Not long after Todd and I decided we were done having children, we decided we were not. Seeing Crue at the playground with other kids, or playing with his cousins, really pulled at our heart strings. We have come so far. We have been through so much. For what? To just give up? We decided we would try again in June. We had a wedding coming up and a concert and we would wait until those had past. We were excited to add to our family and put all of our hard times in the past.
Unfortunately, I woke up in the middle of June, dizzy. Not world spinning dizzy, but what I would call drunk dizzy, like my equilibrium was off. This was a 24/7 thing. At first it was just annoying. I could barely do anything without feeling off. Try having a busy two year old that runs constantly and every time you look in a different direction you feel like you are going to puke. Three weeks in, let’s just say I started having bathroom problems and let you take it from there. I was really starting to worry something may be seriously wrong with me. Why wasn’t this going away? So, I made my first of many doctors appointments that came in the MONTHS to follow. My doctor had no idea. She said dizziness can be caused by so many things. She gave me a referral to the ENT. I couldn’t get in for three months! I was hoping in three months, whatever this was would be gone. I was wrong. It continued to get worse. I was down almost 20 pounds at this time. I couldn’t eat and everything I ate ran through me. My anxiety about what was wrong was through the roof! Also, a constant stress was my desire to try again for another baby. It was already months since the time we had originally decided to try again. I am 37 years old and that weighed heavily on my mind. Not to mention the baby we miscarried had downs, something that is said to be higher with older mothers. Every day I would wake up hoping I felt different. Usually ten minutes after I would wake up, the dizziness would set in, followed by a trip to the bathroom. This completely ran my life. There were two things that made it drastically worse; TV and my phone. So, watching TV, social media, and even writing was off limits. So, all I could do was sit in misery feeling guilty about the son I can’t even play with. If you have not experienced vertigo you can not understand how completely debilitating it can be…and if you have had vertigo, i know your reading this with complete sympathy.
The day before my ENT appointment, I was at dinner with my friend Kasey. I had a long day at work, so I wasn’t surprised when I started feeling really dizzy at dinner. I had to take breaks in talking to gain my composure, and finally, I felt like I was going to pass out. Kasey asked if she could take me to the hospital. I kept saying “no, this will pass’. I have been dealing with this for months. That is when My hands started going numb and we decided the ER may be a good idea. I found out shortly after that my potassium wasn’t just low, but scary low. My EKG was bad, but the doctor thought it was due to my potassium. They kept me overnight, giving me potassium and doing a stress test the next day. All I kept thinking is that tomorrow was my appointment with the ENT, the one I waited three months to see! Luckily, they got me out in time and I went straight to my appointment. The ENT did a quick look in my ears and said, “since you were just in the hospital for your potassium, I think your electrolytes are off and that’s what is causing the dizziness”. He drew more blood and said, “I’ll see you again in three months”. I was so upset. Three more months!! I didn’t know if I could keep doing this. The other part of me was optimistic for the first time. Could it be this easy? I prayed it would be.
A few days later, I woke up and I was clammy, sweaty, lightheaded, and it felt like my blood sugar was low, but eating did not help. Then, the bathroom, lets just say, many trips. I told Todd I needed to go to the ER. I felt so terrible, like I could barely stay conscious. I had the window down so the air would blow on me and all I kept thinking was, this is it. This is how I’m going to die. Crue was in the backseat saying, “Momma, Momma! You no feel good?” I started crying. Not only can I not give him a brother or a a sister, I’m going to die and leave him motherless. I was yelling at Todd at the top of my lungs to drive faster. When I got there, a young lady wobbled back on a hurt ankle. They informed me I would have to wait. Now, this is the first indication I knew I was going crazy. I started yelling at the front desk lady (so not my character). I said, “that girl hurt her ankle! I, on the other hand am dying and you want me to wait in the lobby!” I have worked in the hospital for years and have so much respect for medical professionals and what they deal with on a daily basis. I’ve personally seen how bad it can get. Here I am being one of those people. I saw the eyes rolling, the annoyed looks, and I just sat there, feeling terrible and upset that no one was getting how awful I felt. The blood pressure cuff barely filled when it gave a reading of 80/45. I thought, “yes, finally they will see I’m on the verge of death. Instead, they sent me back to a room where the doctor told me I was having a panic attack. Now, Todd had tried to get me to take meds for years now, but I never felt I needed them. I despise taking medication. Although I did not agree I was having a panic attack, I asked for medication. Anything that could help at this point, I was willing to do. I felt defeated. Something was seriously wrong with me and they are telling me it is basically all in my head. They sent me home with Xanax and I took it, immediately. For four hours, my dizziness was completely gone. These little pills were amazing!! I had heard how addicting they were, so I kept myself in check. I only allowed myself to have one daily and only if I was at my absolute worst.
Almost four months in, I managed to get on Facebook and say something about this vertigo, or whatever it was. I was frustrated and wanted to see what people had to say. Todd’s cousin, Jamie, messaged me and added me to a vertigo support group which ended up being a good and bad thing. As I read through posts, I started seeing a lot of these people had vitamin deficiencies. Things that were an easy fix, but there were also many who have had this for twenty years or more. It was discouraging.
My friend managed to get me into her ENT office, so I wouldn’t have to wait another three months. He told me he felt I was having silent migraines. I wanted to cry. All the women on the Facebook forum who had this, said they just had to live with it unless you are lucky enough to find your triggers. He recommended magnesium and quiting all caffeine. He also recommended an MRI. He was fairly confident it would show nothing, but anytime there is dizziness and extremity numbness you should rule out a brain tumor or MS. He again stated he thought it would show nothing, but it would be therapeutic for me. So, another medical professional who thinks I’m crazy. I was thankful for the MRI. At this point, I had googled just about everything. I know, I know, not smart. I was convinced it would prove to everyone, for once, that I am not crazy and that I, in fact, have something seriously wrong with me. Well, the MRI showed nothing and I found myself being somewhat relieved and also stressed that I still didn’t know what was causing all of this.
So, this is where I really go downhill. My dizziness was so bad I could barely stand in the shower. My heart was racing, just going up a flight of stairs. I was now down 30 pounds (almost my weight in high school). These clammy moments where I felt lightheaded were happening on the regular and I no longer felt safe taking care of Crue by myself. Every time Todd left for work, I would cry. What if something happened when he was gone? What if I passed out and Crue got out of the house? I could not be away from Todd for a second!! I was losing it. He stayed home with me more days then I have ever seen him stay home. He also left work early every time I called him crying that I felt horrible. When he could no longer miss work, I went to Todd’s family’s house so I wouldn’t be alone and they could help me take care of Crue. I would just sit there and cry. I didn’t care what anyone thought anymore. I could no longer fake being ok. Something was wrong with me. Would I always feel this way? I cried, knowing my family and Todd’s could play with Crue, and all I could do was lay on the couch. I was taking up to three Xanax a day, just to function. I was also seeing my doctor weekly and really felt like I may in fact be going crazy! At this point, she had prescribed me migraine medication and checked my blood for everything under the sun. I can’t tell you what it feels like to know something is wrong and doctors not only have no idea, but think you are just depressed. No doubt I have a label. I have lost a child and had a miscarriage recently. Depression was the label that fit best. I wasn’t depressed though. I was excited to try again. I was at my highest when all of this started. I felt misunderstood, frustrated and sad. I thought to myself, “does God hate me?” All I wanted was to have a family. Why must one person deal with so much? I started looking at my life as a whole and all I have been through. My mother leaving when I was small, my dads death when I was 24. The loss of Nash. A second trimester miscarriage with my third, only to become sick when I was ready to finally try again. Yep, God hated me. I was convinced. I must have been a horrible person in some previous life to deserve all of this. I unpacked all my emotional garbage and threw the biggest pitty party this world has ever seen.