Warrior Needs Food Badly

This comic is part of a story arc about our invitation to Katsucon 2016!
Click here to go to the start of this story arc!
You can see all of the Katsucon comics here!

This week’s comics include two special guests:
(In order of appearance)
Irime ZaneΒ & Kit Drago
Furthemore and Team Medical Dragon

Fox\'s avatar

I’ve never encountered this before. Not once in my life have I not been able to recover from being dizzy by just sitting and resting for a bit, or cooling off. Apparently I’d had exactly one breakfast bar in the morning, and a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. Apparently this isn’t enough when you’re hiking through a large resort in 75 lbs of armor, running multiple panels and otherwise entertaining and engaging anyone who recognizes you! I was surprised to find that low blood sugar has similar symptoms of going into shock. My body started shutting down systems to conserve energy. I wasn’t hungry anymore because my body turned off my digestive system. It was in the process of putting my brain into sleep mode when I (barely) got to medical. Forget about answering questions–basic comprehension of simple objects I was staring at was impossible at times.

Taking this opportunity to again thank TMD for the gatorade, PB sandwich and a place to sit and recover for a bit. Also extending a thanks to Kit and Irime personally for inviting Mandy and I as guests of honor to Furthemore next year.

Mandy\'s avatar

It was very kind of Kit to take care of Fox after how he treated dragons last week.

58 comments on “Warrior Needs Food Badly

    1. This is exactly the reaction we were looking for.
      Screwing with peoples’ minds is something we delight in.
      I even told Mandy, “Someone’s gonna say something in chat, and cause a lot of other people to go back up and look again” πŸ™‚

      1. Mind screwed. Not an easy thing to do to me. My right eye twitched, then I lost my depth of focus, felt dizzy, then suddenly realized what was happening, but not before wondering about my blood sugar…

        Can’t wait to see this in the printed version! X3

        Job well done Fox ‘n Mandy!

      2. It worked because I had to go back and stare at the panel for a couple of seconds. I’ve got bad eyes (astigmatism) which cause me to see things a bit out of focus most of the time anyway. So, naturally, I didn’t notice the fuzziness because I thought it was drawn that way.

        BTW, Mandy, you got that panel absolutely correct. Having suffered from hypoglycemia on more than one occasion, the fuzziness and inability to comprehend what’s being said to you is a symptom I’ve experienced in those occasion. My sympathies to you, Fox, for experiencing that, sometimes, scary situation. (But, it did make for a rather amusing strip today.

    2. Hypnotic it is. It made me feel lightheaded and realize *I* haven’t eaten properly in the last 24 hours.

  1. Oh Em Goodness! Thanks for the Guest Appearance. I love the expression on my face. Tell you what though, I thought my eyes were going wacked for a minute there till I figure out what you did. πŸ˜›

    1. and who knows… maybe the other dragon deserved it. LOL j/k Oh yeah. and it wasnt just irime and I that invited you. We just threw your name in the hat. The vote online was what got the invite for you. =^.^=

    2. Your critters were fun to draw! I was amused that when I translated Kit into my style, he basically had Seley’s hair with one extra bangs-tuft.

      Thanks you and Irime both for letting us borrow your likenesses, and again for all your help at Katsucon. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes it was! I asked Mandy about that but she wasn’t sure everyone would understand what it was, so she went with a thermometer.

      1. Yeah, I was looking for something to put in Kit’s hand that read easily as “medical device.”

        I was going to go with a blood pressure cuff, but even I couldn’t figure out how he would have gotten it on Fox with the chain shirt, pauldrons, and gambeson to contend with

  2. Silly Fox, this is why you store dragon meat in your pouches when you slay one as per last week. Dragon meat is full of the stuff knights need to keep going with minimal food intake, and I hear it tastes like pork

    1. Dragon meat is primarily protein and fat, both of which are needed in a fox’s diet, but the issue he had was a lack of carbohydrates which dragon meat is sorely lacking in. Now if you were talking meat from a chibi dragon, those things are sickeningly sweet, he’d probably suffer from high blood sugar instead from just looking at one. =P

  3. TMD appreciated me hauling myself to medical. They didn’t like the prospect of carrying a fully armored knight.

    1. Aw, why not? Isn’t that what they train for? I mean, don’t they see fully armored knights on a regular basis? LOL.

  4. I’m a type 1 diabetic, so I understand 100%. The best part is trying to explain your thoughts to anyone after the fact.

  5. Uh-oh. Looks like someone forgot his 6-2-1 rule (at least the middle part)….

    1. I think we just differed on our definition of ‘meal’.
      I’ve started eating a lot less, pushing more water and my stomach has shrank a great deal. I’ve learned I don’t seem to require as much food as a lot of people, or the calorie recommendations are wrong. *shrug* I can get by on 500 to 800 calories a day…if I’m not walking around in armor for eight hours.
      To be fair, I walked around all day in armor on my wedding day, from 10am to 2am, including the few miles of pub crawl we went on.
      I just had a hell of a lot more to eat after the wedding. πŸ™‚

      1. Tsk.. which then is why the rule states, specifically, a REAL meal. Not just a sandwich or an energy bar or a couple cookies. A real, filling meal. People burn a LOT more calories at cons than they think they do.

      2. Seriously? o_O

        800 calories per day would be a starvation level (ie. the body eats its own muscle mass just to survive and conserve energy – since muscles require fuel even when you do nothing) for a person half your size, if the comic is any indication…

        1. Heh, fortunately that’s going the other way, so I don’t need to worry about losing muscle mass.
          I’m concentrating on eating the right stuff, and pushing lean fat burning foods, as I’m 6′ 180, but still have about 20% body fat, based on my, and my scale’s calculations.
          Everything I read says I should be eating 2000-3000 calories a day, but I’m just not that hungry. Most of what I eat is high in protein, so my calves and arms are a rock when I flex. The goal is just to give the body just a bit of the right kind of fat so it starts to burn it, then burns out of it, and continues burning the stuff I want gone.


          On that note, I’m off to bike to work and hit the gym.

        2. Depends on the individual, but yeah, it’s possible to survive on 500-800 calories per day for some people with no real harmful effects, but trying to get the nutrition you need crammed into that little caloric intake is pretty rough.

          Certain people do process food at different rates though – some people store almost everything they eat as fat with minimal waste, which sucks for them in the modern age, but it was amazingly useful for when food was scarce. Others build muscle at a vastly accelerated rate, but that also means they need a lot higher caloric intake per day just to pay the upkeep costs on the muscle mass since 1lb of muscle takes about 50 calories per day. If you have 20lbs of muscle on you, you’re looking at 1,000 calories daily just for bare minimum maintenance, even before you consider the costs of things like exercise, breathing, maintaining your organs or anything else. Anything under that amount will start burning muscle mass as though it were fat because it’s not possible to supply the cells with enough energy to even exist, much less actually do anything.

          Now there are also individuals who don’t build muscle nor fat easily, they simply use what they need and that’s about it. They stay skinny almost no matter what they eat: one study found that some people can literally double their caloric intake per day with virtually no effect, while others bloat out like a beachball immediately. This’s handy in terms of efficiency since they don’t need much food in general, since both fat and muscle cost maintenance calories, but it means they also have almost no capacity for reserves so have to eat fairly continually – if a famine shows up they need the least food total, but they also can’t miss a meal nearly as easily and may well starve sooner than other people despite not having as high of a total food requirement.

          It’s pretty interesting stuff to read up on, and it makes sense that we’d need a mixture of these types in a society to survive in various situations ranging from feast to famine, but it also means fox almost guaranteed has a problem with eating so little. It’s not a matter of eating 500-800 calories per day is “needed”, so much as more is needed to maintain one’s weight. Your body will automatically adjust its weight over time to match whatever amount you have to eat daily. The thing is, if you set it to 800 calories per day, it’s going to eventually shed off all the fat and muscle you have. You can survive just fine on such, at least with a diet which gets the vitamins and minerals needed in those 800 calories, but you’re going to lose that manly foxy figure and I think your fangirls will cry. And probably your wife, too. =P

          It’s just going to take a few months for it to gradually adjust to such. Seriously though, muscles use energy even if you don’t use them, lots of it. If you don’t eat more you won’t be wearing your armour at all for much longer because you physically won’t be able to lift it. It may not affect your day-to-day energy level much, and you may feel full even at 800 calories, but the long term effects are a simple matter of math and which body type you may have won’t much matter after awhile.

          Anyway, it’s your body and you can do as you will, no one here can stop you (except maybe Mandy =P ) but it’s good to be informed about what the decisions you’re making are.

    1. Yeah, I’d have been upset with myself if I’d let such an applicable quote get by without thinking of it.
      Never been more appropriate.

  6. Hahaha… wow. Yeah, you got that drawn right. I recognized what was happening. When I was in college, it was finals week. I was almost done, just this final test left to study for. It was easily the time where I was studying until I woke up draped face-down across my bed with my shoes still on. But in this case, it was the middle of the afternoon, I stood up to go get some water, and suddenly … That happened. I sat myself right back down and quickly did a self-analysis of symptoms. “This seems like low blood sugar, but I don’t suffer from anything like that. Wait. When’s the last time I ate? I skipped lunch … no, didn’t have breakfast… so dinner? no, no, I forgot about dinner… yesterday’s lunch was the crushed remnants at the bottom of the potato chips… no breakfast… ah! Free tacos the night before last. Wait, that’s a bad thing. RIGHT! FOOD! NOW!” Went down three doors to my friend’s room to ask him to please help me get some food and why.

    1. Aye. Having never experienced this before, yet knowing I’d hate a peanut butter sandwich, plenty of water and cooling, I was like, ‘WTF?’

      I guess running up and down stairs across miles of resort (back and forth) burns more calories than I thought.

      1. It does. Especially with the armor on. People underestimate just how much it takes to shift an extra twenty or thirty pounds of weight. If you’re in full plate, you had damn well be eating like a starving teenager.

  7. “Fox … how are you feeling, buddy?”

    ” … Aren’t … I supposhed to … slay you …?”

  8. knights were very big into trail mix for this reason. and fruitcake, a lot of fruitcake, its hard to get as nutritionally dense as fruitcake making it effectively the first MRE

    1. I don’t know about nutritionally dense, but fruitcake is definitely dense. Some modern fruitcakes could be used in place of bricks in building houses. Whoa!

        1. well walnuts, honey, flour, random fruits, booze. probably at least okayish taste

        2. Well, my mother makes a Franklin Nut Cake which is in essence a fruit cake. It’s pretty good actually. But, that may be because all it has is pecans, pineapple, and candied cherries in the batter.

  9. Being someone who just pushes through just about everything I was pretty confused.
    “WTF is wrong with you, Body? Get up. I gave you time to sit. You had food, water, rest and proper cooling. You’re not hungry, thirsty or overheating. What the hell is your excuse? Stop being dizzy and get back to work!”

    We’d just finished two back-to-back panels and then some conversations afterwards. I wasn’t sitting in either panel.
    I guess I was expecting to be more like a NiCad battery, with gradual power loss. I guess despite being a vulpine, I have the heart of a LiIon. πŸ˜€

    1. it’s kinda funny but still i hope this sort of thing doesn’t happen again to you. You very much seem to be the kind that could wear full plate mail and do jumping jacks for a few hours or running mount a Clydesdale. The fact you made it that far into the con as is is awesome. Maybe have a rope with a coin purse bag with candy and energy bars in it wrapped around your armor to remember to eat more often. heart of a lion you do not have, your the rare kinda knight, you have the heart of a dragon. This may be why you hunt dragons. Long live the last of the knight ninjas! (since you also seem to be a cross class ninja)

  10. Nine Divines, Fox! The symptoms aren’t just similar to shock, you were going -into- shock!

    A little lesson for anyone who hasn’t gone through this, to hopefully keep you from going through this:

    Your body is a network of biological machines. They exist in a balance with one another, but it is fairly easy for things to go wrong. What happened to inspire this story is amazingly serious – very strong people can and have died from it. In periods of heavy activity, your body can force itself to stay in active mode for prolonged periods of stress through a series of hormonal discharges. You may not think of yourself as “stressed” – hell you may even be having fun, but all that energy you are expending has to come from somewhere. That somewhere is your supply of Water, Sugar, and Salt.

    Water – Little known fact about hydration, but a lot of the water your body uses today for basic processes (breathing, circulation, digestion, etc) comes from -yesterday-. Depending on how precarious your particular system is, one bad day on hydration is all it could take to put you off kilter for days or weeks (my wife gets horrible hot flashes and headaches after only two or three bad days for hydration.). Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate – If you are already thirsty it is too damn late. Take a break, drink water. For maintenance hydration, slow is better than bursts; drink a few mouthfulls of water every few minutes. When dehydration sets in re-hydration becomes priority one but don’t overdo it, over hydration carries its own risks. Try to avoid more than one and a half quarts of water per hour unless directed otherwise by qualified medical personnel.

    Sugar – Every bit of energy your body uses comes from sugar. A major function of the digestive system is to break down the food you eat into sugar that can then be used to provide energy to do things. Fat gets broken down into sugars. Protein gets broken down into sugars. Carbohydrates are sugars (but still have to be broken down into the component sugars your body actually needs). And you need all of them! Just as Fox described; during high activity periods of stress your body puts your digestive system into standby mode, silencing the hungry alarm with a hormone that blocks the receptors. Similar to hypothermia, it’s when you don’t feel hungry anymore without having eaten anything that you’re starting to get into trouble. If your activity level is just right your body will start converting any stored fat into sugar, but it can only do that a little at a time. Take a break, have a snack. Fruits and nuts are amazing sugar-crash-prevention/recovery snacks, just remember to drink water (more water if eating dehydrated or freeze-dried fruits and that includes raisins)!

    Salt – Contrary to an appallingly popular belief among the masses, salt does not cause dehydration. Salt is just as important to your body as sugar and water but in lower quantities – too much salt can cause problems yes but salt itself is not the issue. When your blood salts get too low you stop distributing oxygen and sugar as efficiently, this condition is called Hyponatroxia and can be caused by over hydrating (all things in moderation!) Mixing in some salty foods with your sweet foods helps to keep your body in balanced, but don’t overdo it. There are lots of foods that contain natural salts which you don’t necessarily think of as being salty, so do your homework and find what works best.

    Sorry for the wall of text, but this is a subject I take deadly serious.

    1. I once got so low I lost vision in my right eye… I don’e even know if that’s possible… Still, when FOX is stumbling around, you know most of us would have been dead an hour before. I wonder what the prerequisites are for joining Fox and Mandy’s “I might share a canteen or two in the apocalypse” list…

      1. Partial or total vision loss is not an unheard of symptom/effect of severe dehydration and-or hypoglycemic/hyponatric shock. Odds are you were only a few steps away from the condition everyone’s favorite canid was in. I get wibbly vision myself pretty early on my symptom list.

        I’ve -never- allowed myself to get this bad, but I’ve been close. Knowing my family has a history of hypoglycemia disorder, I pay closer attention to my body than most and don’t try to tough it out for too long before getting at least a snack. Couple that with training and experiences from my service in the Army, I’ve got good mental metrics for my water/sugar/salt balance.

      2. Yeah, you can lose vision from too little water (over time!). Had an aging cat with kidney failure go blind. Started hydrating him subcutaneously twice a day and his vision, sort of, came back for a while.

  11. Yeah, low blood sugar has some really annoying symptoms to it. Apathy, lack of appetite, lethargy and drowsiness being the four worst ones because they all kind of bunch up together to make it hard to actually fix the problem. IE: You NEED to eat something with sugar in it, but you’re not hungry, you can’t be bothered to get up, would much rather take a nap, and even if you know it’s causing brain damage you just don’t care.

    Ah, yeah, that’s the other thing. If you have low enough blood sugar to experience symptoms at all, you’re already starving your brain badly enough that it literally is killing off brain cells already.

    So of course you need to eat immediately, and all the symptoms gang up to make you want to do anything but eat.

    You have to wonder how we wound up with such a screwed up basic functionality that shoots itself in the foot, reloads and aims for the other one. Sure, it conserves energy, but it prevents you from getting more energy which means you’re pretty much dead without external help if you’ve never experienced it before because you’ll probably just go to sleep and not wake up.

    For future reference, a cup of milk gets absorbed pretty much instantly, as does honey. Chocolate milk’s probably the best for it since it has more sugar and has some protein so help the sugar get processed fully. You can also get pure liquid glucose for emergencies, and it kind of tastes awful (weird, since it’s just sugar, but whatevs) so you probably won’t accidentally eat it before you need it because you wouldn’t touch it except in an emergency. =P

    Anyway, sorry to hear you got stuck in a sugar low! It did make for a good comic at least. =3

  12. Ooo yeah. Back when I played in the SCA, wasn’t lack of food, but getting massively overheated during an athletic competition in a full heavy kilt during a summer day. Europe… in the middle ages was a lot colder than the south of the U.S. in summer. Things swam, people’s questions made no sense, and suddenly the sun feels cool and refreshing… Fortunately I was dragged under some shade and force fed Gaterade and not allowed to move for an hour.

    1. Heat exhaustion is the next step before heat stroke. Neither is fun but stroke can be deadly. At least, you had people there who knew what you heading for and made you cool off. Me, on the other hand, I HAVE to have someone keep an eye on me when I’m exerting during the heat of summer. I’m naturally cold-natured and don’t feel the heat nearly as badly as most people. I’ve literally been in situations where I didn’t realize I was thirty until I took a drink of water.

  13. Could be worse Fox could be like me and my mom we well both go the full day with out eating any thing at all and never get hungry it well only come to our atention if some one asks us if we have had any thing to eat or we start to get a headacke well we stop and get somthing to eat. We forget to eat more so if we get in to something we realy like.

  14. Good thing he’s so weak at the moment so he doesn’t attack the medics for being dragons

  15. I’ve been through those before multiple times, except the “Get this man 50cc of peanut butter” part. It’s never fun and depending on where you are it can be dangerous, not just for you but for those around you. Like Katsuni said, you can get liquid glucose for emergencies, though personally I prefer the chew tablets for that. Another option that also works if the person is unconscious is the gel type cake icing because it can be absorbed through the gums. CAVEAT: MAKE ABSOLUTELY SURE THE CAUSE IS LOW BLOOD GLUCOSE!! If there’s any doubt get someone who’s related to the person or a trained medic. Glad you’re OK though Fox.

  16. First of all, congrats on being Guests of Honor at Furthermore. Secondly, I had to do a double take at the blurry effect on the third frame. That was very clever!

  17. Jeez Louise. Glad Fox is okay. Also, I spent like thirty seconds staring at the middle panel and then the panel next to it, just to confirm my vision wasn’t fritzing on me or something. Well played.

  18. Fifty cubic centimeters of peanut butter? Yeah, I suppose 10 x 10 x 0.5cm would be approximately the size of a sandwich.
    At first I was visualizing a slab of 10 x 10 x 5cm, but then I realized my math was off.

  19. This is something I can relate to very easily…take care of yourself, I enjoy the comic to much to hear something happened to either of you. ^^

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