I had an episode over the weekend, and ended up at the hospital for the day. These last two months have been nothing but ongoing and accumulated stress and I think I hit the wall Sunday with a full out anxiety attack.
Let me start at the beginning, Labour Day weekend. It was pain and more pain from a toothache, compounded when I got a cold and cough which meant putting up with the pain until I could see the dentist.
Meanwhile, I jammed my little finger and now it’s permanently bent at the last knuckle. It aches and really hurts if I hit it. This required visit to the walk-in clinic. Turns out it’s a Mallet finger and not much can be done. A month later and it is still red and swollen.
Finally, I saw the dentist (which is akin to torture for me as I have an intense fear). I got the tooth taken care of, an abscessed back molar that was extracted. This resulted in a few more days of pain, soft diet and rinses that should have improved by the end of the week. No way, no how.
An increase in the pain and a slight fever sent me back to the walk-in clinic. So then I’m on a different pain killer and an antibiotic. Ten days on Amoxicillin and things were supposed to be better.
All of September I felt tired and the brain fog made it impossible to concentrate. I didn’t get any writing done on the book, upsetting as I want it done. A self imposed stress, I know.
I was without my car for a few days in October for winter servicing, which nicely cost less than I’d anticipated. A few days after I got the car back I’m on my way out and find someone has broken the gazing ball in my garden and keyed my car. I inform the property manager and they call the police, who come to interview me for the report. Even though I’m the injured party and not a suspect, it was still stressful. Now I have to see about more car repairs and that just adds to what’s on my plate.
We did get some good news during this time, my daughter got engaged and my son hosted the family on Thanksgiving weekend and announced he and his partner of ten years had secretly gone away and gotten married. Good news, good times.
Then I got a new pain, behind my right ear and down my neck. I put up with it longer than I should have, but finally made it to the walk-in clinic, now three times in a month, and found I had an ear infection, same side as the extraction. More antibiotics, only a stronger dose and longer duration.
Add in the normal MS stuff, the fatigue, the brain fog, and the usual back pain I live with daily, it’s been rough. And for some reason I agreed to take a table at the Legion Ladies Bazaar. I thought I could do it if I had some help, and maybe get rid of all the hats, scarves and mitts I made last winter. But, no, that wasn’t good enough, I needed more. So I’ve been crocheting up a storm making bazaar type items to add to my table.
And now my car is making some strange noise that will have to be looked at. I need the car to work and be reliable, I don’t need strange noises.
Stress has always made my MS symptoms worse, which is one of the reasons I live a fairly quiet life. I try not to take on more than I can handle, so more than a month of pain, infection and medications really depleted my resources.
Last week, the paternal grandfather to three of my grandkids died suddenly. There was the immediate shock of it all, and I worried about my daughter dealing with three emotional children at the wake and funeral. So I volunteered to go with her for some added support.
My daughter is smarter than I am. There, I not only said it, I put it in writing. LOL She didn’t want me to go as the funeral was taking place up north and she needed to be flexible as to whether she stayed overnight or not. She didn’t need the added worry I would present in making decisions during those few days. I know she was right, was proved right by what happened on the weekend.
I suddenly couldn’t deal anymore. The changes over the last year, the health and other concerns over the last six weeks, the ongoing pain, and maybe the upset stomach from all these antibiotics and I was not coping. I looked steady but felt as if I was quivering on the inside. I felt short of breath, like a weight was sitting on my chest.
Saturday night I could not lie flat and saw my legs and feet were hard and swollen. Sunday, it was worse and I went to the hospital, done with my hat trick at the walk-in clinic. It took more than six hours, busy spot on a Sunday morning, but after an EKG, chest x-ray and some blood work, I was reassured that what I was feeling was not cardiac, or pneumonia or sepsis.
I was given some medication to calm me down and a second dose of the same diuretic I had taken that morning. With all that had been going on I hadn’t been taking my regular dose and the fluid had built up, making it harder to breathe and pooling in my legs and feet. I came home with directions to take the water pill twice a day for a few days and then back to daily. I was also given a prescription for that calming pill, just in case.
I’ve always been aware that I need rest between periods of activity, and know with the cognitive issues I have that I can’t cope with too much stimuli. Every time I get a cold or a new injury it depletes my coping ability and I need to rest and regroup. These last two months I have been bombarded with an unusual series of events, each taking their toll in a different way.
I still have to talk to my son, and am buying time until I can talk to him in person. He’ll be angry, and rightly so, that he was not told, before hand, that I was going to the hospital. We went through this last year and he made his feelings known. But, as he has a family connection to the deceased and would be travelling this week for the funeral, I opted for silence.
Sometimes, by living my quiet life, I shut out the rest of the world. I can forget in the solitary day to day that my life has changed forever and my future is unpredictable. At other times it’s like a head slap that I can no longer do what I used to do, be what I want to be.
In two weeks, I go to my appointment at the MS Clinic. I think it’s time for a discussion, for some honesty and truth, no more denial.