Friday, October 19, 2012


I went to the doctor again on Thursday. But as we were deciding that I needed to go back in, I had a panic attack. A really bad one too. You could even say that I was hysterical, because for a little bit, I completely fit the profile of someone going absolutely out of her mind. After I stopped crying hysterically, my brain broke and I couldn't talk for about four hours. This is only the second time in my adult life (I don't know so much about panic attacks when I was a kid) when I've had an anxious episode so bad where I've lost the ability to speak. Suffice to say, the muscles in my neck and throat tensed up so badly that sound wouldn't really come out - except I said "ow" once, and that required a tremendous amount of effort.

My primary symptom are fever (hovering around 100 degrees for 15 days now - or at least, that's when I think it started; we got the new thermometer a little over two weeks ago and I don't know if I've had a fever since before that), and fatigue. As stated in previous posts, The Emperor has been doing his best to take care of me (or make sure I'm taking care of myself), but it's a little cumbersome at this moment. I pretty much can't do anything else, and I'm testing myself quite a lot by being out today instead of resting at home. (Granted, I am sitting in a Starbucks in a nice comfy chair, blogging, but there is more effort involved in being out in public than laying in bed watching reruns of Stargate.)

So, I had a fun time answering questions, and describing secondary concerns that might be related without the use of my voice. It was difficult, (and fairly disconcerting), but I found ways to communicate thanks to my smrtfone. (The Emperor kept asking "can you tell me?" or if I would just say one word to him; he didn't get it.) I was examined, palpated, and then the doc took some blood - which was an exciting experience in itself and took ALL of my my yoga training not to completely freak the fuck out and refuse the blood draw.

And that was it. "We'll talk to you on Monday, but the results might be back sooner and the doctor will take a look at it." Okay. Great. This tells me nothing. But I don't really know what else to do. I don't know what the next step is, except going over my blood panel, and I'm worried.

What if this is something that will require hospitalization? Surgery? Long term care? Is one of my internal organs failing or malfunctioning in a disastrous way? Do I have cancer or liver disease? Is there something wrong with my blood? Oh god, what if I'm pregnant? (I'm not, and quite frankly, of my list of OMGWHATIFs that's the easiest and cheapest to attend to*. Probably even easier than getting my damn wisdom teeth out.) And I know that we'd find a way, and everything would get solved and I would be okay, but still, all this open-ended stuff is really not only not making life easier, it's actively making life harder because being worried about my health is making me MORE exhausted, and LESS able to get work done. 

I had an illness like this when I was a kid (I don't know about the fever, but the gall bladder attack), and my intestines were a mess. The doctor that I went to gave me activated charcoal (for some reason, I don't even know why), and that was pretty much it. There was no follow up, there was no discussion of it being more than just angry insides. After that attack I stopped eating meat. And at some point, I remember my mom remarking at how I "had always been so healthy", so it was kind of a pain in the ass that I was suddenly not feeling well most of the time.

I don't need/intend to impugn my parents, but this commentary about me always being healthy has to be complete bullshit. Maybe it's not, but I do know that during my teen years, none of my parents knew what was going on with me and I was far from healthy LONG before my insides exploded and no one thought to actually investigate that. I don't know if my current state has anything to do with that neglect, but considering anything else, I can't help but wonder if it is. 

The other thing that bothers me from all of this is I'm wondering if I'm reporting my pain adequately. When I was a kid, every time I said I was in pain, I was ignored, yelled at, or ridiculed. At some point (some time after I began menstruating), I stopped reporting my pain. I stopped telling my parents that I was hurting, because it was pretty much constant (either bodyaches or intestinal distress), and I went around like it was all normal. This kind of conditioning leads me to, as an adult, under-report my pain to doctors, and it takes a really good doctor to be able to notice the subtleties of my reactions, range of motion, and other indicators of dis-ease. 

All I can really say now though, is that I think I'd really rather be at home with my dog.

*I don't want to hear it. I've already made the choice, and, despite the fact that it isn't actually anyone else's business, my body can't handle making a baby anyway.

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