Saturday, March 3, 2012
Riding the Waves
So, this week has been a bit crazy. My mom has been sick with a horrible flu, so bad that I truly thought she might have pneumonia. (She is 66, has asthma, and has had pneumonia twice before.) Just so you don't think that was simply my anxiety talking, I was finally able to convince her to go to the doctor on Tuesday (as she had been sick since the previous Thursday). The doctor did and chest x-ray and sent home a container for a sputum sample. He also proscribe a cough syrup and a very strong antibiotic to fight the lung infection. Unfortunately, he didn't look at the precautions for the antibiotic first.
At lunch, my mom took the first dose of that antibiotic. About 20 minutes later, I read the package insert only to find that my mom should NEVER have been prescribed this medication. My mom has a heart condition called Long QT Syndrome which is a type of arrhythmia. It's something we both have. This antibiotic she was prescribed has a tendency to worsen this, which can lead to fainting, abnormal heart rhythm, and even death. Also, this antibiotic was not to be used by anyone on diuretics (she's on two), anyone with low potassium levels (which she has to take potassium for), or anyone on corticosteroids as the combination can contribute to tendon rupture (and she's on steroids for a muscle disorder and also has a patellar tendon that was rebuilt less than two years ago).
Needless to say, I made my mom call in immediately and talk to the nurse about it. She only told them about the heart issue and asked if this was safe for her to take. The nurse said she'd speak to the doctor and get back to us. About twenty minutes later, my mom started to feel very sick. She tried to go lay down in bed, but started to feel very dizzy, nearly passing out. These are signs of issues with the Long QT Syndrome. I've had these before.
I helped her to bed, and stayed in the living room where I would be able to hear her if she needed anything or tried to get up. About 90 minutes later, she was starting to feel slightly better. I wasn't! The nurse still hadn't called back. When the nurse finally did call back, hours later, she said the doctor wanted to change the medicine. My mom told her it was a good thing and described the symptoms she'd had. The nurse made sure she wasn't alone and told her if she had any more of those symptoms to go to the ER immediately.
So, I had to run into town to get the new prescription, all the while worried about my mom at home alone.
That wasn't the only stress of the week. That same day, my dog was sick, waking me up at 5:30 am and causing me to have to strip and wash my bedding. When I went to take her out, a neighbor's massive dog was in our yard. I had to immediately grab my little poodle as soon as we came around a set of plantings. She was going nuts, I was trying to get the neighbor's dog out of our yard, and the neighbor's dog just kept coming toward us!!! (For someone who was bit by a neighbor's dog at age six, this definitely sets off a whole set of fears.) Finally, the dog starts across the road, but then stops, right in the middle, with a semi coming. So, I get the "Don't let the dog get hit by that truck. If it gets hit it's all my fault being I was chasing it out of our yard." thing going. Luckily, the semi honked it's horn and the dog moved before the truck got to the point where it had been standing. Still, it wouldn't leave from that spot. So, my sick dog couldn't go to the bathroom in our own yard! And all the commotion woke up my poor sick mom!
And....I was dealing with all this while fighting yet another two week migraine!
So, it's been a tough week. Then, Rachel canceled my therapy appointment, because she came down sick. It's already been three weeks since my last appointment being I'd had to cancel the week before due to the migraine. Now, due to scheduling issues, it will be five weeks between session.
Still, with all this, I felt relatively good, happy, much better than I'd usually have been. Until yesterday afternoon when I was finally hit with the wave of emotions that comes after that much suppressed anxiety. I was feeling sick, battling the same bug my mom had, and was getting ready to take a nap when I knocked a glass of water out of my own hand, spilling it all over the floor, and covering myself with water in the process. That was all it took for the flood gates to open. I just couldn't hold it back anymore and the wave just came crashing over me.
This isn't unusual for me being I'm a stuffer. What was different this time is that I knew exactly what was going on and why it was happening, which makes it much easier to accept. The emotions are still there and knowing me, they'll probably be there for awhile, but I'm able to deal with them, to cope with them.
I will get through it, and I'll come out the other side with a better understanding of myself and the way my emotions work. So, I've come to the conclusion that when the waves come and the surf's up, there's not much I can do but hang ten and enjoy the ride.