Doctors and Diagnosis #medicine

History: I had my tonsils out when I was 5-6ish (I took my cabbage patch doll “Madeline” in the surgery room when I woke up she had a bandaid on her mouth). For years I would get this pain in my back later it was determined my gallbladder had been acting up all those years of being put on a muscle relaxer for “a pulled muscle” so out with my gallbladder. I have had female problems since I was a teen, after having my 3rd child I decided to get a tubal. For years I would go to the doctor about issues I was having. They put me on numerous types of birth control or I would have painful procedures done until I met a doctor that actually listened to me and scheduled a hysterectomy.

Facts: I have anxiety, ADD and OCD, my blood pressure, heart rate and temperature are always on the low side.

Medicines: When I was pregnant with my second child I was put on my first antidepressant. I have since been a on again off again antidepressant user. Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin etc I have tried them all. And for one reason or another I would stop because of a side effect I didn’t want to have. I have been on Xanax for when I have anxiety attack or just can’t sleep. Sleep medications do not work for me, those had the worse side effects. Yes I tried melatonin and NyQuil without success. I was on Adderall for my ADD and it was life changing!! I wish I had that when I was in school, I know things wouldn’t have been so hard. I only stopped taking it because I switched family doctors. I am on Linzess for my bowel issues but that is very aggressive. I just stopped the Buspirone (for anxiety), my NP didn’t think it was needed. I am on Propranolol for the rhythm in my heart. Gadapentin for what has been going on lately.

I trust my doctors to have my best wellbeing…that being said what do you do when you have one doctor say one thing and another say the opposite and same with the NP’s and specialists. Who do you trust? What tests are necessary? We put our lives and trust in someone else’s hands, is it just opinions? I’m about over being poked, prodded and scanned and I do not have it as bad as others. I do believe in natural medicines, oils and foods but that isn’t the skeleton key for good health without medications. I know people myself that have lived exceptionally healthy lives and have had different cancers, diabetes, heart disease…I’m just frustrated and at a loss on what to do, who to see and what is best.

Bear with me on this

Time off

So it is 3:09 am on Thursday, I have a doctor appointment tomorrow, a follow up to my hospital stay and I can’t sleep (imagine that!) my mind getting the best of me worrying on what they will say. I already know I am being referred to a neurologist, so I guess we are just going to go over how my new medication is working for me (not good, I am afraid to drive because I get so dizzy and light headed which is one of the side effects), hopefully I will get released to go back to work (the house is beyond clean), and what if any restrictions I will have. I googled what I have been diagnosed with (ahh yes google and the internet…if not for that how would we survive ?!?! Lol) it is just crazy to me that I can have a migraine yet not have a headache, it is hereditary there are four genes linked to Hemiplegic migraines, the “episodes” are unpredictable, there aren’t many cases, a episode can be as small as a slight headache to so severe I could be in a coma for a few days. So in this last week my face is back to normal, my right arm and hand are back to normal, my upper thigh feels numb but the rest of my leg, toe and feet have feeling. I’ve caught myself over the last couple days still studdering, it’s like my brain works faster than my mouth. Today I started that excessive blinking. I did what the doctor said and quickly took some ibuprofen when a symptom starts and it slowly went away….weird!!! I still have a bruise for the IV they put in when I was in the ambulance. I’m not a “baby” when it comes to shots, giving blood, iv’s, etc….but damn I REALLY don’t want to be poked anymore.

Since I’ve been off of work some of my friends and coworkers have text me, some because they genuinely care and the others to just be nosey, I guess rumor is I got fired. Oh that makes me chuckle and my little black heart wants to come up with some ridiculous story to get the rumors flying but then I believe in karma soooo I will leave well enough alone and I do believe saying nothing kills them more than the truth because the truth is so boring! I have kept the plant alive my friend Kensi got me, pretty yellow daisies. Ruger has been my buddy since I’ve been off, unless I’m sweeping then he tries to kill the sweeper.

If you have watched “The Burbs” with Tom Hanks you will know what I’m talking about when I tell you I know my neighbors routines. The “witch lady” that lives to the right, she got that nickname because all she is ever wearing is black. Now I love black most of my closet is black but she has black hair, dark black eye liner and is always in plain black clothing. She is a PITA, we share a wooden fence with her but it cuts short the back side by the road. Well she took it upon herself to mow our back area then came up and told us that she mowed it and how she “didn’t want to be that neighbor” but she wanted the back mowed on the days she mowed….well that set Jamey off and he went on strike for about 2 weeks. We have only got to see her husband twice in the 3 years we have been here and he was wearing a eye patch…. so yea…… to the left we have a retired lady who lives alone with her little dog. We put in a water softener for her when she first moved in. She’s nice, we wave in passing. We have named her the “bandanna lady” because she wears a bandanna when she mows. On the other side of her is the “crackhead house”…I know I know I shouldn’t judge but it’s a older run down scary house, the cops have been there more than once, the older man has tattoos on his shaven head, animal control has been out a few times over their pit bulls, someone is living in a car in their driveway they have a extension cord strung from the house to the car. There are some kids there from time to time, but after the cops are there we don’t see the kids for awhile (I’m guessing CPS) got involved but I don’t know for a fact. One summer the kids had a table set up by the road with a sign wrote in kid writing that said “rocks for sale $1.00”, well I bought 3 driveway rocks from the 3 kids. I do pray for them because that area is a hot mess. Now the lady across from us should have her own blog because there is just so much, so I will try to do my best without over kill.

“Weird lady” has 2 teen boys I think. When we first moved in she brought over a dessert introduced herself and told us her husband had passed away. Well I can’t eat other people’s food but I kindly accepted but we ended up throwing it away (which was a waste and I wish we could donate food like that to the homeless…I’ve derailed). She doesn’t park in her driveway, she pulls her car up into her yard. Oh her yard..she needs to make her teen sons get off their ass and mow, but any ways she bought a used rider but for whatever reason it didn’t run so she bought a brand new push mower and the poor thing was having such a hard time pushing it. Yes, we watched her but she was finishing up before we realized so don’t judge because Jamey was going to go over and mow it for her. Their mailbox fell over and she just left it! For like 3 weeks it was on the ground! This is the craziest thing…she has/had 2 dogs one named Buddy and the other Toby. Well Toby is a PITA! Always barking, coming into everyone’s yard or snipping at your ankles while she yells from her yard “Toby…you want a cookie?” Ugh we hated Toby…we have not seen Toby in about 3 weeks….anyways one day last summer we see the weird lady walking this Sharpe looking dog, we were like “great that’s all she needs is another dog” well we see her get into her car with her sons, Buddy and Toby and she takes off leaving this dog outside roaming down the road and her front door wide open. Jamey was worried it was going to get hit on the road so he picks it up and puts it in the house and closes the door. He walks back over all proud of himself for saving this dog, well day turns to night, night turns into morning then afternoon and so on and no weird neighbor lady. 4 days go by and nothing so now we are freaking that we put this dog in her house and maybe it’s went potty everywhere or worse has died. So Jamey goes over and knocks on the door and nothing..now worried she has a dead dog in her house we try to peek in her windows, Jamey cracks the unlocked front door just slightly and whistles…nothing…now we are convinced there is a dead dog somewhere in her house so we ask another neighbor to get ahold of her and ask about the dog…she doesn’t know what we are talking about she only had Buddy and Toby…ohhhh noooo we put someone’s dog in her house and it has possibly died somewhere!!!! She comes home from vacation with her sons we are dreading her to ask us why there’s a dead dog in her house but nothing…days, weeks, months go by still nothing….Toby had to be put down so she replaced him with 2 small yipper dogs. I still wonder about the dog that was put in her house..where’d it go?

Hospital

I left our house on Tuesday July 16 at 12:50 am like usual on a 12 hour day. I badged in at 1:53 am went to my locker to put my keys and redbull up saying “hi” as I past the night shifters going to the cafeteria for their lunch break. I was scheduled to work in the “clean room” that is a area that is environmentally controlled, mostly germ free and if anything breaches that cleanliness we have to do what is called a “full clean” where we clean the entire area top to bottom with Clorox and isopropanol. So I go into our “gowning room” grab a bonnet make sure all my hair is secure (we can not wear make up, fingernail polish, very strict clothing policy) next I grab a surgical gown while I am chatting with the day workers that have also came in early. I grab my bootie shoe covers and sit on a stainless steel bench to put them on (we have a line on the floor marked off for a “clean side” and a “dirty side”) you put one on then place your foot on the clean side then put the other on and do the same. I remember one of the girls sitting on the bench across from me and as she is putting her booties on she is talking to me but it sounded like when Charlie Browns parents would talk to him. I couldn’t understand her so I just smiled we both stood up and sanitized our hands and went into the clean room area to start our work day.

Once inside the clean room everything is sterile from the computer cords to the clock on the wall. I remember walking and my right leg felt heavy…”oh great…this again” my toes are now tingling..I sit down on a stainless steel stool to try to maybe breathe and meditate my way through this episode. Next goes my arm my fingers tingling Luke they were asleep. This has been happening off and on since about May, my physician is aware and I was scheduled for some testing and started a new medicine 2 weeks prior. As I am sitting there I start to see zig zags of light in both eyes…”well this is new”, so I stand up to find one of my friends to give her heads up that I feel off today. As I stand my head is now tingling the entire room is moving, I Frankenstein stomp walk until I find my friend Brenda holding onto the wall with every step. When I find her I can now feel myself blinking non stop and my right cheek feels swollen and numb. Instantly she asks if I am ok, in my mind I know what I want to say but as I open my mouth to speak I can not get the words out I am talking like porky pig.

My sister lives about 5 minutes from where we work and my mom lives about 15 minutes away so I finally get out the words for her to call my mom and sister either one to take me to the hospital that something is not right. She helps me walk into the gowning room to sit on the bench because if I were to fall onto the clean room floor they would have to do a full clean and everyone hates doing those unscheduled cleans. It is now after 3:30 am and of course my sister is asleep she has 2 little ones and my mom is a heavy sleeper that puts her phone on silent. So I have her call my husband and we live over a hour away. Now I have about 3 people around me I can’t talk they are all staring at me asking if I’m ok the right side of my face looks like it’s melting off. I hear the overhead ding for the first responders “great just great” I do not like attention or to be weak I am a strong independent woman and a leader I can not be down. I now have a crowd around me of first responders and volunteer firefighters that are trained in first aid. They keep asking my name and date of birth what day it is where I am at. My brain is saying it but I have no idea what if anything is coming out of my mouth. I hear “the ambulance is on it’s way”.

I was raised Baptist and since I guess my “title” is non-denominational. I believe in god I believe in heaven and hell. Now if you are reading this and you don’t have the same beliefs please don’t judge me. I do not judge anyone or tell them they are wrong. I have friends that are atheists, family that is Presbyterian and so on but I respect them and they respect me. As I’m being loaded into the ambulance I don’t remember what they are saying and what I am saying I don’t remember the IV that has really done a bruising number on my arm. All I remember is praying that my kids know I love them, my granddaughters, my husband, my family and friends. I’m out of the ambulance and into the ER…they are showing me pictures in a book that I have to say what they are, what my name is, my date of birth, my birthday etc. They test my blood sugar 88..not bad, pulse 96 blood pressure 88/62 (mine is always low). My husband arrives then my mom, sister, dad and step mom. One thing about my family whenever someone is hurt or sick we rally around them. We may not see each other besides holidays but by god if someone is in the hospital we show up like a family reunion…and I am thankful to have a family like that. I’ve tried to live by “you just never know” and to make sure I tell the people in my life that I love them because “you never know”.

I was scared…I couldn’t stop blinking even when my eyes were shut they were blinking, I had no control. I didn’t want to talk because I kept studdering or I just made no sense. I kept trying to smile because I knew the right side of my face was numb and hanging. I remember the hospital staff tell my family that I am showing signs of a stroke, I don’t remember much after that. I remember the MRI…a INCLOSED MRI…and in pops the scene from the exorcist where she is getting her MRI. They get me into position, tell me to let them know if my tattoos get hot because it can happen (fantastic). They put this bulb in my hand, my right hand and tell me to squeeze it if I have any problems. I get the ear plugs in and the nurse asks “would you like a washcloth over your face? It helps people with anxiety”, I shake my head yes and they finish getting me ready and in I go. I have my eyes shut with the washcloth over them earplugs in and I can hear it, at first I was telling myself “it’s like Mario brothers it’s just the sound of someone playing that damn game” then sound would change and I could feel my heart start to race and that anxiety attack feeling so I tried to tell myself “it’s just rave music now” that only lasted so long and I was trying to squeeze the bulb they put in my right hand but I just couldn’t get my hand to work. I wanted to spring up and crawl out like a mad woman but I felt the table move and out I went.

They admit me into the hospital I get my own room at the end of the hall (thank goodness). They did a ultrasound of my carotic arteries in my neck, a CT scan and a echocardiogram of my heart. My aunts and uncle show up to see me along with my daughter and her husband. My room is full…and full of love. My aunt is a nurse practitioner so I get a lot of translating from her. My MRI came back NO stroke and NO plaque (so MS is ruled out), but I have white spots on my brain. The doctor will be in tomorrow to talk to me the nurse says as she is putting the leg pumper things on for circulation..I love those I wanted to take it home but I was told no, darn it! Everyone gives their well wishes, hugs and I love yous and slowly clears out. Jamey left to get us some clothes, my quip toothbrush!!!, phone chargers etc and to let Ruger out. I was so glad and thankful he was staying the night with me. I couldn’t get off the bed or have extra weight on the bed or it would set a alarm off so he pulled the reclining chair up close to my bed and put his hand on mine, that was one of those moments where you take a picture in your mind and hold onto that feeling. The hospital pillows are what they are he didn’t think to grab any sleeping stuff from home so we had to make due with what they gave us. Hilarious seeing Jamey try to cover his entire body with the hospital blanket they gave him that was a square!

My goal for the night was rest and sleep…which I don’t do either at home so I can about guarantee it’s not happening in the hospital then add the nurse that checks on you every 2 hours to see if you want anything! 5:30 am is when the nurse came in to do the echo then my nurse came in at 6 saying that the doctor makes his rounds at 9. I can’t eat hospital food, thanks to my family I didn’t have to worry about food. My mom showed up with Dunkin Donuts (well I’m never going to lose weight!). As with any hospital stay it took what seemed like forever to get any answers or to get out. After finally talking to a doctor my family knows well they diagnosed me as having a hemiplegic migraine..who knew you could have a migraine and not feel it. I’ve only had 2 migraines in my lifetime and I don’t want to have anymore. To be continued….