Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Standing on Shaky Ground

The last few weeks have been rough.  I'm going through something I went through last summer and a bit at the beginning of last summer.  And now it's back.  It sucks.

A few weeks ago I took my son out shopping for school.  We didn't get further than Taco Bell for lunch.  We were chatting, having a good time.  We ordered our food.  We sat down.  I could feel the sun shinning through the window and the heat from it pierce me.  I started to feel off.  So I suggested to my son that we move because the sun was making mommy feel sick.  Sat down at another table that was not so sunny.  Same thing.  I could feel the heat surrounding me and darkness edging in.  I was terrified I was going to blackout right there. 

I gently explained to my son how I was feeling and he understood immediately.  He was there last summer when I had to have my husband drive me from the mall to urgent care.  Neither of us wanted a repeat.  I slowly made my way up to the counter and asked for a to go bag.  We put everything inside and left to head back home.  Being in the air conditioned van helped a lot.  I brought my son to my parent's house and I laid up in the air conditioning most of the afternoon.  I felt useless, helpless.

Rewind to last summer.  I spent an hour outside at Lowe's with my girlfriend pursuing the gardening area.  It was a hot, humid and sunny.  I felt ok.  I left to drive home because my kids would be getting out of school within the hour.  I went to start my van and was suddenly overcome by dizziness.  I blasted the air conditioning and tried to shake it off.  Within minutes I realized I couldn't keep driving.  I thought I was going to pass out. I felt weak and my hands were shaking.  I pulled into a parking lot and reclined my seat back. I thought resting in the cold air would help.  I was wrong.  I could feel the blackness heavy, all around me.  I decided to go into the Taco Bell (not the same one) and get a drink.  My dad's diabetic so I was thinking I was either dehydrated or having a some kind of problem with my sugar.  All I remember is darkness speckled with white spots .  I had never been so afraid.  I ordered a coke and sat down. 

It just kept getting worse and worse.  Like a drunk, I bobbed and weaved to the counter.  I thought for sure I'd end up on the floor.  I told the cashier what was wrong and asked her to call an ambulance.  Now I was also mortified.  Go figure.  Even surrounded by fear and uncertainty I didn't want to cause a "scene".  Life is funny, isn't it?

The paramedics came, took my vitals, asked me questions and took me out on a gurney.  Definitely not a stellar moment.  My mind was swirling with the fact my kids were in school and I had to be there to get them.  In the hospital corridor I called my husband and dad.  My husband dropped everything to meet me and my dad picked up my kids.  Thank God for that.  I'm glad it didn't play out differently.

I remember being thirsty and asking for water. The nurse said she'd be right back.  She never returned. I wanted to cry. When I stopped another nurse 15 minutes later she told me I couldn't have anything until my test results came back.  I was hooked to an IV. They did an EKG.  I remember it feeling like forever.  The hospital told me they thought it was vertigo and to do a follow up with my doctor. 

My doctor said definitely wasn't vertigo.  His diagnosis was dehydration and possibly a sudden drop in blood pressure.  He told me to drink lots of water and Gatorade and to avoid going outside on hot, humid days.  I tried my best but I had three more episodes that summer and an urgent care visit.  I discussed it during a comp visit with my doctor's PA she said it could be hypoglycemia .  She told me to eat more frequent, smaller meals with lots of protein.

Once summer was over I felt "normal" again".  I had a few issues at the beginning of June this year but I was able to keep it together.  Now it's back. 

Last week I had a job interview and the room was hot and without air conditioning.  I felt light headed and weak but made it through.  I kept praying I wouldn't face plant on the floor.

The next day (Saturday) I took my daughter shoe shopping.  I felt a little off but was determined to make it through.  We successfully purchased shoes but when we went out to lunch I felt it really coming on.  Within minutes of placing our order I had to request it to go.  I tell you, the people at Cracker Barrel were extremely understanding and helpful.  I'm so grateful.

I haven't felt 100% normal since that day and I'm worried.  My husband had yesterday off and took me to Longhorn's for lunch.  Within moments I felt that warm, dark sensation again.  I think the bright lights over each table brought it on.  We had to leave before we even ordered.  I felt like I was going to pass out at school pickup and had to leave my husband there to collect my daughter, as my son had already come out. I spent the next hour on the couch.

Today is the same.  I feel tired.  I keep drinking water in case it is dehydration but that just makes me use the bathroom every 20-30 minutes.  I've made sure I'm eating right.  Plenty of food and  lots of protein.  My fear is diabetes but I had some required blood work done for our medical insurnce renewal and it shows all my numbers showing in the acceptable range.  That was at the end of June after I had a minor issue at school pickup.  I'm totally at a loss.

I can't live my life this way.  It's scary and frustrating.  I feel helpless.  I hate it!  I feel like my life is being stolen away.  The job I applied for is a kitchen job in one of the area schools.  At this point I don't feel comfortable taking the job.  It's mine from what she told me.  We're just waiting for my drug test and background check to come through.  It should be in any day now.  I don't know what to do.  Do I take it and chance blacking out while working?   My friend works for the company and helped me get an interview.  I don't want her to be upset if I end up saying no to the job.  It's the ideal job (except for the pay).  I would just need my parents to help me for an hour in the morning so it's doable.  It's minimum wage which sucks but it's a start.  A foot in the door.

I'm so lost, I don't know what to do.  I don't know what the right answer is.  I pray to feel better in the next day or so and maybe I won't have to worry about all theses things for a while longer. 

Have you ever felt this way or known anyone who has?  I feel so alone in this.  It's frustrating not knowing what's going on, what brings it on or what I can do to prevent/control it.  Hopefully answers will come my way soon.


Manda-Nicole said...

I am so sorry hun. :( I've had chronic migraines for as long as I can remember. Because of that there have been times where my eyes wouldn't focus or I would look at a paper to read it and the words would disappear into the white. I'd have no choice but to sit down/go home and sleep.

It's horrible. You can't always do things you should be able to do. You feel as if people are constantly having to take care of you. :/

I understand a small part of what you're going through and I hope it gets better.

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