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Archive for February, 2014

My week in a nutshell…

I posted something and then I deleted it.

My week has been exhausting and revealing. I get fatigued extremely fast. I worked part of Thursday (my first day back to work) and then all day Friday. I felt like I had worked 7 days straight. I’m approaching the one week point of being on these medicines and I know that it takes 2-3 weeks for these things to kick in and do their “job.” I’m trying to be patient with myself and just take it easy and not over do it. Easier said than done for me. I’ve been doing a lot of old school writing in my journal and I’ve been listening to Spotify on my phone. A lot. It helps.

The good news is, my foot has not really hurt all that much for the last week. I don’t know why that is. Maybe because I was in the hospital Sunday night and most of Monday and then didn’t do anything Tuesday and Wednesday except visit the doctor. Whatever reason, I enjoy walking without pain.

I woke up this morning to the news that a friend of a friend committed suicide last night back home in Vegas. Such a tragic loss for his family and friends. It brought back some memories of when a friend I worked with, committed suicide back in 1997. It was a horrible time for his loved ones and friends. I’m counting my blessings tonight.

Until next time…

Learning as we grow older

Sitting here watching some Grey’s Anatomy episodes on Netflix (yeah, still trying to catch up to current on this show) and I’m thinking about the last 5 days and how frighteningly revealing they were. Revealing things about me, about others, about life in general for me. I will tell you a secret that I haven’t said out loud. I thought I was going to die. And that one thought had me so anxious and full of fear, I couldn’t think straight for two days. Anxiety disorders are not jokes.

I look back on the last several months of my life and I can see, clear as day, how I stuffed what I was thinking and feeling. I would be blunt about certain things but keep other things to myself. A lot. I did it a lot. The only place I was 100% honest about anything that was going on inside of me was in my GA meetings. Thank God for that because I can’t imagine how this would have gone had not been being honest at all.

I was put on Bactrim for a sinus infection back on the 10th. Three days later, I wasn’t feeling “right” but figured it was just still the sinus infection making me feel funky. On the 14th, I went to sleep at 7pm and slept 14 hours into Saturday. I spent Saturday feeling pukey, ache-y everywhere and lethargic. I didn’t sleep Saturday night. My heart was racing, I was dizzy, I was still nauseous, I got diarrhea that kept me up most of the night as well and somewhere in there I started having a pressure in my chest that wouldn’t go away. I fought it off and I fought it off. I kept trying to convince myself that it was NOT a heart attack and it was just an anxiety attack. Finally, at around 6pm on Sunday, I had enough. I was fighting it all off because Monday was payroll. I have to be there for payroll. Right?

I arrived at the ER at 7pm, shaking everywhere and barely able to speak or sign in. I immediately told them I felt that I was having a heart attack or a very bad anxiety attack. They took me back immediately and started hooking me up to machines and talking to me to get information. I was so scared. I was alone. I was all alone in a strange city and I just kept saying to myself “I wish my mom was here. I wish Tobe was here.” But they weren’t. I had to find a way through this on my own.

As the nurse was hooking me up for my first EKG of the night, my heart rate was at 128 and going up. I could not stop shaking, it was almost like a convulsing. He kept telling me to breathe and relax. I didn’t know how. I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry.

As they were coming and going from my little ER room, I was texting coworkers and friends to let them know where I was and what was happening. One offered to drive 1.5 hours up to the hospital to sit with me. I told her no because she had to go in and do payroll since I wouldn’t be there for it. But she offered it at least 3 more times. One said they would come out, but they were working and couldn’t. One texted me out of the blue to let me know if I needed anything, he and his fiancee would be there in a heartbeat.

I finally got them to give me something for the anxiety because I could not sit still, which made my heart rate keep going up and scaring the crap outta me. I was frightened the entire time. I was alone. It made me feel more alone than I have ever been in my entire life. Not much gets me feeling lonely, but I do feel alone a lot.

They decided to keep me over night, so I texted the few people who asked me to let them know what room I’d be in, etc. They ordered a nuclear stress test. All the blood tests and EKGs they had taken came back normal and the cardiologist that came to talk to me was really nice and gave me kudos for taking it seriously. He said that a woman of my age (44) with a history of smoking and high cholesterol should always take it seriously. Even if I think it’s an anxiety attack, take it seriously because the symptoms mirror each other.

Monday morning came around and I sent a text to my coworker/friend who was stuck doing payroll to see how she was doing. We chatted a little bit and then I had my one and only visitor to come see me while I was there. He spent about an hour with me before they came to take me for the stress test. Later in the afternoon, I was told the stress test came back great and there are no issues with my heart or the valves (YAY!!!) but they didn’t know exactly what was going on with me and they wanted me to follow up with my regular doctor in a day or two. They had not given me my antibiotic while I was in the hospital, so I took it when I got home at around 3pm.

Twenty minutes after taking the Bactrim, I started feeling crappy again. I was nauseous, dizzy, headache came back and then I started feeling anxious again. On Tuesday morning, I called my doctor and made an appointment for noon, explaining what was going on and that it sounded like an allergic reaction to the Bactrim.

I went in at noon and was taken back to the room. I was still pretty anxious and shaky. We went over all the symptoms and everything the hospital did, etc. etc. I had a severe allergic reaction to the Bactrim, which then exacerbated my already existing anxiety issues, which in turn made me feel like I was having a heart attack. So we’ve removed me from the Bactrim and I am on a small dosage of Ativan daily for a week and on a new antidepressant that helps both issues. I go back in two weeks to check up and see how I’m feeling.

She thinks that with all the things that have been going on in my life in the last few months, good and bad stress, added to the allergy to the medicine, it made my anxiety issues resurface unexpectedly. My resting heart rate for the last several months was 88-90 and I was always told it was normal. I didn’t like it, but said okay. After one full 24 hour period of being on my medication, my resting heart rate has been 68-72 today. I’m quite pleased with that.

I’m still not feeling 100% right now, but I’m on the road to recovery and I’m determined to no longer internalize my stress (whether good or bad) and will express myself.

At 44 years old, I’m still learning about me. I’m still growing. I’m still evolving. I know who I am. I know where I’m going and I know I’m more comfortable in my skin today than I was yesterday.

I go back to work tomorrow. I’m a little nervous, but I’m looking forward to interaction with real people. I’ve gotten a lot of phone calls and texts checking on me, which is awesome. But I need that in person interaction and I haven’t had that since my one friend came to visit me Monday morning.

Until next time…