Daily Archives: June 3, 2014

ER Embarassment

I write to you today from my local library, where it is cool and quiet and calm.

So yesterday afternoon at work a perfect shit-storm of things happened that threatened to send me into an anxiety/panic downward spiral, but immediately after everything calmed down I was allowed to go on my 10 minute break. I went outside, walked around a bit, smoked a cigarette, did some deep breathing, and then went back in. This was maybe around 3, 3:30.

Around 4:00, while I was doing my turn at gathering all the trash, I got an insanely awful stabbing pain all through my back. I could barely move, no stretching in any direction would lessen it. Then I got that pain that’s usually linked to indigestion, that stabbing straight through the middle of your back to your sternum. Then I realized my chest was a little tight. Then I took my BP & pulse. My pulse was 120.

Now, I’m not a hypochondriac, and I’m usually more logical than not when it comes to medical issues seeing as I work in the field, but I then thought “Oh. My. God. There’s a chance I’m having a heart attack.” (Public awareness announcement: the warning signs in females are much different than the classic elephant on the chest/numb left arm that men experience – often the only symptom is bizarrely extreme back pain)

So by this time it’s like 4:30 and all admin managers had left for the day. I talked to all the girls still in the office, had them get me to aspirin out of the first aid kit, and asked if anyone minded if I called my chiropractor.

Because THAT was obviously the logical next step, see. I convinced myself that after 6 hours in the car over the weekend and how tense I had been all weekend, there was a much more likely chance that my spine was simply disintegrating all of a sudden. I mean, c’mon – a heart attack? I called them and they told me he could work me in as long as I was there by 5. Well, I didn’t get off til 5, but they were literally 2 blocks down the street. I told them okay and asked the girls if anyone minded if I left around 5 minutes early. Everyone said go, go, no problem, hope you’re okay, etc – I left my office at 4:57. (This morning I was reamed out for “simply walking out with no notice” – its like a game of grade school telephone went horribly wrong. Talk about almost throwing me into another tailspin – I defended my actions vigorously and was let off the hook with a warning.

After 10 minutes on the EStim & with hot pads all over my back, darling Dr B came in and checked my pulse again. Still 120. I told him my “Either I slipped a disk or I’m having a heart attack, so obviously the former seems more likely” theory – I was so tense and in so much pain he could barely adjust a thing. He admitted the latter option was a bit out of his field of expertise, and advised me to go to the local urgent care and ask to have an EKG run just to be sure.

After 20 minutes there, I left for the ER – thinking perhaps this should be taken a bit more seriously. My good friend M, bless her, met me there. The triage nurse, of course, was someone I graduated with so I had to do the whole hug and how are you thing with my answer being “I may or may not be having a heart attack.” None of the automatic BP cuffs could even measure my pressure, it was so high – she had to give up and get a stethoscope and go old school. She immediately ordered an EKG and cardiac enzyme labs. I was scuttled to a bed in the hallway for an EKG, seeing as no beds were readily available. I wasn’t allowed to go back to the waiting room until I was “cleared” – at this point I was beginning to feel a bit ridiculous, and told the tech “look, I admit that if anything happened it probably happened 2 hours ago so I’m beginning to wonder what you would even be able to see.”

M kept me company and kept me in fairly good spirits, and I was taken back and hooked up to a cardiac monitor, pulse ox meter, and oxygen. By this time I was starting to feel fairly okay but M demanded I stay there and go through the workup. Labs were drawn by a hilariously spunky nurse, and luckily I had my ridiculous bandaids handy in my purse so we chose to cover up the site with “JOUSTING.” This seemed like an even better choice after having a large bore IV placed ended up splattering blood everywhere.

Every other time Ive been to the ER Ive had a borderline incompetent and definitely overly nonchalant Dr who for unknown reasons is always in Hawaiian shirts. This time I got an amazing woman who actually validated my concerns and was treating me medically (as opposed to seeing my psych history and tossing me) – she was very thorough with her questions (apparently during the Q&A portion of all this my cardiac readout went a little nuts and my BP spiked) and she ordered a chest xray and a contrast CT to check for a pulmonary embolism. This is when the next hilariously spunky nurse caused the accidental spatter prepping my IV that thereafter was referred to as “the crime scene.” Again, bless M for staying with me through all this.

Public service announcement #2 – when you are injected with contrast dye you WILL immediately feel certain that you’ve wet yourself, though after thorough examination you will realize you have NOT. No one warned me about that little fun factoid. Even though I talked to the adorable, funny, and unfortunately married CT tech about everything else in the world (including that he is some sort of part time Civil War reenactment merchant, he sells them their uniforms and provisions and such) and being told I was a super fun patient and even was given dating advise after the “are you SURE you’re not pregnant?”/”Yes, if I was I could start a new religion” conversation. According to him I just have to “put myself out there!”

At this point I felt absurd. Watching my monitors, everything was fine. I was starving and it took everything in me to resist eating the half sandwich in my purse. I felt so dumb. I was actually hoping there was something horrifically wrong just to validate my being there.

Dr. Competent came back in with the results. Chest X-ray was clear. Cardiac enzymes were normal. CBC/BMP (just for good measure, I suppose?) came back normal. Only thing odd was that my CT showed that the bottom of my lungs weren’t fully expanding properly, which she told me was usually a telltale sign of pneumonia, which I obviously was not suffering from, so she was officially stumped. At this point I felt beyond dumb. I can’t even find the right adjective. And now it was nearly 10pm and I had spent the past 5 hours investigating what happened ending in the same information I started with: very slim chance, but I may or may not have had a heart attack. Apparently sometimes cardiac enzymes “lie”, you see, and given my symptoms, etc etc etc.

When I was told I was being released M seized the chance to rip off all my cardiac leads, but we still had to wait for the IV from hell to be removed (I fucking HATE IVs – yes, I have 7 tattoos and a bunch of piercings but I can’t stand the creepy idea that something is half inside, half outside of me. I can’t watch myself having blood drawn either)

We went to Hardee’s to top of the night, at which point I noticed a voicemail from the personal cell of my beloved chiropractor, Dr. B – just checking in and asking me to text him to let him know I was alright. Not gonna lie, it made me feel a little extra warm and fuzzy inside that he was concerned enough to have a late night text-a-thon with me over what happened.

Then I was accused of abandoning my post and nearly had another maybe/maybe not heart attack. But in the end I kept my job, am still alive, and made it through the work day. Now I’m at the library avoiding going home, because home is where harsh reality lives.


Diabetes & the midnight sweat-storm

In a recent poem I mentioned coping with waking in the night to find my husband far into an insulin reaction and soaked in sweat. So guess what happened tonight? I'm writing this at 2:30 am, and he's sleeping now... [NOTE: If you live with an insulin-dependent diabetic, please read on: you need to learn more about this!]

What Form of Transportation Makes You Happy?

I hate buses. Sure, I am a firm believer in more and better public transportation; yes, the bus rides are frequently entertaining involving a large cast of characters, but, I can’t get past the fact that I hate riding buses, unfortunately they are my primary mode of transportation. I started riding the bus many years […]

The post What Form of Transportation Makes You Happy? appeared first on Depression and Bipolar Disorder:.

Itchy Bitchy

Two decent days in a row. It’s a bloody miracle. Mood is holding pretty steady, anxiety is lesser. Bex and I are getting along sawsomely and having fun doing nothing with our summer. My kid had a less demonic day.

All is good right?

Ha! My summer allergies have kicked in ten fold. At first, it was sneezing, coughing, sniffling, watery eyes, blocked sinuses, drowning in phlegm.

Now it’s full fledged itchy hives in random parts although it feels like every inch of skin is itchy. I have itchy bumps and heat rashes and Claritin isn’t doing shit. This is the bane of my summer existence, has been since I was a child. I am literally allergic to Mother Nature. And fabric softener. And certain body washes and laundry soaps. I even have an allergy to some hair conditioners. I am a walking allergy. It’s maddening.

I love that the depression seems under control during the warmer seasons. But this allergy thing sucks. How am I supposed to enjoy wearing cool summer clothes if I have to worry about hiding all of my hives? God, I even have them on my belly. Sweat makes it so much worse.

My kingdom for one day with nothing to bitch about.

It could happen. Like one day a real live unicorn will be found.

Tomorrow is bill paying day. Hopefully I will have a dab of money left so Bex and I can go to our out of town shopping trip. Mom is keeping the spawn, it’s girl time. I am gonna take her to a head shop there. It’s like Jerry Garcia and Cheech and Chong exploded there amongst a sex toy store. I love it, even if most of their shit is too expensive for my blood. I am looking forward to it, actually, in spite of my absolute terror of driving in large traffic laden places.

Amazing how a couple of months ago I was the walking dead, cowering in fear of my own shadow. This mental shit is one big clusterfuck. If you can’t make sense of it yourself, there’s zero chance anyone else ever will. Cheery thought.

It’s after 1 a.m. I had planned on crashing two hours ago but..I got manic. And the fact I can’t stop itching does not help at all. My own skin feels like a big patch of nerve endings on overdrive with histamine overdose. I am winding down.

I’d still like a tub full of liquid benadryl to wallow in.


Kill ’em With Kindness

Yes... I do like this pic. Fractal art speaks to the crazy in me that seeks patterns without looking.

So what do I do this morning after bad behavior and bad communication/lack thereof last night? Get up noticing I must have fallen back to sleep after my 5am alarm! I jumped up, peeked around in my underwear and there was no one around. I couldn't even smell coffee. I figured my husband just left and went to grab coffee somewhere else. 

I threw on my usual black "workout" clothes and hoodie, and the husband came in from outside. Surprise! And he made enough coffee for both of us, even though he shut the door after he got up so that I might sleep in (for once). I got my coffee and meds, and was the first to say "good morning". Someone had to do it. He made his little efforts in his own strange ways. 

I decided today would be "Kill 'em with kindness"/fuck it...What are bad vibes going to do for me all day? Nada! So we were civilized and he even kissed me goodbye, though he was obviously nervous. I told him to have a good day and meant it. I just wish he could hear his own words and see his own behavior for once.

After that, I sucked down my coffee, and grabbed an empty starschmucks bag, keys, cigarette, and sunglasses, ipod... and ventured out the door, the hall, and the front door. It was a mild morning. I lit up, tuned in, and tried to walk slowly so I wouldn't be seen hanging around outside the shop. Didn't work, so I stood to the side. No one was out.

I mentally "thanked" ("fuck you"'d) the guy just before me who could have held the door; the timing was just right but when he looked down at my tattoos or whatever, he let the door go. No matter. I went in and stood right behind his ancient ass in line. 

Something weird was going on there. It looked like the manager/sup/whatever was re-training everybody by hand that worked there, even the most experienced, and he was standing at the register. The one asshole that treated me like a criminal over a 50-cent cup of coffee, that I had complained to starschmucks about online. 

He put on a fake mask with smile, and couldn't or wouldn't even look me in the eye, as I did him. His voice went higher and stranger than it did when he spoke to/at me last. I wanted to laugh. It looks like my complaints at least forced a mandatory re-training of everybody! Useless to me, but I'm sure it pissed them all off. They can thank their manager/sup/whatever for that.

It also looks like my online complaint ended up in a health inspection of the place too. I received email about it. There is now hot water in the bathrooms to wash your hands with, as there should have been in the first place, disgusting fucks!

Big happy smirk on my face now for that shit treatment... They suffer now and everybody else gets hot water! Even the homeless that come in there to wash, whether those fuckwads like it or not! Suck on that! They do NOT like the homeless. Fuck 'em. I'll still keep an eye out for their treatment of people, too. They need to learn to behave right. THEY are being watched!




Kill ’em With Kindness

Yes... I do like this pic. Fractal art speaks to the crazy in me that seeks patterns without looking.

So what do I do this morning after bad behavior and bad communication/lack thereof last night? Get up noticing I must have fallen back to sleep after my 5am alarm! I jumped up, peeked around in my underwear and there was no one around. I couldn't even smell coffee. I figured my husband just left and went to grab coffee somewhere else. 

I threw on my usual black "workout" clothes and hoodie, and the husband came in from outside. Surprise! And he made enough coffee for both of us, even though he shut the door after he got up so that I might sleep in (for once). I got my coffee and meds, and was the first to say "good morning". Someone had to do it. He made his little efforts in his own strange ways. 

I decided today would be "Kill 'em with kindness"/fuck it...What are bad vibes going to do for me all day? Nada! So we were civilized and he even kissed me goodbye, though he was obviously nervous. I told him to have a good day and meant it. I just wish he could hear his own words and see his own behavior for once.

After that, I sucked down my coffee, and grabbed an empty starschmucks bag, keys, cigarette, and sunglasses, ipod... and ventured out the door, the hall, and the front door. It was a mild morning. I lit up, tuned in, and tried to walk slowly so I wouldn't be seen hanging around outside the shop. Didn't work, so I stood to the side. No one was out.

I mentally "thanked" ("fuck you"'d) the guy just before me who could have held the door; the timing was just right but when he looked down at my tattoos or whatever, he let the door go. No matter. I went in and stood right behind his ancient ass in line. 

Something weird was going on there. It looked like the manager/sup/whatever was re-training everybody by hand that worked there, even the most experienced, and he was standing at the register. The one asshole that treated me like a criminal over a 50-cent cup of coffee, that I had complained to starschmucks about online. 

He put on a fake mask with smile, and couldn't or wouldn't even look me in the eye, as I did him. His voice went higher and stranger than it did when he spoke to/at me last. I wanted to laugh. It looks like my complaints at least forced a mandatory re-training of everybody! Useless to me, but I'm sure it pissed them all off. They can thank their manager/sup/whatever for that.

It also looks like my online complaint ended up in a health inspection of the place too. I received email about it. There is now hot water in the bathrooms to wash your hands with, as there should have been in the first place, disgusting fucks!

Big happy smirk on my face now for that shit treatment... They suffer now and everybody else gets hot water! Even the homeless that come in there to wash, whether those fuckwads like it or not! Suck on that! They do NOT like the homeless. Fuck 'em. I'll still keep an eye out for their treatment of people, too. They need to learn to behave right. THEY are being watched!




A Wild Hair

Well, the tribe has spoken—not one person I’ve talked to about yesterday’s inspiration approves of it in the least. They all said (in so many words) that I’ve just got a wild hair up my arse and need to let go of those thoughts pronto, so maybe it’s NOT such a hot idea after all. As one friend put it, I would really hate to have to tell Dr. Awesomesauce about it should the experiment go sideways and I wind up flying-off-the-walls manic. And another friend sees the idea itself as a sign of incipient mania, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say that.

I do have to confess that it’s hard to be outside working in the yard on a day like this and not yearn for the slightest touch of hypomania to give me more energy and make weeding more enjoyable. As it is, I have to watch how much time I spend out in the sun, because a couple of my meds make it easy to get dehydrated and woozy—that’s why I’m on the computer now, instead of out there where I really would rather be. Another reason to cut down…..but not yet, as I promised my friends.

Besides, I’ve got a few areas on my skin that are sort of suspicious-looking. They’re probably nothing but the kind of lesions older people get (and isn’t THAT a lovely thought), but I don’t think I want to add to the ones I’ve already got. I know I should have them looked at, but now that I’m without health insurance again it’s going to have to wait until I see my primary care doc in July. Not being a dermatologist, he probably can’t do anything about them anyway, but maybe there’s a few he could freeze off or something like that.

That’s another problem. I’m losing him this fall as he’s decided to give up his practice and become full-time director of the local hospice agency. He may be an asshole sometimes—he was the one who gave up on me after several anti-depressant trials and said I had something too serious for him to deal with—but he’s been our family doctor for over 20 years and I hate like hell to have to start all over again with one who doesn’t know me. Some of ‘em don’t like to deal with patients who have mental illnesses, and I don’t want to have to explain it. At least my current doctor KNOWS I’m crazy and accepts me as I am.

And as if all that weren’t enough to worry about, Will just called from the Safeway parking lot to let me know the car won’t start, and it’s not the battery. He thinks it’s some thingie that sits on top of the starter. Bless his heart, he tries so hard to talk to me about automotive stuff, but it’s like explaining existentialism to the cat: I am what I call studiedly stupid about cars. I don’t WANT to know how the hoojaflobbets connects to the dooflotchee. All I want to know is HOW MUCH IT’S GOING TO COST.

The timing couldn’t be much worse. We aren’t flat broke yet, but this will probably put the icing on the cake. Guess this really isn’t a good time to cut down on Zyprexa after all!

 

 

 


Depression Lies

I need to remind myself.Filed under: quoth Tagged: depression lies, hope