Tuesday, August 25, 2015

My wake up call...even though it wasn't a fun one

I haven't written in a while and that's mainly because I am a perfectionist and feel like every time I write it has to be perfect. Turning a new leaf today because I think it's more important I get things down then how perfect they end up being. This post may be a little different then most and may even have a hint of humor (I hope!!)

This past Thursday I started noticing that within the last few weeks my anxiety levels were quite high and felt like they may be steadily climbing. Because I was diagnosed with graves disease about 5 years ago I felt like, after having years of reading my body, that it had to do with my levels changing and possibly being higher then normal. Throw in a few more heart palpitations and I just assumed I needed my blood drawn and I would be told that they were indeed high and that my daily dose of levothyroxin would need to be lowered. Just to prove I wasn't crazy I looked up the side effects of the lovely disease I have been blessed with and noticed a few similar things I had been experiencing other then the increased anxiety and heart palpitations. I copied them and sent them to my husband. Bad idea. Obviously he worries about me anyways but this just set off a big red flag with him. He was texting me telling me that he felt like he should take me to the ER. The ER?! The place people go when they are badly hurt or having life threatening issues. Not for me. Not for a girl with a few more heart palpitations then normal (yes they are normal for me) and a bunch of anxiety. After insisting I didn't need to go I told him I would call the doctor and see if I could get in right away. I called the clinic on base and gave them my symptoms told them my husband wanted to take me to the ER and that I wasn't to avoid that at all costs. Moments later they gave me an appointment time of 1:40 pm the next day. Whew! I was off the hook! I quickly text my husband and told him I had an appointment the next day and that all would be fine. Of course even after he got home he was still berating me about how he didn't feel good about it and he really still wanted me to go to the ER. Somehow I set his mind at ease or at least I thought I did because he accepted that we would just go to the doctor the next day. Next day rolls around I have a few bouts of being SUPER high strung, but let's face it we live in an house with absolutely NO air conditioning and all we have are these fans that just push the hot air around. It's hard to find even a small cool place in our house. I'm trying not to complain because hey, I have a roof over my head life is good! We take off to the base to my appointment at the clinic I'm feeling good in my self diagnosis and expect to be home in a few hours with a new lowered dose of medicine but boy I was wrong.

Upon arriving we went through the whole spill age, who I am, they weighed me (I didn't look) and complete medical history. They took all my vitals and then hooked me up to have a ECG (echocardiogram). The PA that was lucky enough to have me on his appointment book that day came in the room and asked me all familiar questions. He was nice older man a little hard of hearing so every time I talked he would watch my lips. I kept catching myself every time he'd ask a question looking at my husband for the answer. First off I don't know why we do that or maybe it's just me, but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't know how many times I poop everyday. On top of that every time I would look at him I would quickly remind myself that the PA needs to read my lips so I just kept glancing quickly between the two like I was lost and didn't know the answer to his questions. He leaves the room only to come back a few minutes later to tell me the news...because of my symptoms and some "questionable" things on my graph from the ECG machine they can't run all the tests they need to do there and would need me to go to the ER. Great. I looked over at my husband and he just nodded. He didn't say I told you so, but he didn't have to either. Now here is the kicker. Because of liability purposes I couldn't just get in my car and drive to the ER I had to take an ambulance. At this point I was a little annoyed. I didn't want to go to the ER and I certainly didn't want to take a little ride over there in an ambulance.

After about 10 min sitting in the examination room and a few friendly chatty nurses later we hear the paramedics arrive with my "ride" to the hospital. It hit me, I have to get on the freaking cot and be strapped down! I guess the alternative would be to fall out during the ride but hey how about I just sit up front like the kids do when they get to see the fire trucks and I can honk the horn?? Wasn't working out that way. I was taking it somewhat ok until the paramedic said something about an IV and then the switch just flipped. Somewhere inside my brain where the switch lies must have been a switch for the water works because I instantly just started to cry. First off I've always hated IV's I've grown to be fine with needles because having your blood taken once a month for a year grows on you, but IV's are a different story. My last one with Averie was HORRIBLE. The whole experience was horrible but that didn't make things any better. So obviously I started to freak out and I just started to cry and cry. The paramedics were amazing and she said she would put it in before we took off so it would be less scary. It was less scary and she did an amazing job but still hate them! We take off and Zach follows us behind with the car. We don't have our lights or sirens on we're just casually driving to the ER. At one point we hear sirens and I said to the paramedic in back with me it's a little strange being in an ambulance hearing those sirens passing and having to pull over for them. Usually it's the other way around. About 20 min later we arrive at the ER where we had been only 6 short months prior in the dead of the morning in cold February. I wasn't excited to be back. Things went as normal they wheeled me in and got me to a room. To make a LONG story short we sat there for 6 hours while they took blood, did another ECG, and did a front chest xray. Zach and entertained each other by talking about everything and planning our future haunted house we would own someday. I thought it would be cool to own an old hospital because something about them frightens me and well that would be a pretty awesome haunted attraction. Around 8ish the doctor walks in and tells me everything looks fine. Blood work, xrays, ECG everything. I felt defeated. Not only did we just have the most lamest emotional weird day for nothing but I didn't have any reason behind my crazy anxiety. After we got discharged we were in the car and I was reading my discharge instructions. They said heart palpitations were caused by anxiety, correct, but what was my anxiety caused from? It only took a few minutes and then it hit me. My levels are fine but I am not. I have stressed myself out and have given myself the worst anxiety the last few months myself. The problem with me is when I decide I want to do something I put everything I have into it. Which in some ways is a good thing but in others can just be bad because then I start becoming obsessed and when things don't work out or I don't see results I start to get down and even more obsessed tweaking and trying to find the problem. I guess you could say the trip to the ER was a huge wake up call for me. I didn't have the ability to blame it on my disease it was honestly just ME and I needed to get myself together and make some changes. This past few days I have been by myself because Zach is away training in the field and I have thought about and researched what I could do to make my life less stressful and me less anxious. First off I need to stop worrying about myself and focus on helping others.  I told Averie that since she never got the chance to live that I would live for her and touch others lives like I know she did and would have done. I haven't done that entirely yet but I'm going to and I won't beat myself up because I haven't yet I think signs or things happen when we need them to and I needed this wake up call. Sometimes you just need a little push.

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