Wednesday, November 14, 2007

266: stress kills (a long one)

but not me cuz i'm still here.


i've missed it here. but i've been taking a break.

it's not that any one thing was more hectic than any other thing at our house.

it was a combination of things actually: stress in months past, weird electrical happenings all around that seemed to be signaling me to take action of some sort, mr. bliss's subtle badgering (yeah, i know it sounds like an oxymoron) for me to perform my wifely duties, baby bliss being so mouthy (thanks to my mother for being the fairy godmother who bestowed that gift upon us), me wanting to do more crafty stuff and feeling like there was no time between doing laundry/home schooling/washing dishes/working from home/vacuuming/cleaning the tub/keeping up with routine maintenance on the car/making sure all the bills are paid on time...

in other words, there was a lot to do and only one of me.

last week, my body/mind/spirit said "enough!"

i had a small flutter of chest pain tuesday night. wednesday, as i was bending down to retrieve something from the floor, i had a HUGE pain. but it was in my back, closer to the middle, by my shoulder blade.

it felt like someone had stabbed me in the back with a dull, ginormous knife. it took my breath away. all i could do was cry. i tried to hold it in because baby bliss and i were home alone.

but i couldn't.

she looked at me and i saw my pain reflected in her face when she said, "mommy are you alright?"

i shook my head. then i snapped back to mommy mode. i asked her to hand me the wintergreen essential oil. cuz i thought it might help.

well, it didn't. so i asked for the arnica gel. that didn't help either.

i got online and looked up the symptoms of heart attack in women. cuz ya know, sometimes they differ from men's symptoms.

and sure nuff, there was something about pain between the shoulder blades.

and i was like, "oh shyt. i could be croaking here. let me get my tail to the doc." yes, my common sense said "hospital". but my heart said "doc's office".

my doctor's office is less than half a mile from us. and he's a great doctor. and i love his calm demeanor and the fact that he's holistic and an M.D.

i figured he could do an EKG in his office and give me a shot of something. cuz that pain was sooooo bad, i figured if i survived, surely there was something my doc could do right in his office that would make my body act like it was 'sposed to.

sometimes real life goes just the way we want. other times it only happens in movies and fairy tales.

sadly, there was no magic wand waiting at my doc's office.

he was sitting at the front desk on the phone when i got there. (thank you father-mother God.)

i told him i needed an EKG and bless him, he managed to talk to me and the person on the phone at the same time: his EKG machine was broken but he could examine me and if necessary transfer me to the hospital.

to make a long story short, when i heard the medics from the ambulance and fire truck coming
thru the door, my heart began galloping in escape-from-Freddy-Kruger mode.

in the ambulance, the young EMT said she needed to take blood and i almost stroked out. i don't like needles and for good reason. my veins are small and they like to party. my blood pressure sky rocketed. the EMT changed her mind. she decided to drive and let the older EMT (a very soothing man) take her place in the back with me.

he gave me baby aspirin and a nitroglycerin tablet. that nitro tablet is one very good argument for keeping your heart fully functional. my prayers go out to those who must take them. seriously.

when he said he still needed blood, i felt betrayed. i know it's his job but why on God's green earth would anyone think it a good idea to stick needles in a distressed person while riding in a moving vehicle?

i just don't get it. but i did get with the program. i convinced myself that it would hurt less if i gave myself a reiki treatment and called on God to personally get on the stretcher with me.

and it worked. God wrapped me in reiki's healing energy while i sang one of my favorite songs from church, "Blessing to the World" by Karen Drucker.

thankfully there was no pain. but that didn't stop my overworked brain from recalling every movie i've ever seen where the ambulance crashes on the way to the hospital.

the other drivers on the road seemed to be in another dimension. i could see them laughing and talking, celling while driving, seemingly paying no attention to the emergency vehicle as it passed. that we we were on a street that sees a huge number of accidents daily only added to my paranoia.

i was appalled. i always stop for emergency vehicles, even if there is a median in the road.

the paramedic couldn't get a vein to sit still after several sticks including one in the back of my hand.

after the looooooong two-mile drive, we arrived at the hospital. as i was being wheeled into the E.R., i saw mr. bliss rounding the corner in his hunk of junk. i was relieved to know that baby bliss wasn't still sitting in the doc's office waiting and afraid.

now pay very close attention to this part y'all. this is stuff i didn't know and wish i had.

the nurse who was able to get my blood started an i.v. (something i didn't know would happen.)

they hooked me up to all the bells and whistles to monitor my heart. aside from a plethora of irregular rhythms, PVCs, and drops in heart rate, everything seemed okay.

after the preliminary blood work checked out, the doc said he was ordering a CT scan.

oh. okay...

so we waited a while. then my arm began hurting at the i.v. site. the nurse said he couldn't take it out cuz i needed it for the CT scan.


i was too afraid to ask and i wanted it to be over so i could go home and sleep.

at some point, the nurse asked if i was allergic to anything (food, medicine, etc.). i told him my food allergies and he asked what kind of reactions i got. i forgot to mention my allergy to crabs (but not shrimp) and he didn't say that the dye they would inject for the CT is iodine-based.

i was tired and i'd been answering questions for about an hour. what was his excuse?

a different nurse took me to get the scan. she dropped me off in the hallway outside the door without so much as a "see ya later".

the guy who retrieved me (the scan tech?) was nice. and kinda cute. too young for me. if i was single, i mean.

he explained the procedure and told me the dye would make my arm feel "a little warm" and said i might feel like i had wet myself. he said i would hear a voice that would tell me to take breath and hold it but that it should be a shallow breath. etc. etc.

wellllllllllllllllll, if you are allergic to shellfish, be sure to tell it from the mountaintop. in light of what happened, i'm pondering a medic alert bracelet that says i'm allergic to shellfish.

the dye was not warm. it was hot. like i'd stuck my hand and arm in the oven. and i got nauseated and my breathing became, as they say, labored. and i thought i was gonna die right there. i felt like i was gonna pass out and choke on my vomit. seriously.

i couldn't call out and i couldn't keep still when the voice told me to hold my breath.

i thought they would notice. (they didn't.)

a different tech put me back on my bed and the cutie came out to wheel me back to the E.R. the first tech noticed my teeth chattering and offered to get me a blanket. cutie said, "i'll get it". and he did.

as he was wheeling me back to my E.R. cubby, he called me "mami". mmmmm... sexy... if i hadn't been so out of it, i would have gotten his number.

then we got back to the E.R. and there were baby and mr. bliss.

oops! ahem. yes, i had a family waiting for me. cutie greeted them with the utmost professionalism and bid me a compassionate farewell.

in my absence, my E.R. doc had been replaced by his replacement. she came in later to tell us that the scans looked okay. she followed with all the usual stuff about following up with my own doc, etc. then she left and the nurse who'd dumped me in the hall outside the CT door came in with discharge instructions.

she also removed my i.v.


30 minutes later (at lunch), my arm seemed sorer than it should be. i took off the bandage and ewwww. there was a small ugly egg growing on my arm. and it was starting to bruise.

at home, i sprang into recovery mode. i downed a glass of spirulina-laden juice to help remove the radiation (?) from my body. later i took arnica to help with the bruising and vitamin C to help with general healing. i also took some B after i checked online to see what might be going on with my arm.

can anyone say "phlebitis" and "thrombosis"? seems the two are commom after problems with i.v. and after i.v. removal. i also used warm compresses to keep the blood moving.

now, a week later, my arm is still bruised. it looks a lot worse but feels a lot better.

i did follow up with my doc. he saw me the next day. he said all the hard facts on my blood work haven't come back yet. he also said he's gonna schedule me for a stress test. (that's the treadmill one.) i've done that before but it's been years.

so that's what i've been up to y'all. it was kind of a nightmare while it was going on. but now it's over and i (almost) feel like it didn't really happen.

except that i know it did. and that's part of why i wrote about it here. so i won't ever forget that my physical health really does rely on my mental health.

sometimes i forget.

1 comment:

Stella and Thomas said...

I am so glad you are feeling scary!