Last Thursday I was at my daughter’s school for Literacy Night. While sitting and talking with my daughter’s friends mom I began to feel light headed. Figuring it was the start of a panic attack I grabbed Sylva and went into the hallway. Typically, a panic attack for me is tingling in my toes, clammy hands, rapid heartbeat, and light headed. This was only light headed and that scared me. I made my daughter go to a different part of the school where there were programs but much less people.
After sitting down against some lockers for a few more minutes I sent my husband a text saying something along the lines of “I’m dizzy, something wrong, come get me”. At this point I also call a friend who I knew was close by at the school to come stay with me in case I passed out. My concern was that I was going to pass out at my daughter’s school when all the parents and kids were there…and my daughter would be scared for life.
My husband drove me to the emergency room, and my amazing friend took care of getting Sylva and my car back to my house after the program ended. After a bunch of tests, the doctor told me I had a UTI and was dehydrated. So after a bag of IV fluid the doctor wrote me a prescription and discharged me. As I was leaving I noticed his prescription was for a medication I can’t take. I walked back to where he was sitting and questioned why he would give me this antibiotic when my chart says I’m allergic. He responded “Oh, I’ll go ahead and give you something else, better safe than sorry.”
I wake up the next day and my head is really cloudy, and my anxiety kicks in because I don’t know why I’m feeling this crappy. So of course I consult with my father in law. From previous posts, you know this is the only doctor I trust. He tells me it’s a virus and I need to let it run its course but to come in and he’ll run my blood work for every possible problem. While there I also left a urine sample because I was convinced the ER doctor wasn’t even looking at the right chart leading him to initially prescribe a potentially fatal antibiotic. I should note that I also thought this because another patient’s lab orders were in with my discharge paperwork. Malpractice and HIPPA violations all in one day! Turns out no UTI, and nothing else wrong with my bloodwork so my father in law says he still thinks it’s a virus but to go see an ear, nose, and throat doctor.
Monday morning, I go to see the ENT and he informs me my left ear is 90% obstructed and my right ear was 100% obstructed. He works his magic and cleans out the ears and notes post nasal drip which confirms a virus but says the ears clogged combined with the virus could cause dizziness and cloudiness. Great, but I’m still feeling cloudy and anxious and it can take 2 weeks for the virus to leave, so on Tuesday I see my psychiatrist. I haven’t seen him in several years, but apparently my brain needs a tune up. I go on a low dose of Paxil…but that takes 2 weeks to reach its maximum potential.
I wake up yesterday and I start throwing up. Then I get dizzy again. My father in law told me to get to the er because I was dehydrated again. Fantastic…head back to the er that misdiagnosed the UTI. I get the IV and actually had a doctor confirm that my lab results from the other night did not indicate a UTI. At this point the head of the department comes in and made sure she checked every possible reason why I was still feeling dizzy…confirmation of the same, that it’s a virus and I need to let it run its course.
So now here I am almost a week in, knowing this virus can take another week to clear up. In this last week I feel like I have undone years of therapy and all the work I did to get back into a good place mentally. When Sylva was a baby I was diagnosed with Panic Disorder and Agoraphobia. I wasn’t able to leave the house to walk around the block without having a panic attack. I let it get to the point where I was fetal on my bed begging my husband to check me in to a psych hospital because I felt like I lost my mind. It took 4 years of sometimes twice a week therapy till I clawed my way out of the darkness and back into the light.
Over the last week, I have found myself slipping back into that dark place. How can a virus knock me down? I can’t drive my daughter to school because my head is so cloudy I can’t concentrate or focus. My amazing friend who drove Sylva and my car home from the program last week has been nice enough to also take her to school every day this week. I don’t like to ask for help, and I don’t have many close friends. I have my childhood best friend who is my soul sister, and I have never really needed anyone else. I have always had acquaintances, but never a group of people I felt I could really open up to, let alone ask for help. I consider myself to be majestically awkward, I say inappropriate things, and I have a hard time really opening up to people…especially when it comes to my mental health.
So here I am, one more week till this virus is out of my system, back on Paxil but that will take 2 more weeks to kick in, and feeling like I’m sucking as a mom this week…and probably next week too. The rational side of me says it’s just a virus, but my brain is talking much louder and its happening in a very physical way. So it’s back to therapy I go…I’m doing 40 minutes of meditation every night, and I’m going to sleep as much as I can this weekend. I will find my way back to the light again…maybe not as fast as I’d like, but to quote the Beatles, “I will get by with a little help from my friends…”