Dusting off the cobwebs

That creaking noise? It’s the sound of me walking up the stairs to this rickety old blog.

I justĀ  have one small update to share: I have a broken boob.

Looking back, it’s hard to believe that it was almost a year ago that I started consultations for the brachioplasty/mastopexy/augmentation. But it has been that long, and I had surgery a full six months ago. Unbelievable!

One boob is great. The other feels like it’s made of cement and aches all the time. Naked, I look ridiculously lop-sided and weird. Thankfully it’s disguised in clothing.

So I saw my surgeon yesterday and after some pharmaceutical attempts didn’t work, I’m going back in for surgery so that he can fix my capsular contracture. While I’m under, he’s going to revise my left arm as well.

I can’t believe I’m having to do this again, but whatever. Last time was horrible. I’m hoping this is a quick little fixer-upper.

December 10th. The very moment I finish teaching my last class of the semester.

And now I’m backing down these rickety old stairs again. See ya when I see ya!

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I totally fainted

I want to write about this mainly for documentation. I *hope* it doesn’t keep happening!
So I’ve noticed that sometimes when I’ve been sitting awhile and I stand up, I feel a little faint, as if blood is rushing away from my head. I have to kind of stop, wait a second, and then walk wherever I’m going. This is my new normal, no big deal, I’m used to it.
Last night, Lee & I went out to dinner with some friends. Before dinner, I was trying not to snack, so I made coffee in the afternoon. I had 3 cups of coffee between 3pm and 6pm, and I knew I’d be over-caffeinated.
Dinner was at 8 at Kiku, a Japanese steak house. I had a few bites of rice, veggies, chicken, and steak and got full. I brought the rest home and munched on leftover rice while I was packing Lee’s lunch for today. Then I had a banana because I was dying for something sweet. (Hello high glycemic index: rice + banana!??)
So I finished watching CSI and went to join Lee in bed. Since I was so hyped on caffeine from earlier, I started reading in bed to fall asleep. Once I was sufficiently drowsy, I stood up to turn of the lamp.
And that’s all I remember, until Lee came rushing to my side. I woke up on the floor. I could see that I set my book on the night stand, so I remembered I had gotten up to turn off the lamp. I could feel that I must have hit my head on something because it hurt like crazy. I fell so that my face was actually touching the carpet! This was not a graceful fall! I still have no memory after standing up.
I guess I fainted?
Then all could do was laugh about it. So as I lay there in bed, all caffeinated, I started wanting to write this down. But now I was feeling sweaty and shaky, as if I was on the verge of fainting again. I’d sit up, wait to see if I could stand, and have to lay down again. If I stood up, I was going to pass out.
Eventually, I woke Lee up and asked him to bring me an apple and some paper so I could write (the caffeine was making me want to write to-do lists!) When he got frustrated with me because I kept waking him up, I felt bad and started to cry. Then I couldn’t stop laughing again. I have no idea if the emotional state of this whole incident is relevant, but I don’t do a whole lot of giggling or crying over stupid stuff, so it seems relevant to me.
So. I ate my apple. I had my paper. And as started writing, I noticed my handwriting was ridiculously shaky. Like kindergartener-style. Obviously, I was in worse shape than I realized. After the apple, I felt a bit better and was eventually able to stand and turn off the lamp.
I slept like a baby the rest of the night.
So. Is this low blood sugar after rice and banana (STUPID me)? Does that make this reactive hypoglycemia? Is this a “swoosh”? What the crap is happening to me? (Beth, what do you think??)
I’m suddenly feeling the urge to get in to see my primary doctor and have some labs done to see if anything substantial is “off.” But if it’s just low blood sugar, maybe I can just prevent it by eating how I’m supposed to and all will be well?
Can you imagine if something like this happened right after my brachioplasty? I could seriously burst my arm stitches! I’m not having any surgery until I know I’m 100% healthy!

Scared.

It’s 1:17 am, and I don’t know what the freak is going on. I took my third dose of Meridia 16 hours ago. I sleep with a CPAP machine due to sleep apnea, and while I was chillin’ in my sleep, something woke me with a start. This happens often since Meridia, as one of the side effects is difficultly falling and staying asleep. Typically, I’d change positions and drift back off to sleep, but this time was different.

Changed positions. Noticed left arm is asleep. Flex left arm, circulating blood. Left foot goes numb. Brain starts thinking: “omigod, we’re about to have a heart attack! Lie still! Maybe it will go away!” I can’t lie still. I turn my ankle in circles, hoping the numbness is just a momentary lack of circulation. Start running down list of heart attack warning signs: numbness in left side (check), shortness of breath (nope), increased heart rate (stop… count for a minute… nope), pain in chest (check), shoulders, or back. Cycle back into freaking-out mode.

I just decided to stand up and walk around, maybe take some aspirin, see if things get better or worse. Consider calling ambulance or heading to emergency room. Decide not to disturb Lee, because he has to get up at 3am for work.

Take a look in medicine cabinet, no aspirin. I have Aleve… is aleve an aspirin product? Check label. Back side reads: Naproxen sodium may cause a severe allergic reaction, especially in people allergic to aspirin. Front reads: 220 mg NSAID. Think back… Meridia can’t be taken with NSAID’s prescribed for heart health. Ok, well does that mean Meridia can’t be used with an aspirin regiment, or that even 1 aspirin would cause a severe reaction? Decide to not take aleve. Drink a glass of water (hydrated veins are happy veins, no?)

Head to Life-Saving Information Resource Portal (laptop). Re-read Meridia’s complications. Read up on heart attacks again. Note: by now, numbness in left side has mostly subsided. Weird pain at/around the collar-bone area on left side. Notice that I hear a high-pitched tone in my ears, and I can also hear my heartbeat clearly (symptoms of increased blood pressure). Read information on women’s failure to heed heart attack warning signs up to 6 months before a cardiac event. Read stroke symptoms, which also match tonight’s event. Start writing blog to record event and calm myself down.

So here I am, with a steady heart rate of 73 beats per minute (normal for me is 68-72ish), only the slightest remaining numbness in my left foot, some weakness in my left arm, no more clavicle pain. If that was an episode, I think that maybe it’s over. I’m left with questions:

  • Biggest question: did I just experience legitimate heart issues, or was it more like anxiety/nervousness or trouble sleeping? All are side effects of Meridia.
  • Did I make the right decision in not calling an ambulance, or should I have called just to be safe? Will ignoring tonight’s episode open the door to a more severe one later on?
  • How in the hell are you supposed to differentiate between legitimate heart problem or stroke versus something benign like anxiety? (I know the answer: you’re not. You’re supposed to get to a doctor.)
  • Did I wake up because of the sleeplessness effect, a heart problem, or an apnea episode (a possibility, even with CPAP)?
  • And most importantly, do I stop taking Meridia, or do I write this off as over-worriedness and continue with the medicine?

I’ll probably call Dr. Aung’s office in the morning and see what they recommend. Dr. Aung was hesitant to even prescribe the Meridia, so I know she’ll tell me to stop taking it. I just wish I knew: is this the medicine, or is this just me freaking out?

The dumbest thing of all: I’m pissed that I just spent over $100 on a medication that I probably won’t get more than these three doses out of. Stupid, I know, because I’d pay $100 a month to not take a heart attack / stroke / anxiety – inducing medication.

Update: Dr. Aung wants to see me in person right away. Unfortunately, I’m already at work over an hour away, so I’ll just leave work early today and meet with her at 4:00.

Dude. I need a pool.

Why? WHY can I not find any fitness center that offers water aerobics either before or after work? What? It’s because other people don’t want to play in pools before 7 am or after 7 pm? Oh.

And it sucks.

I found the class I want. Mostly old ladies. Cheap as dirt ($2 a class!). Nearby. Outdoors. But the damn thing is from 8:30-10:00 am. On my next day off, I plan to go try it out to see if it’s worth rearranging my work schedule.

In the meantime, I’m investigating every YMCA within 10 miles of my commute to or from work. There’s got to be something. Because, sadly, walking won’t be my cure-all exercise just yet. I can barely get 1 lap around my street (a third of a mile) without chest pains, leg cramps, etc. It’s a damn shame, really.

Other updates: still waiting on my sleep apnea equipment, though I feel like I’ve been sleeping rather well lately. Maybe my mind is playing tricks on me?

I am desperately trying to lose 5 pounds before Friday. Unrealistic? Probably. But I really want to get under 350 for my next doctor’s appointment. I actually miss being able to step up on the scale!

I need to start re-compiling my medical files. During a burst of wind, my documents flew everyone and as I raced around the parking lot (heart nearly jumping out of my chest), I stomped on the soiled papers and shoved them into a grocery bag. Lee mistook that bag for trash, and now my records are no more. Must get busy!