Tuesday, March 18, 2008

My Absence...the Mini-Series

A few weeks ago my family and I were walking into church on a Sunday morning. Everything was normal, down to the rushing to get ready and the drive to church. We got almost all the way inside (it's a pretty good walk because our church meets in an odd location at the moment) and suddenly I felt really, really weird. Like I was going to pass out, but not really. Like the world was closing in on me? I know how odd that sounds...but that's just how I felt. Odd.

I told Mike how I was feeling and asked him to stay close. I must have looked pretty bad because he got a weird look on his face. Which freaked me out a little. He sat me at the first chair we came to and got me a little cup of juice (I'd not eaten anything yet, it was an early service...so we were thinking blood sugar). My hands were shaking so badly that I couldn't hold it. We walked back outside and sat down to see if I would feel better after I drank the juice. I didn't. My heart was pounding and I was still shaking.

After 10 or so minutes we decided to leave and just head back home. I got into bed and after a (long) while slept for a couple of hours. When I got up, I felt better. But not normal. NO appetite. And just weird. My heart rate was still up (not scary up, but up) and I felt all out of whack.

So I figured I'd sleep it off and try to feel better the next day.

Well, that didn't work either. The next day I felt a bit better but still not back to normal. My heart rate was still up and I was jittery. One of Mike's friends is a doctor and he asked if my blood pressure was up. I checked and it was scary up. So the next day I called my OB. It's the only Dr. I've seen in a long while. He told me to come on in right then and I did. My heart rate was still 90-100 but my blood pressure freaked the nurse out. She basically threw me on my left side and turned out the lights in the room. (NOT comforting, if you can imagine.) I think it was 158/104? After about 10 minutes it had gone down a little (140something/98ish)so they drew gallons of blood and sent me home to lay on my left side until the results came back.

They were thinking it was probably my thyroid (overactive). And/or I was catching a really bad case of the flu?

A few days later all of the results came back totally normal. I was feeling better by this time and my bp was mostly down with occasional weird spikes for no apparent reason. But I still had NO appetite. I mean literally NONE. It was the weirdest thing ever. And no real energy. But that "out of my head" feeling was gone. And I did get a pretty bad head cold. But no flu.

And then the end of the following week, about 10 days after the Dr. visit, I had another weird thing happen. Whenever I would stand, my heart rate would go up. And it wouldn't go down until I sat down. It was like I was running, but I wasn't running. I was simply standing. So I called the Dr. back to tell him. This he didn't like at all and made me an appt with another Dr. to be checked out.

Skip forward a few days and this heart/standing/racing thing had mostly stopped. My bp was pretty normal most of the time. But the Dr. wanted to run some tests. So I go in for an EKG, Echo, and Holter Monitor (the 24 hour thing that you wear as you go about your business).

Yesterday, I find out that everything came back normal. The Holter Monitor showed that I was having some heart arrhythmia with eating, immediately after eating and when I'd not eaten for a long time (like in the morning). So it's assumed that I have reflux. Which who would have guessed that it could cause all of that? The Dr. said that it absolutely can and does cause arrhythmia. So now I have some medication that I'll be taking for a month, and then on an as needed basis.

But all of this is not really why I've not posted. At least not after the first couple of weeks (which were mainly spent supine).

The following Sunday morning after this happened the family went to church but I wasn't up to it so I was still in bed. My oldest daughter, Jessica, doesn't get to attend church much because she had to work on Sunday morning. So she was still at home getting ready for work. She didn't know that I was at home because I was still in bed. So my cell phone rings and she's hysterical and screaming something that I can't understand. She's 21, not really a child, and not prone to hysterical outbursts at all. She's telling me to come home, come home. I ran from my room with my heart pounding (of course) and she's in a fetal position on her bed sobbing.

Her best friend (a guy) was texting her late the night before, and suddenly stopped. She thought he had fallen asleep as he usually did when he was texting her at night and suddenly stopped. But it turns out that he was texting her while driving home. And 8 minutes after his last text (by police records) he went off the road, crashed his car into a culvert, the car flipped and exploded. It took them days to positively identify the body he was so burned.

He was a Christian, so we have faith that he is in a better place. But our hearts are so heavy. So, so heavy.

My daughter worked with him and has transferred because she just can't be there right now. Everyone is so sad. He was only 23.

I've thought to post a time or two, because I really need the organization of my Menu Plans and such, but it just didn't seem right. There had to be a period of morning and honoring this young man.

As I was typing this, my daughter (who is at college) was texting me. Telling me how hard all of this is and how it doesn't seem to be getting any better. She is in so much pain.

I pray for strength for her and all of the other people mourning. I pray that God speaks through me so that I might be a comfort to my daughter.


Anonymous said...

Oh Michelle, my heart is heavy for your daughter! I will pray for you and for her.

(((HUGS)))) to you both, ☺

Carrie J said...

I am so sorry you are having to go through all of this. I am having blood pressure issues myself and am trying to control it with diet and exercise.
I have inherited an irregular heartbeat where my heart will "flutter" and skip a beat. I feel like I will pass out from it and I get a strong feeling of anxiety before it happens. So I kind of understand what you are feeling but yours sounds much worse than mine.
The body is such an intricate machine and so many things can go wrong it is hard to pinpoint them. I hope they find out what is causing yours soon.

When I was in HS and college I lost 2 people to car accidents and 1 to suicide. I feel so bad for your daughter. It will take her a long time to feel any better. She is lucky to have a mother who will be there for her.
God bless you all.

My name is Michelle. said...

Beth, thank you. The house is just filled with sadness. Which I suppose is normal, but it's so hard. I'll think of him sometimes and wonder why he's not been around for a few days and then it hits me all over again. I can only imagine what it's like for my daughter.

Carrie, you described the arrhythmia that I've experienced almost exactly. Down to that "feeling of doom". It happened while I was wearing the Holter Monitor and the Dr. acted like it was just a totally normal thing. He said that almost everyone experiences this, but most people don't even notice?

Have they ever mentioned to you that it might be due to reflux? Have you noticed that it happens when you're eating or very full? Or when you bend over?

As far as the blood pressure goes, mine is normally lowish. 117/72. So they hesitated to even suggest that I take anything to lower it. I do have a family history of high bp (EVERYONE, literally) but mine has always been so good that these spikes were just...weird.

I'm sorry that you lost people in such a violent way too. Everytime my daughter asks me something about it or brings up her hurt, I try to remember to say a quick prayer that God will speak through me. I simply don't have the wisdom on my own.

Lisa Kay said...

I am so sorry to hear that you and your family have had such tragedy in your lives. I will be praying for your family and the family of your daughter's friend.

I am glad that you can say he was a Christian. Although he will be missed, it is comforting to know that you will see him again.

Lisa Kay

Carrie J said...

Michelle, My grandmother had Mitral valve prolapse I have not been officially diagnosed with it. My Dr. have not been able yet to get me hooked up to machines to get a good EKG (nothing happens when I am) They haven't heard the tell tale click that helps pin point it.

I really didn't like my Dr. We were stuck with her because of insurance or lack of (long story) She wasn't very helpful and very abrasive. We are in the process of getting a new Dr. and I hope to get more help.
If you will email me at the address on my blog I'd like to ask you a few more questions about the details of your attacks. We might be able to help each other out while trying to get a diagnosis.

Denise said...

So sorry your family is going through this difficult time. I pray your daughter is doing well. And that you are also feeling better. Don't work too hard this week!!