Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Fall & Rise of the Butterfly

So how did this little butterfly, who so proudly struts around, fall?

Well, it all started one Friday morning just over 2 weeks ago. Actually, it all started a couple of months ago, but the juicy stuff started "one Friday morning just over 2 weeks ago." I had an "episode" at work. I was talking to someone over my shoulder (rude, I know) and when I straightened my head back out, everything when black. It was like going backwards in a tunnel. I said outloud in a calm voice, "Everything's going black." The person I was talking to had no idea what I was talking about. My vision quickly returned, and brought with it a headache, lightheadedness, nausea, and a bizarre sensation in my neck that I describe as fullness, like I had high blood pressure or something. Those symptoms lasted for hours and eventually went mostly away.

I had an appointment already scheduled that afternoon with my holistic chiropractor/acupuncturist. I told her about this episode. She had me move my head around to check the patency of the vessels in teh neck. Sure enough, when I turned to the left, the same way I was so rudely talking to someone earlier, I became dizzy and calmy and nauseous and not good. She told me to get that checked by my internist.

So all weekend, I tried to take it easy and not move my head too much. Hmmm. Monday morning I called my internist's office for an appointment, which I was able to schedule for the following Wednesday. I decided to work from home that day. And by noon, I was beginning to notice that I was seeming to have trouble catching my breath. By 2 PM it was getting worse. And within minutes my heart was pounding faster and harder than I had ever felt before. BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM. I was still breathing the same. BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM. t just kept going. BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM. I picked up the phone. I hit "talk" and moved my thumb over the "9", but I did not press it. "I am only 35," I rationalized with myself. I hung up the phone. BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM. It kept going. So I picked up the phone once again. I hit "talk" and moved my thumb of the "9", but again, I did nto press it. "!" I figured I could think my way out a heart arrythmia. (Secret: I have one of those minds like the people on Heroes; it is THAT powerful; so beware.) BOM.BOM.BOM.BOM. Something was changing. BOM.BOM.BOM. Was this it lightening up?

It stopped the crazy rhythm. But my chest hurt something awful, like I just ran for my life for the last 2 minutes.

WTF was that? I called the doctor's office back. "Uh, you say you were an ER nurse? And you picked up the phone to call 911, twice, and hung up both times? Um, yeah. You probably should have finished that call." They sent me over to the hospital for "After Hours" care. I explained all my symptoms to the nurse practitioner and had an EKG, blood test, and a head CT. Nothing. The physical exam: my blood pressure was up a bit and I could not walk heel to toe. The NP talked to my physician and dischraged me home with instructions to take it easy for the next few days and to limit moving my head from side to side too much. (Mind you I had to drive home.)

I followed up with my doctor on Wednesday. He ordered more blood tests and a 24-hour heart monitor. No nothing. Personally, I think it is stress. Especially since once I slowed down, all the symptoms seem to disappear. Go figure. (See, I told you I had a powerful mind.)

So what I am to do? I have been taking it easy and sleeping more and that seems to have mostly cured what was physically going on. Kind of starting over again with the things that have helped me get to where I am emotionally. Reading my good books. Slowing down mentally and physically. Being kind to myself. Trying to listen to my own advice. All that good stuff.

And like any good butterfly, I am simply picking myself up, dusting myself off, and getting back on the path of life. Which if you are a butterfly is limitless. :D