Friday, January 22, 2016

Loss of Consciousness

I am choosing to write the following more for myself than anything else.
I don't care if you read it too.
Some inquiring minds may want to know, but really I need to sort it out and document it for medical sake. Why not here?

Yesterday was normal enough. School. Tutoring. Home. The water was heating up on the stove, not yet a boil. I went to the bathroom. As I was leaving the bathroom, I paused and really looked at myself in the mirror. My lips were dry; cracking. I noted that I was probably dehydrated so I picked up the water bottle that was setting on the counter. There was only a couple of ounces left but it sounded like a good idea to finish it off. So I guzzled it down. Mistake number one, instantly I felt this pain in my stomach, it was weird like nothing I have ever felt before. A legitimate pain, for what, from what? From drinking water? It all happened rather quickly as the world blurred and I remember I needed to just brace myself and get through the pain. Kinda like a brain freeze when your drinking a slurpee too fast. The pain hits but it quickly passes. So I braced myself and tried to breathe through it but I felt really dizzy. I must have thought it would be a good idea to go sit down because I took a step, mistake number two.
The next thing I knew I was struggling to open my eyes. My kids were hunched down over me, calling my name. "Mom! Mom!" I caught a glimpse of their faces. "Mom, how many fingers am I holding up?" It was my son and I desperately wanted to respond, but I couldn't put my thoughts together. I would glance but was unable to put together a response. "Mom, how many fingers am I holding up?" I tried to concentrate. I tried to bring the light back into focus. I tried to answer the question. I took a breath and tried to put the pieces together. A few times I tried to say how many fingers there were but it didn't make sense. Why was I on the floor? Oh, yeah the water. The pain in my stomach. "Mom, how many fingers am I holding up?"
Things started clearing up a little. My mind regaining it's senses. "Three." I mumbled.
Relief on their faces. Words expressed I don't remember. I remember feeling like I needed to get up off the floor. To take a look at myself. The desire to put the pieces together. I stood up and stood in front of the mirror. Something was off. What was it? I put my hand to my face and instantly felt the pain. My nose,  ^&*t I must have hit my face as I fell. Then came the blood. Surprisingly, not pouring out of my nose. No not even a dribble. Yet, there it was collecting in the back of my throat. I coughed and spit into the toilet. The brightest red blood. Not good.
I wanted to lie down. I needed to lie down. The kids came and checked on me. What was it? What caused it? Was I hungry? The water was now boiling on the stove, so my daughter said she would make some pasta.
Things seemed so fuzzy. Confusing.
I called my husband, ER would say this was mistake number three as I should have called an ambulance. But in my defense I wasn't really thinking clearly. I remember sounding quiet and weak. He had just arrived back to his warehouse over an hour away after being gone on business for over two weeks. He assured me he was on his way home and asked me to call my mom or dad to have them check on me.
So I called. Dad answered and I tried my best to relay what happened and asked if one of them could come over to check on me because I wasn't sure if I was ok or not. He was sending my mom over. Thankfully they only live a couple miles away.
While I waited for her to arrive I tried to bring things into focus. My bedroom looked blurred around the edges. Like I could focus on one thing but everything around it was gray and black. Not great, I thought. My son has a sign on his door across the hall and I could see it. Even better I could read it. Well, that's good.
More blood. Then I noticed the shaking. Whole body tremors. Was I cold? Not really.
I laid there trying to relax. My daughter brought me a bowl of mac-n-cheese; gluten free. I love that girl. I ate. I winced. The chewing motion made my nose throb. But since I wasn't sure what caused the black out I forced myself to eat. If it was because the water hit my empty stomach then I better get something in my stomach. And my daughter made it. Mom arrived as I ate.
"How are you?" "What happened?" I told her I though I hit my face on the vanity when I passed out. I could see the concern on her face as she tried to figure out what to do. I told her I thought I should maybe get it checked out in case it was a concussion. Out came her phone and my daughters iPod as they google searched concussion. Hit your head. CHECK Do you feel: dizzy, confused, unable to focus? CHECK Any nausea? no Headache? CHECK Then my daughter read a line, if you hit your head and lose consciousness go to the ER immediately to get checked out. Loss of consciousness. CHECK. So it was decided to get checked out.
My daughter not wanting to get left behind, quickly changed. I took the last bit of my mac-n-cheese and prepared myself to stand up.
I still felt a little light headed. Not real steady but steady enough to walk on my own. I asked for my tennis shoes because I did not want to wrestle with the laces on my boots.
As we pulled out the driveway the discussion turned to where they should take me. Urgent Care is only 2 minutes from the house. Could they handle concussion? We decided to send my daughter in with the following statement, which I remember repeating it many times as she wanted to get it just right. "My mom passed out and hit her head. Can she be seen here at Urgent Care or should we take her to the ER?" She barely got it out as the lady quickly insisted I needed to go to the ER. So hospital it was.
By now the head ache was definitely present. It was more evident with each passing pothole.
The ER was empty. My admittance immediate. In the triage, my vitals quickly taken. She asked me a series of questions. Except when she asked for my height, I told her my birth date.  Oops. I know the difference. I was gently chastised for not calling an ambulance.  I remember thinking, hey, at least I didn't drive myself this time. Then the calls came over head, "Neuro to ER. Head trauma." As she took my vitals she explained things were going to happen pretty quick. That I was going to have a cat scan. Then a few other tests. As soon as she got the words out of her mouth, the tech arrived with the wheelchair and I was whisked away.
The CAT scan was pretty uneventful. The took a look in my brain to make sure there was no bleeding on the brain. As for my nose, no scan of that, but maybe I would came back later for one if the doctor or I thought it was necessary.
Wheeled back to ER and I had a bed all ready for me, with my mom and daughter waiting in it.
Then there was the EKG. More vitals.
The gown. The trip to the bathroom to pee in a couple. Except when I got there the seat was covered with blood and I refused to go in it. I was redirected down the hall. I walked. Alone. Slowly but steady. All to pee in a cup. I had my gown and my cords, yet I was still fully dressed from the waist down. It was all rather awkward. The fumbling. The peeing. The washing of my hands. Awkward. Yet there was the reassurance of the pull cord should I need assistance. Thankfully, I did not need assistance.
Back to the bed. More vitals. A visit from the doctor. A full recount of what happened. Apparently, my story jived with a certain medical condition in which the vagus nerve decides to freak out. Sending messages to your brain that causes it to go AWOL. Hence, the loss of consciousness. Most likely caused by dehydration. Then he checked my nose, deciding it wasn't broke because I did not scream in utter agony nor did I punch him in the face when he prodded it asking where the pain was. Instead, I winced and said, there, when he hit the spot. Of course there was a chance I had a small fracture that could be detected by CAT scan if I so chose to go that route. But it did not look serious to him so it was completely my choice on whether or not to proceed with that. Even though honestly, there is not much that would be done, except let time heal it. Hmmm..let me think. Nope. Don't think I want another scan then. The verdict: I am a low risk person, so he did not think it was going to be anything serious. Get rehydrated by IV with a liter of fluids and take a Tylenol.
Tylenol, God bless the Tylenol. They offered something stronger if I thought I would need it but by this point, my mind was functioning again so I kept with the Tylenol.
It felt good to be returning to normal. The blurry vision was gone. The head ache significantly dulled. The nose? Still ouchy but not uncomfortably so.
I took a picture and posted to facebook.
Hubby arrived. WELCOME HOME HUBBY! Not really what I had planned for his homecoming.
Mom and daughter went home.
And we settled in to hurry up and wait.
It took a long time until someone came in to do the IV. When they finally did, my veins were showing signs of the dehydration as they were having a hard time finding a vein. Attempt number one was a fail. Darn it! So my nurse came in and she put the tourniquet on. Why do they have to be so pinchy? She didn't find a vein she felt confident about. Time to call in the vein whisperer. He came in and whispered to my veins, really he did. At first he did not see anything he liked so he switched to the other arm, as the previous ladies had done. He thumped and pumped and finally found one he thought he could work with. He got it! (You should totally read that in the same voice as the announcer for MSU basketball.) Woo hoo! Drip drip drip.
The CAT scan came back good. The blood work came back good. Besides my nose, all was good.
40 minutes later, we were on our way.

When I got home I checked in with my boy. He had been a little shaken by the event and he helped me piece together a few missing pieces. When I did a reenactment for my hubby, my son stopped me. "No! That is not what happened. We heard the huge thump and ran out. You were lying face down!" I had thought I hit my head on the counter and rolled off it to land on my back as my first recollection was face up.  As it turns out I probably did a full frontal face plant. OUCH! No wonder my nose hurts.

 This morning I woke up with lesson plans on my mind. I was having an internal war with myself. Go to work? You probably shouldn't. But I don't want to let my kids down. Your kids deserve the best you, not a tired, confused you. Even though I do feel much better I know my head is still recovering. Do I call in? I probably should. What about....? Ah, the torment. Yet I knew that a day of rest and hydration is really what I needed.
So a day of rest is what I chose. It was the best choice. For me and my students.
I sent off a quick lesson plan for my sub. Checked in with my boss, who was relieved I was staying home to rest. She thought I may try to be stubborn and come in anyways. ME!??

Destined to a day of rest I checked in on facebook and received the well wishes of my friends and loved ones. Thank you everyone for the support!  While the boys slept, I decided to watch The Fault in Our Stars. When I told my girlfriend my plan, she said, "I'm not sure crying will help with the dehydration." Muwahaha. I must still be a little dehydrated because while I cried, I did not have the overwhelming flood one might expect. Time to drink another Gatorade. 




As it stands now, I have a minor black eye.

I have some swelling and a dull head ache. I also have an afternoon appointment with the chiropractor. I felt it was best to get checked out to make sure all was well. I did fall on my face and experience some head trauma after all.

Now, I think it's time for a nap. May sleep be the only loss of consciousness I experience from this day forward.


3 comments:

Marilyn said...

What a day! What an experience! I am drinking more water because of it! Lol. Praising God for being with you through it! Hebrews 13:6

Heather Johnson said...

Oh my goodness. I'm a little late with the well wishes but I am glad you are on the mend. How scary for you and the kids. IV whisperers are the best. I hope and pray that this doesn't happen again. Dehydration is a sneaky thing. Glad I'm not the only one who takes selfies of myself when in the hospital or after.

roth phallyka said...

Praising God for being with you through it!


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