I went back to bootcamp. This is an ongoing thing we have at work – basically you sign up to undergo torture by a sadistic trainer for 45 minutes, work out to a point where you’re either about to pass out or heave your lunch, then high-five after it’s over because you survived without incident. Oh, how I’ve missed it.
I also decided to have some additional therapy and address some cognitive issues I’ve been having recently. Just your basic communication type stuff, but I do want to see if I can improve areas of concern. Like talking to people I don’t know, or not being able to figure out what I want to say though the thoughts are there. And typing the wrong words out in emails, and spelling things out loud. It scares me, frankly. I thought I was done with such things but apparently not – no amount of Lumosity or Elevate games are going to help me with speaking and clarity of thought. I think it’s because I’m aware of too much sometimes, and it makes it more difficult to speak when your brain is processing something going on across the room. Looking back I think I should have done the therapy earlier, but I was afraid it would have taken too much time out of my husband’s schedule as I wasn’t driving yet. He had his work to get on with after all. But it’s said strength not only means you can kick some ass, but also knowing when you need to ask for help. Or something like that. I’ve often thought that asking for help meant weakness of character, but this experience has caused me to rethink a lot things.
Some lovely interaction with old friends lately as well. It’s very moving to see how they react when they finally see me and aren’t just hitting “Like” on Facebook whenever I announced another milestone. Some very surprising, sincerely emotional moments have been experienced. To think I caused such a reaction with people is mind-boggling, which leads me to a theory I came up with the other day: Our existence is made up of a connection of mathematical equations, and if one of those numbers becomes compromised or disappears altogether for some reason, then we feel it in our being that something isn’t quite right with the Universe. We’re all numbers and symbols in this cosmic theorem, you might say, and should one of us become seriously ill or die…well, everyone in that particular formula is affected in some way.
Wow. That’s some crazy shit I just put out there! I hope that almost made sense. If someone could please tell me I’m not going all Howard Hughes, I’d appreciate it.
Back to the story. I can only compare it to the plot line of a failing soap opera – you know, when something tragic happens to a main character in hopes of boosting ratings? Yeah. Something like that.
April 5, 2015
I had a leisurely morning, then chose a charcoal grey jersey dress with big side buttons on one shoulder and a dramatic high collar. No flowery Easter dress for me – it’s grey and somber all year round!
I had left my house about noonish. We had brunch reservations at 2:00 so I wanted to gas up before I picked up my mom and grandfather at the nursing home where he lives. I had already studied the menu online and was looking forward to the nutella crepe I would soon consume. Or would it be the salmon omelette? Decisions, decisions.
I was in a good mood. I had stopped taking the antibiotics – my mom had made me call the after hours doctor the night before to tell them about my recent headaches – and they said to discontinue taking them and drink lots of fluids to flush the medication out of my system. That morning I was headache free, so I took it as a good sign.
I pulled into a gas station not too far from the nursing home, and as I got out of the car I was struck with that weird feeling in my head again, the same one I’d had outside of Costco. Ok, I rationalized, this is just the antibiotics still leaving my body. I’ll be fine.
I struggled through muddled, cloudy thinking as I swiped my card and filled my tank. I got back in my car, still struggling with my thoughts, and discovered my right leg had become a little lazy. I had to actually say in my head “Move to the pedal. Now to the brake. Now back to the pedal.” and it begrudgingly obeyed. I decided it was too dangerous for me to drive in this condition – I imagined angry honking prior to the screech of tires and the loud impact of metal on metal as I caused an accident. Well, this was a poo-poo change of events from how my day started! I decided to have my mom drive to the restaurant, knowing she’d be angry at me for making her drive unknown routes. But better to endure her wrath then face charges for involuntary manslaughter.
I chose the safest path out of the gas station and headed to the nursing home, where I told my mom about my leg issues. Predictably, she made the disagreeable mom frowny face, but complied. We arrived at the brunch spot and waited for my husband’s arrival. That’s when I had another bad heachache, though nothing nearly as painful as the ones I had experienced. But it was bad enough for me to call him and ask if he could bring some aspirin.
He got there, dropped the aspirin in front of me, and as we were going over the menu, it came up in conversation that my mom had driven us there because I was having trouble with my leg. My husband looked up in alarm.
“Oh, yeah,” I explained. “I had her drive. It seems to come and go – I’m sure it’s nothing.” I quickly changed the subject. “So what are you having, Ma? I’m having this nutella crepe!”
“Wait,” my husband said, putting his menu down. “Don’t you think you should call the allergist’s office and ask how long it takes for the medication to leave your system? This sounds like a stroke symptom to me.”
“Yes, and she seemed confused last night – I had a hard time understanding her,” my mother added. I was about to defend myself when the server returned to our table to take our order. After she left, the conversation continued.
“So these headaches,” my mom said.”They sound like migraines.”
“Yeah, sure. Probably.”
“I started having migraines when I was about your age. Did you have to go in a dark room with a cold compress on your head? Were your eyes sensitive to light?”
For a moment I had been relieved to hear the suggestion of a migraine but now I wasn’t sure it was one. I said no, I didn’t have any light sensitivity. And it always happened in the early morning and went away.
My mom, the not quite retired registered nurse, was stumped. Our food arrived some time later and I noticed everyone gradually eating a little faster as gears were turning in their heads. Brunch was pretty much ruined at that point, and no amount of Nutella could distract them from the medical mystery at hand.
Wedecided that I should call the allergist’s office and see what they advised – if I needed to go to emergency or if these strange symptoms would eventually go away. I hoped for the latter. I did conveniently forget to tell them about my vision problems from the day before. Or maybe I thought they had enough to worry about already.
I drove back to my house with my husband’s van and he drove my mom and grandfather back to the nursing home. I called the allergist’s after hours line as soon as I walked in the door, and asked about how long it would take for the medication to leave my body. Her answer was unexpected. She said I shouldn’t have any trace of it left in me by now and that I should go to the emergency room right away.
It is in times of crisis that I settle into a calm, non-panicked state of mind. I coax my thoughts from leaping to conclusions and keep myself only in the moment, and concentrate only on what needs to happen next. We were soon on our way, packed with only the essentials: crappy clothes that I wouldn’t miss, iPhone charger, and my work laptop. I even had the foresight to take my contacts out and wear my glasses should they keep me overnight for some reason. I was ready for anything, but mostly for just spending many long hours there and having nothing be wrong.
End of Part One! I’ve decided it’s more realistic to get one of these out every week instead of every few days, so in Part Two of April 5, I’ll elaborate more on the emergency room shenanigans.
Riveting, isn’t it?