Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Ambulance Ride!!

I got to take an ambulance ride on Sunday... I woke up with a sore right arm, and it just got worse and worse. Honestly, I've never had my arm hurt so bad. I took some ibuprofen, laid down to get it warm, and it just kept getting worse.

Then I went upstairs and started to pass out. I mean really pass out. I laid down on the stair landing and thought I was still going to pass out. Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy. So dizzy and light-headed it hurt.

And I came to the conclusion I must be having a heart attack. I honestly didn't know what else could be going on. The pain and dizziness together were freaky.

So, we called an ambulance to take me to the hospital. I couldn't get out to the car or Jake could have just driven me.

They monitored me for a while on an ekg, drew some blood, and came to the conclusion that I should have a stress test... Here's where my funky weird reaction to having an iv started makes life difficult- Since I have an out-of-control reaction to needles, I normally go into mild shock for blood draws. To start an iv normally involves me almost passing out, which makes it harder to start an iv because most of my blood rushes to my center in preparation for a fight or flight response. (In fact, I almost pass out talking and thinking about it so I'm getting a little light-headed writing about it now. Maybe I should lay down for a second?)

For a stress test they have to get your heart rate up pretty high. When you go into shock your heart rate SINKS. Mine went down to 60 over 46. And they wanted it up to at least 157... Do you know how hard I had to work to get mine up there??? They kept tilting the stupid tread mill higher and higher and ran it faster and faster... But the conclusion of that test was that my heart was incredibly healthy.

Yay. So, I didn't have a heart attack.
As the doctor was releasing me he was was wandering if I'd pulled something in my arm, lifted something, done something weird... He mentioned panic attacks, stress... And I was just getting annoyed.

It wasn't until we got home that I remembered that I had shoveled our driveway on Saturday. We'd gotten a VERY heavy snowfall that day, and my mom needed to go shopping so I shoveled out the driveway for her. So I probably did strain my arm. It still hurt yesterday, and when you combine that with my neck issues there's good reason for my arm to be hurting so much on Sunday.

The dizziness was a different story, but when you think about the amount of stress we've had over the last year it's possible that the pain and concern over my arm triggered some kind of stress reaction. Not my normal stress reaction, mind you. I normally just go to bed or read a book... But hey, it's been a year.

Here's the year in a nutshell:

March- Jake goes for a 10 day vacation to see his mom and dad
April- Jake gets MRSA and has relapse, he almost loses his foot
May- financial stress 'cuz Jake missed about a month of work
June- Jake quits Fred Meyer, Beth attempts suicide, we start Farmer's Market
July- serious financial stress, my back starts hurting
August- Deborah starts Kindergarten, Abigail starts pre-school, Jake goes to WA for his brother's wedding & starts college classes, my back is hurting
September- I'm in a car accident, serious neck and back pain
October- my back gets worse
November- Beth has hysterectomy & mom is not okay (she needs a new pacemaker)
December- I have back surgery for cyst on spine

January- Deborah damages eye, Jake decides not to go back to school & has serious health issues culminating in a hospital stay and surgery to remove gall bladder
February- both girls very sick with Abigail getting pneumonia

So, maybe there's some credence to the whole stress thing...
This has been the hardest year of my life, I think. Honestly, it's worse than the year I graduated from UAF, which involved: my dad getting sick, my cat getting sick, me developing an ulcer, and culminated in my appendectomy at which time they discovered I had endometriosis.

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