Monday, June 20, 2011

How I Met The Monster.....Episode Three

A year ago this week my life would change forever

Where we left off;  I might not have mentioned it, but I've been a nurse for over twenty years.  Like many in the health care profession we self diagnose and don't always seek medical attention as quickly as others might.  That was the case for me.  I see a doctor regularly for Diabetes, but try not to make a habit of going to the doctor for much else.  I've always been this way...When you work with them every day, you don't want to see one on a day off!!

The medication didn't help with my symptoms, I didn't think I had Vertigo, period!! I remained in bed for the better part of the next day.  Only getting up to take care of personal needs, I still needed help, the walls and chairs were my best friends.  I even had to stop along the way to rest, and the bathroom was only two rooms away.  That evening things got worse.  I began experiencing painful muscle spasms and a feeling best described as small electric shocks throughout my body.  My legs would become rigid, like I was having giant charlie horses, my neck would become stiff and turn in strange directions, I felt like Linda Blair in "The Exorcist"!  My body was swinging back and forth between painful spasms and extreme weakness.  I also began to experience this strange heaviness in my chest.  I didn't really feel short of breath, but couldn't really take a deep breath.  It was like my diaphragm wasn't working properly. 

I hated to admit it, but I needed to go to the emergency room, I didn't think I was dying, but I knew in my heart of hearts something was horribly wrong with me!!  My sister wanted to call the First Aid Squad, but stubborn me wasn't going to make a spectacle of herself and go by ambulance anywhere!  I live in a small town, "Where Everybody Knows Your Name" as they sang in the "Cheers" theme song, the last thing this idiot wanted was for all her neighbors to stand on their front porches and watch her be carried out of her house on a stretcher!!  So off to the ER we went.  It was still early afternoon so I didn't think we would wait that long. WRONG!!!  My problem wasn't as severe as others, no chest pain or heart attack, so I had to wait.  And wait I did, I saw a triage nurse rather quickly, but waited several hours before being taken into the ER itself.  It wasn't until I began sliding out of the wheelchair I was sitting in that I was finally taken in!  Again I explained my saga of the last few days.  The doctor ordered all the usual labs, they even checked for drugs and things just in case I was some sort of fiend looking for a fix or something!!

I went for chest x-rays, and a CT scan.  They were normal, but my symptoms persisted.  They were less severe than they were earlier, but I had been sleeping on a stretcher for several hours at this point.  They doctor came to the conclusion that there was SOMETHING neurological going on, but because all my test were normal I should see a neurologist and return to my primary care physician ASAP!!  I was given my discharge papers and sent on my way.  It was almost two in the morning now...All I wanted to do was go home and go back to bed.  But I didn't get much rest.  My mind began racing with thoughts of what might be wrong.  The nurse in me took over, the "alphabet" neurological conditions started to pop into my head.  MS, ALS, MD, I even considered Guillian Barre Syndrome at one point but the symptoms didn't fit!

It's now Friday morning, all I could do was stay in bed and deal with whatever my body threw at itself!  We made an appointment to see my doctor first thing Monday morning.  There was no way I was going to try to make it to the doctor today!  I spent all of Friday and Saturday in bed, the spams were becoming more frequent.  The pain was awful, but I thought I could stick it out until Monday.  Come Sunday morning the pain was so bad, my muscles were twitching, and the electric shock like feelings wouldn't stop.  I could barely move, I couldn't lift my head, my arms and legs felt like they had concrete blocks tied to them.  I felt like a quadriplegic, I couldn't hold anything in my hands.  My voice was weak, I was so afraid, I cried like I had never cried before.  My sister called my doctor, he wanted us to get to the hospital ASAP.  He called ahead and told them to expect me, he did admission orders over the phone.  I was on my way back to the hospital once again.  This time we went by ambulance!!  
Tune in tomorrow for Episode Four... 

June is Myasthenia Gravis
Awareness Month
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  1. OH, Rachel. I'm just bawling all over myself. I hate that you have this. I hate that you were so scared. I hate that you went through even one day of that unknown fear. THANK you for sharing your may be saving a life, you know that? I'm so thankful you are my friend. Take GOOD care of yourself. Love you.

  2. Rachel,
    It must have been pretty frightening to have your body turn on you so quickly and so's not fair that we have to wait for the next episode
    I never am good at waiting for sequels!


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