Thursday, In The Emergency Room…

I’m fine now. Okay, maybe not one hundred percent fine but so much better than I was on Thursday. I just FEEL like I’m alright in comparison with…you get the idea.

The left side of my head was wracked with searing pain, I could only describe it (and again this makes NO sense)  as oozing green jello on crack cocaine wearing a choker collar, fastened way too tight. The black collar was sharp, with metal triangular studs bursting through it about to swallow my skin. I have never had a headache, a one-sided headache, that bad, deep and unrelenting before in my life. And yes, in my imagination, there was blood, messy, crimson, creepy blood dripping from all my veins into my wide open mouth.

It was the headache that went on and off for weeks but got progressively worse.  Anyone living with Fibromyalgia is no wimp, let me start by telling you that. I’ve known all kinds of chronic pain but this was new. “Join the club” did not seem like an appropriate greeting. This stabbing, shooting misery aimed directly at the left temple and whole left side of my face were like launched missiles hitting their target every single time.

I've had a migraine/headache for 6 days straig...

I was also nauseous and my left arm tingled. I was my in my war zone. Finally, after a few hours of this non-stop torture, I agreed, I even urged, to go to the Emergency Room where luckily there were no lines of people waiting ahead of me. I was so grateful that there was only one family before me that I could have started sobbing at the registration desk.

I was already dizzy, so that when the security guard on duty started asking me questions,  I just had to pry my aching head, from my folded arms on the counter, and squint to answer what my name was, my address etc. that was all I could handle.

“Have a seat” never sounded so good to me before. My husband rushed in after parking the car and with his arm around me, my head nestled into his neck, I tried desperately to hold on to my sanity with all the pain.

When they finally called my name they led me to a room which happened to house another patient with the same symptoms, it was so odd. The nurse, the lovely and sweet nurse, was amazed at both patients’ similarities and if we could have laughed, we would have but at that time we still hadn’t received  pain relief and we had no sense of humor.

Grey's Anatomy (season 1)

Grey’s Anatomy (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After what seemed like hours, the ER doctor breezed in and while questioning a few things on my chart (not confidence inspiring At ALL)” What’s a stapedectomy mean? What does the drug Savella do?” 1) ear operation 2) a drug for Fibromyalgia.

Finally, FINALLY they gave me shot of some heavenly drug with a dose of benadryl and a huge bag of saline solution. They took me for a CAT scan and insulted my brain and my age which were not the same (never mind)  as they should be and left me to doze.

The medicine wore off quickly and while all I wanted was to get out of the hospital, away from potential staph infections (I watch way too much Grey’s Anatomy) my neighbor chose another shot (not that I blamed her) and slept it off. At one point I actually wore small blue hospital gloves that embarrassed my husband, shocked the ER doctor and amused me immensely.  I left to just get out of the hospital germ zone and they gave me a Percocet to swallow on the way out. All of this is true.

We left at 1:30 am and I stumbled to bed. The next day I had three, yes, three doctor appointments: First with the Rheumatologist that my husband was hell-bent on me keeping (I regretted that. 2) My Internist (follow up from the ER and 3) New (bad-ass) Neurologist because I had no choice and I lucked out with a great doctor!!

She was an impressive, straight forward, to the point and very, very nice and I begged to be her patient to which she smiled and said she didn’t care who I made my post office appointment with and half winked….We love her. (A big thank you to my friend Phyllis.)

So, now I wait, until eleven pm, a more decent time to go to bed than 8pm. I’ve been waiting for this time, this pain pill, and my pillows all day and night. I think of it this way, nothing could be worse than the headache of yore. It won’t happen again, I hope.

*All typos and grammatical errors are due to prescription drugs that I am NOT abusing.

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The Tilt Test Has Been Scheduled

English: Kirnu, a steel roller coaster in Linn...

 

I’m not ashamed, ever, to say how I feel. Obviously you all know that by now. I’m honest, sometimes too honest but writing gets my feelings out, the good, the bad and the ugly. The anxiety, the fear, the fibromyalgia symptoms and most lovingly, the food.

 

Because I had another collapse/fainting/black out episode/severely bruised my leg and had a huge bump on my head… I now have to have a series of tests. I keep telling all these stupid doctors that I am sure it is due to my low blood pressure. 85/60 wouldn’t you consider that as a cause?

I have salted my food, adding pretzels and potato chips and nothing seems to help. Doctors bug everyone about high blood pressure but as my internist always said, “Yeah, I have low blood pressure too, just sit up slowly and salt your food.” After twelve years do you think that’s been working? Apparently not. You were only interested in this now because I told you my rheumatologist had suggested an idea and would run it by my nephrologist. All of a sudden you wanted to get involved? Like you forgot I asked about this for the last twelve years??!!

Nothing like a little medical competition.

But still, they have to rule out everything else first. Gotta love the medical industry, schedule those tests, pay the bills, I’ll see you for seven minutes, kick you out at eight. Insurance number? Same address? Medications? The same, doesn’t matter, fill it out again, we know you were here yesterday. Rules are rules.

English: Blood pressure measurement.

As one of my favorite doctors, my nephrologist, put it you must have: “The Vomit Test.” Thanks Doc, not the right time to be friendly and casual even though I’m sure your intentions were honorable. I can’t even say the name of the test without feeling like I am going to throw-up. I am dreading this, although I admit, the nurse who is monitoring the test has probably seen it all. Actually, not really, I am dreading it more than anyone or anything.

I HATE the feeling of being nauseous, dizzy, off-balance, I have always called this test “The Dreaded Tilt Test” and so here we are. My cardiologist talked me into it and since his father (coincidentally) was my pediatrician growing up and because I like this dude I said I would do it. But NOT HAPPILY. (I can still cancel and I am considering this.)

I’m the nerd who has to take Dramamine for a long car ride or any ride in a boat. Those big cruise ship lines where they say you don’t feel a thing? Been there, done that and definitely needed a drug for anti-nausea. I HATE ROLLER COASTERS. Went on a baby roller coaster once and screamed my head off, never to be seen on a roller coaster again.

If I’m feeling nauseous just thinking about the test I can only imagine what the test itself is like when they swing me around from start to finish, in rapid movements, in different positions. They said it only lasts about thirty minutes. For me, this is thirty minutes in absolute hell. If I see this contraption and it is anything like the Disney tilt chairs or like a small roller coaster, I am out of there. Cancelling has never looked better. Help!

“The vomit test?” Really?

 

*”salt ur food?”

my rifght haand is clutching tht ice pack over the big bump on the lefftt hand side off my head,,  my heaed has beien pouwnding 4r days and it hasnt sto[[pped. this my not look prrtty but it sure as hlkl is genuine, though by now, if u r reading my blog this wont come as a big surprise.

My World

My World (Photo credit: GollyGforce – Living My Worst Nightmare)

this is thre fourth time i have blacked out for no s apparent reason; sondssy b sunday night was the worst, i ended up craShing intoa wall my(forget the ice pack) left thigh thrown into the table landing me on the floor with a chair over my head.

(I know I’m supposed to be icing but 2 minutes won’t kill me and if my husband comes in you will know I’m icing again.) I have no idea what caused me to go down in the first place, no idea, none. This is the fourth time this has happened and my dear internist, known as The Ice Queen, has always poo-poohed this and said just add more salt to your food. She has said, for the last twelve years, that she also has low blood pressure, and that she feels dizzy and light headed too when she stands up from a seated position. That’s all the advice she ever gave me. I swear.

Oviously that’s NOT working. I know I have low blood pressure, extremely low blood pressure and all my doctors know about it but my new Rheumatologist was the first one ever to suggest calling my Nephrologist (kidneys, weak and small, stage 3) to see if I could be given a drug that would be safe for my kidneys and bring up my blood pressure.

Aneroid sphygmomanometer with stethoscope, use...

I called both doctors early this morning. Both of them, repeat both of them were out. I know it’s just a bad coincidence but the Rheumatologist will be out all week and the Nephrologist might be back on Wednesday. The Ice Princess has to step it up, she is literally only good when there is a mystery to be solved so here is her chance.

She scheduled me for a head CAT scan immediately, blood work and an EKG, referred me to a Cardiologist that I know and am going to see this week and the rest will just have to wait until the other doctors come back.

Usually, I would worry myself to death and hope for nothing wrongbut not now. I want there to be something fixable, to figure out what is happening and find a cure. It’s enough that I have Fibromyalgia, a chronic pain illness with no cure, there better be a cure for this illness. I do not want to be passing out and crashing on floors, driveways, under tables and I forgot the other place.

I’m on “bed rest” this week and I am fine with that, I will obey and be a very good patient but I’ve had enough; I want concrete answers and I will not stop until I get them.

* I want to THANK members of my “Moms” group who helped me with referrals, names and numbers within minutes of my request. They say “It Takes A Village” and yes, it certainly does.

ass fur countingg my . as for salting my food? salt your vb oiwn foode doc .

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And Now I Shake

ECG complex.

ECG complex. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the last six weeks I’ve felt light-headed; I’ve often brought this up to my internist and she has always said that it’s my low blood pressure ( 80/60.) “Salt your food” she murmurs, “stand up slowly from a seated position.” Then she adds: “That happens to me too!!” (Now I’m SURE we can be best friends because we have so much in common.) My husband insists that it has been happening more often and he has nagged me to see my doctor for a few weeks now, I’ve refused.

Yesterday I had an annual physical with my gynecologist who I like but totally FORGOT that she’s a worry wart like I used to be. Notice the PAST tense. I casually asked her if she thought I needed to see my internist about this small issue. She said “yes” and “that it might be a problem with my heart “valve.” The only “v” word I expected to hear from her was “vagina”( if there are any guys reading now is your opportunity to run) valve did not make me happy. I finally confessed to my husband, tried not to look at his smug face and called to set up an appointment.

I described feeling light-headed, having to bend my head down to prevent fainting, feeling very warm, getting a massive headache but never passing out. I could reach a chair or a bed and sit down and I’d be fine in a few minutes. It never happened when driving and obviously if I felt weak, I wouldn’t go out. It did happen going up or down stairs but I always held on to the banister. It was NOT, in my estimation, dangerous.

Now that I had conceded, a nurse gave me an EKG which was perfect with the oddest exception. My whole body started shaking. Once or twice lately I have noticed that my body starts shaking uncontrollably and I can’t stop it. I have asked my husband if he could see it and he has always said “no.” I think it’s one of those “guy” things. The nurse noticed it right away, I’m sure a best friend could as well.

So now, I could add “shaking” to my long list of maladies. Along with Fibromyalgia, almost passing out, Thyroid disease, Auto-Immune disease of the thyroid,  impaired hearing, I shook. I felt like one of those bobble heads except it wasn’t just my head that bobbled, it was my body wobbling. A nurse took five or six vials of blood and then the doctor told me (wait for it…) I had to go to the cardiologist for an echocardiogram and even worse, a stress test. No, No, No! Ugh, this is sweat and embarrassment  in front of others and I hate that kind of stuff. I gave my husband the evil eye, actually two evil eyes. They scheduled me in six weeks, obviously not a crisis situation to them (Thanks, honey!)

My doctor used this new phrase at least five times during my seven minute visit: “due diligence. In my language that means ” I’m running these tests to cover my ass.” For someone who used to get anxious for days, even weeks, I only got anxious for about five minutes which for me is zen-like (and that’s when they  told me I had to see the darn cardiologist.)

As soon as we got home,  I made myself my old standard comfort food, an American cheese sandwich on soft bread with butter, some salt-ridden baked sour cream and onion Lays potato chips( for medicinal reasons only) and a cold Yoo-Hoo to drink. For dessert, nothing speaks comfort more than a dish of really rich vanilla ice cream, softly melting in a red ceramic dish. No drugs of any kind were necessary. No jelly on pizza, I required nothing else. Damn, I was proud. But, I still have to do those stupid tests unless, as my sister suggested, I cancel?! What do YOU think?

Woman in Café with Yoo-Hoo and Cigarette, afte...

Woman in Café with Yoo-Hoo and Cigarette, after William Glackens (Photo credit: Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)