his hands were nice and cold...
Beckett tried to ask him some more questions, and the rustling of paper made him nauseous again, and was unaware of the groan.
What seemed like ages later, someone messed with his arm, and- "OW!" The new sensation made things bad enough that he wanted to pass out, instead of shaking like a tree in a storm and needing to throw up, but unable to do so. Rodney blinked, trying again to make sense of things as it blotted at the corners... he was sitting on a bed, an intravenous needle in his arm and a nurse messing with a bag... "Ugh." "Doctor McKay?" The woman's voice, while normally would be pleasant, grated on his psyche, making him feel sicker. He turned his head to her, eschewing actual speech. "Doctor McKay, did anything happen?" "Ye-yeah. I need something to eat..." He knew he sounded stupid, but he didn't care. Not now. Not when it felt like the world was closing in on him... even though the walls weren't moving. "When was the last time you ate?" "Lunch."
She moved away, then back. Messing with his arms. "I'm not injured!" Rodney snapped, angry. "Just- ugh." He buried his face in his hands again, feeling heat. God this was stupid. What was he doing? He needed to tell her more, but couldn't bring himself to say anything. It felt pointless.
The nurse put her small hand on his shoulder, and he smelled food. Apple juice. Ketchup. He opened his eyes, and noticed that his stomach was less angry with him. He also noticed Beckett hovering, a few feet away. Concerned. The physician opened his mouth, but Rodney spoke first, eyes darting to the juice.
"Juice first. If I get rid of that, it won't put me off something that I like," he groused as he fairly snatched the cup from the small woman's hands, ignoring the sandwich. He wasn't up to that yet. He only knew he would be (ever again) because he'd felt like this before. He knew food would help, sugar, then protein, then more heavy stuff like fat and complex carbohydrates... a ham and cheese sandwich was worlds better than a Powerbar, but both were effective at putting what his body needed in him. He noticed, as he stared into the clear amber liquid, that he felt tingly still, but in that way that he knew was going to be bad in anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, if he didn't eat- but wasn't right now. He still felt ill, but he could at least entertain the idea of food... he sipped at the juice, pointedly ignoring Beckett, who stayed with the sandwich (which was on the bed) when the nurse left.
A glance at the i.v. solution bag told him he'd been here a while... enough for half the bag. No wonder he felt better... Rodney shook his head, refusing to look at Beckett. It had been a happy two years since the last incident, and he'd be glad if another one never ever arrived. How stupid did he have to be to forget to eat? This was preventable. More than preventable, everyone needed to eat! God... genius... he snorted, and noticed Beckett shift, coming closer.
His stomach grumbled when he swigged the fourth-cup left, but it was that border of hunger/not-good, rather than not-good, so he went with it; and picked up the sandwich. "I know, it was stupid. I should have realized what time it was. It's not like I want this to happen." He took a small bite, sullen.
Beckett hesitated, Rodney could tell he was searching for words. He interrupted again, irascible. "I know, Beckett. The only way to deal with this is a lick and a prayer, and I don't want to hear it." He swallowed what was in his mouth, and took another bite, this time his stomach, temperamental bitch, growled in hunger.
The hesitation turned into something else, and Beckett spoke. "Why didn't you call on your radio?" Rodney felt his face heat, and didn't answer, busying himself with the sandwich, which was somehow now more than half gone. He stopped, knowing that if he ate too much too quickly, he'd feel sick in a new and unpleasant way. He honestly had no reason for why he hadn't called on the radio... dignity maybe? He shrugged, trying to pass the shrug off as a bit of stretching.
Carson shook his head, and Rodney looked up. The dizziness was gone, as was the unpleasant gritty feeling in his veins and arteries, and he didn't feel like everything was ruined- but the medical doctor looked upset somehow. Sad?
"As long as you're alright, McKay." A half-smile, happier, and Beckett was off to a side table, picking up a folder and moving off.
Hypoglycemia. It sucks.
Mood drop- it's like a switch, seriously... instant depression, nothing is right...
Shaky; cold nose, everything feels physically strange like something's in your blood, like sand
nausea, and yes, throwing up can happen, but hasn't for me thank Jebus (I don't usually use God's name in vain... I swear)
Upset guts- ohh... when you need to eat, upset guts are counter-productive. Life sucks.
other stuff can happen too... no bueno... and yes, yes it can be that sudden. It's scary. The panic is also from the drop in blood sugar, not just his natural propensity to it... and the light stuff.
When your blood sugar is low, you make dumb decision, lose thoughts, etc.- after all, human brains are computers made of fat that runs off of sugar. Sugar-fueled fat computers. Rodney just didn't think about the radio, forgotten about it. You also make things difficult that shouldn't be difficult, like decisions... Rodney knew he needed help, knew what he needed, but couldn't see a way around the 'stomach doesn't want stuff in it,' so he went alllllll the way to Carson, without actually consciously making the decision, because he knew Carson could help. :\ It couldn't be solved immediately, so he gave up.
Meredith when he's alone, Rodney when he's with people... just a convention of mine... :p
Please tell me how I've done, even if it's just "OMG LUV." Valid criticisms include things like "you used the word 'he' too much" or "psshhh more psychological angst plz" ... anon reviews enabled, plz to not flame. :3 :checks: eh, 2k not bad!