Thursday, April 7, 2011

Something Happened on the Way Out of the Shower

Wednesday morning began much the same as any other weekday.

Groan. Get up. Disengage alarm.
Start shower.
Enter shower.

This is pretty much how every weekday morning starts for me ... with very little variation. Hubs had left our bed in the middle of the night to go up with Stretch, who had been complaining of feeling sick. (She's Dad's girl, without a doubt, and when she calls out in the night, it's for him ... so I was left to snooze.)

Back to my shower, I had shampooed and had put the super-heavy-duty-all-soft-conditioner in my hair to soak in and had 'soaped up' all the parts that get stinky, when I felt a massive wave of nausea, followed by the feeling that someone had just punched me square in the nose. I realized that I was going to faint - and everyone was asleep ... upstairs (as I am the waker-upper-er in the house). If I went down in the shower, nobody would find me for at least an hour or so. I considered (briefly) rinsing my undercarriage, but knew I didn't have time. I don't remember turning off the water, but apparently I did. I grabbed a towel and booted out to the hallway, where I started yelling my husband's name. 

According to what I was later told, I called out twice, walked four steps toward the stairway and collapsed against the wall - hitting my head, shoulder and hip against it, before landing on the bottom four stairs... naked and covered in soap and conditioner. I was (apparently) completely out for close to two minutes - eyes closed ... gone, but then I guess my eyes opened and were glassy, but I was no where to be found (according to Hubs). I started to 'come to' about 4 minutes after going down - or at least that's what I heard him say to the 911 operator he had on the phone as I was wading back into consciousness.

I laid on the stairs for several minutes, while he finished on the phone with 911. I was so sleepy, I kept falling asleep and he kept waking me up. After a bit, I started to realize how uncomfortable it is to lay on stairs - especially when you have no clothes on. I asked if I could move and he said no ... I started to get up on my own and my husband called me a name ... not a really nice one, now that I think of it. Something about stubborn and mule ... or pigheaded ... I dunno. Anyway, he helped me around the corner to the couch and then Mom (who had been on her way down the stairs to go to work when I did my little pirouette) got me a pillow and blanket and I laid down and tried to go back to sleep. Hubs kept waking me and within minutes, the fire department was there and right on their tail were the EMT's (considering the fact that we live in a relatively rural setting, it was most impressive how fast they got there). They checked all my vitals, noted that my blood pressure was very low ... but over time was coming back up ... hooked me up to a heart monitor ... but decided amongst themselves that I hadn't had any sort of attack that required emergency transport.

So, it was determined that Hubs would take me to the ER himself. This pleased me, because I had soap all up in mah hoo-hoo ... not to mention conditioner drying into my hair. 

After the paramedics left, Hubs ran a bath and I was allowed to sit in it - albeit, supervised  - but at that stage, I really didn't have anything to hide from anyone. (Didn't bother me then ... but NOW ... *shudders*) I was able to get rinsed off and de-itchy-fied ... and then I got dressed and laid down on the coach while Hubs got cleaned up to take me to the ER. I hadn't been feeling much of anything up to that point other than REALLY tired, but after my bath, I either started to get a headache, or became aware of it.

They took me right in to a bed when we got there. Within 15 or so minutes, I was being given an EKG. The technician that administered the test was really nice, but after she ran it, she turned and looked at me and said: "Are you currently experiencing chest pain?" I said ... "uh ... I wasn't until you asked me THAT question" ... "Am I having a heart attack or something?" She informed me that she wasn't qualified to answer that question, but that the doctor would review the results and come and talk to me soon. Next, a nurse came in and hooked me up to a heart, blood pressure and pulse ox monitor. She started an IV and a few minutes after that, there was another Tech jabbing my other arm to do blood work.

It's hardly necessary to say this, but I was scared shit-less at this stage. Nobody was telling us anything ... but everyone was at me for something - that is odd for the ER in Kentville. I had asked my nurse if I could go pee, and she wouldn't allow me to get out of the bed ... not even assisted. I wound up waiting close to two hours ... freezing, scared and needing to pee like a race horse. Finally, I sent Hubs out to tell this little chicky that if she didn't want to have to clean the bed, she'd better let me go void my bladder (I'm sure he said it much nicer than that) ... and she consented.

Finally ... after more than 3 hours in that bed, a student doc (who was a cute as a bug's ear, I might add) came in and did a full neurological exam, along with checking my lung function and asking me a gazillion questions. He told me that he wanted the ER doc to talk to me before I went anywhere, but that essentially, there were no signs of stroke, heart attack/failure, or any other 'emergent health factors' to explain the faint. He asked if I could be pregnant, to which I replied ... "well, if I am, I'll likely wind up divorced, since I had him  (motioning to Hubs) neutered a year ago". He laughed and said ... "your sense of humor seems to be functioning alright". He went on to say that my heart rate was quite low, and that I needed to follow up on that with further testing with my own doc, but that he felt I would be discharged and sent home shortly.

The doctor came in about 20 or so minutes later, repeated a few of the neurological tests and chatted with us for a few minutes ... also asked if I could be pregnant and then told me I could go home. I promptly unhooked all of the monitors ... and pulled out my own IV (as nobody seemed to be coming to do it for me) and we left. We met my nurse on the way out and her comment to me was that I was 'very self efficient' and it didn't sound like a compliment.

I went home and slept for most of the afternoon.

Today, I am back at work. I am tired ... and my shoulder, ass and hip are pretty blackish blue from landing on them at drunk-weight... but other than that (and the lingering concern over what caused that to happen) there are no signs of anything being amiss. The ER doc said that sometimes, the simple heat of the shower can cause healthy people to faint. He said that at least 50% of the cases involving faints occur while the patient is either in the tub or shower. So ... I guess that is what happened. He said that if it happened again any time soon, that I should consider that cause for alarm, but otherwise, he felt I was perfectly healthy - aside from the low heart rate ... which could be due to a number of benign reasons.

For the entire time that I was hooked up to that monitor, all I kept thinking was: This it the IT, this is the thing that is going to go wrong, now that things seem to be going so well. I know that thinking that way is counter-productive, but I really couldn't help it. I am super grateful there was nothing to find (I sincerely hope that is, in fact, the case). Last night, while I sat in the recliner with my big black fur baby in my lap, I became teary (again) at the thought of not being able to come home. My girls had stayed at home yesterday and were a little stressed out by all the goings on, so they were also pretty clingy last night.

All in all ... unless I do turn out to be preggers - which would be somewhat funny at this stage ... I think all is well and this was just another reminder of how lucky I really am.


Amethyst Anne said...

So yeah, *ahem* could you please knock this shit off??
I am sooooo very glad you are ok!
I'm just going to go over to my corner of the province and have a mild panic attack now.
*hugs and smooches*

Spot said...

Good Lord Dani! Thank goodness I don't live near you or I'd be stuck like glue to you right now watching for signs of fainting. I already played this game with Mike last year. On a positive note...his heartrate is always super low and it's not anything bad. But it does mean you'll want to be a little more vigilant if you start feeling "passy-outy".


brite said...

Stop scaring me!! I'm so glad all is well and you're still here on this little blue planet (we have a date in Paris're not going anywhere until that happens). At the risk of second guessing your excellent doctors, maybe you want to request either an EEG or a CAT scan, just to check that you haven't had a 'little stroke' or may be at risk for one.
BTW, I'm sure you know that sometimes vasectomies aren't 100%....Mwaaaaaahahahahaha.
Seriously Dani sweetie, take a day off and recuperate if Narci will allow, you've had a momentous year for medical stuff so far and I think you should take it easy.

The Grasshoppa:Triplets Plus Two Momma said...

No more showers ALONE for you, missy. oooh. That might could be fun. heee heee.

So glad things are looking like they are okay. Ya know, even if I have to throw you a baby shower ;)

Jan said...

Glad you are feeling better now. I hope that's the last time anything like this happens. Take care of yourself!