Bloody Lymey

A Blog About Living with Lyme Disease

Did I Leave MY Heart in San Francisco?

on May 20, 2011

I feel like I have someone else’s rattly heart.

Yesterday I had the Holter Monitor taken off at the doctor’s. As the medical assistant ripped the adhesive thingies off, I joked about being glad I’m not a guy with a hairy chest and asked if they offered free waxes to such people to make it look “even.” The lady laughed and explained that they shave them before sticking the things on.

I left. I felt tense at work prior to this, but nothing major. I went to a meeting and it went well, pretty laid back. On the way back to my work site, I was at a red light at a busy intersection when my heart fluttered a few times and I started seeing black dots. I was so scared I was going to faint. I looked around for a place to safely pull over. If I chose to take a right, there’s no shoulder or parking lots or anything “safe” for a while. In fact, the journey to the right would have led up a steep hill that leads to a busier intersection with less visibility.

I kept my hand ready to shift it into park. My hand lingered near the shifter with the same salivating urgency that a game-show contestant does with their buzzer.

The light turned green. I slowly eased into the intersection and took a left and an immediate right into a parking lot. The car came safely to a stop and I slid it into park. My head felt at once racing and woozy. I stared at the pale pink hairdresser’s building before me and tried to figure out what to do. Do I call an ambulance?

With my cell phone in my hand, I stared at the building. I couldn’t make a decision. I continued to stare, straining to stay present. The severity of the dizziness eased and I didn’t feel any more like I was struggling to stay conscious. I called my coworker. She said she was on her way and promptly called me from her cell and talked to me until she arrived.

My boyfriend’s was nearby and I have a key so she drove me in my car there, sat with me to make sure I didn’t need the ER and then walked back to her vehicle in the parking lot.

I don’t know what I would have done without her. On the way to my boyfriend’s, she spoke calmly to me and asked me what I was feeling and tried to ascertain what may have triggered it. I don’t remember thinking about anything in particular before it happened. I started to cry. I bit my lip and swiped at my eyes. I felt out of control. Again.

I laid on my boyfriend’s couch and watched TV. Daytime TV isn’t what I’m into, but it would “do.” I thought eating might help and I helped myself to his pretzels. I couldn’t stand long enough to do preparations more than opening a bag and dumping it into a plastic cup.

I laid back on the couch. I didn’t smoke. It was too scary (and that’s saying a LOT). I fell asleep at probably two and slept deeply until 5. For the rest of the evening I felt a strange mix of grogginess and excitement (and not in the good way – just jolts of energy and my heart fluttering).

At about 10PM, I started to feel almost okay. Not perfect. Just like there was some hope for me.

This morning, someone called in sick and they called me at like 6AM to see what could be done. I called my coworker to see if she’d be there to relieve the overnight staff and she said yes. She asked how I was feeling.

“I don’t know,” came my embarrassing and honest answer.

I thought about it and decided to stay home. I feel better than I did yesterday, but I still feel a little anxious and my heart is still fluttering. I can’t slip now after all the footing I’ve made since yesterday just before noon. And that seems like it’s so long ago. I’m terrified that going to work will unravel all of my progress.

My son has a Toy Story blanket. It’s like microfiber flannel, warm and soft, stuffed with stuffing for more warmth. I feel safe in that blanket on the couch with the built-in recliner extended. I think I’ll go to my safe place now and watch TV.

As far as stressors, I’m fairly calm and accepting of it emotionally and intellectually. It’s like my body is rebelling at this. I don’t know why it won’t get on the same “page” as my mind and spirit.

Two years ago, my brother passed away and that is the worst stress I’ve ever endured. I cried a lot and I was overwhelmed with sadness. In fact, the grief felt like a weighty entity that sat on my chest. But I could function.

Just prior to being treated for lyme disease, it was going for my heart. Those unforgiving pounding fists in my chest felt like they were annihilating me from within. I thought I was going to die. I actually spoke to my son’s grandparents about ….. about ….. “taking” him …. “taking him” and “if…..” I hate to admit how much I meant it. The difference was that I felt half dead. More than half dead. My energy level was nill. My blood pressure was low. I felt listless most of the time and therefore didn’t care about it the way I do today.

I lived with uncertainty about my health. Prior to a diagnosis of lyme disease, they were talking about MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and myriad other scary things that are far less treatable. I was scared then. DAMN scared. I am also a single parent and when that was happening, my son was like 3. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to take care of him. I was scared that it might lead to death – what ever “it” was. The stress was severe. But my body didn’t respond to it like this.

What gives?


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