Friday, December 2, 2011

Stress Test

As mothers, you would think we are indestructible, but then often find out that this is not the case, and often too late.
Staying up late to finish cleaning, blogging, or catching up on TV shows; eating less healthy food and less of it than we feed our kids, taking advantage of kids no longer napping by spending longer shopping just to come home and non-stop make dinner etc. And add to it the mental stresses that we don't always consider. Things as simple as being behind on laundry or dishes, up to  legal and medical concerns.
It's like stacking triangle blocks on top of one another. It's barely possible, we feel like super-geniuses when we get it to work, and it's only a matter of time before it all comes crashing down.
My tower fell down on Thursday.

Toby had a dentist appointment. Previous experiences had not gone well.
Toby has very badly decayed front teeth from lack of brushing at an early age (due to breath holding and screaming blue murder when the mere suggestion of shoving a fuzzy stick in his mouth was brought into the room.) Also we believe he is like me in that there is a high rate of acid in his mouth naturally, which likes to go after starches and turns them into sugars against the teeth.
Brushing has since gotten a lot better with the implementation of a sticker-per-brush system on a calendar. We've gone from brushing maybe 5 times a month, to only about 5 missed days a month.
But, needless to say, tooth brushing does not 'cure' cavities. It's clear he's in pain when he's brushing and his gums were becoming swollen.
He had seen a few dentists and had several screaming matches before being referred to Kids Dentistry in Barrie.
They are awesome. I love it there.
Toby still didn't want anyone to come near him, but because they are used to having kids in there, we got around it. They talked about capping his teeth instead of pulling them, which was a huge relief to me. Then he walked out of the room, came back, and said "We actually have a date to do this in about a week and a half."
My first thought was 'Good, get it over with. No more waiting'.
But then when they started getting me to sign ten different pieces of paper granting permission for the procedure, and telling me that I had to get him to a doctor for a physical as soon as possible, and all the requirements for bringing him in the morning he's scheduled, I could feel myself taking slow deliberate breaths as my hands started to sweat.
We went to the health food store in Barrie and got a snack for Toby for being 'good' (meaning he allowed me to enter the building with him and didn't cry the WHOLE time) and a gluten free pizza kit for dinner because I knew I wouldn't be able to think when I got home.
On the way home I kept sighing and muttering "ooooh booooy" to myself, seemingly an involuntary outburst.
I felt lightheaded and my stomach grumbled. I ate one of Toby's crackers and found a mint in my glove compartment to eat.
We got home, and inside, and my stomach was feeling more 'pit like'. I ate a handful of almonds but it didn't help. I turned the oven on for the pizzas and started cutting pepper to go on it. Toby climbed up on his chair next to me and nattered away while I figured out pizza stuff. I was frustrated that eating and drinking wasn't helping my stomach, and I was finding it hard to concentrate and the zillion things Toby was telling me. I rubbed my stomach and wondered if the mint I had in the car was reacting weirdly with my empty stomach.
Then the pain got sharp and tight all at once. It moved up the left side of my chest and shot across my back. I was leaning on the counter breathing slowly and deliberately, telling myself that as soon as I got something good to eat I'd feel better.
Toby announced that he pooped right as i was getting the pizzas in the oven. I fumbled my way, hunched over, to the couch to change him. My dad came home in the middle of this an asked if I was ok. I said no.
I asked if he could find me some Tums, and I made some chamomile tea.
The Tums didn't do anything.
The pizza was finally ready, but eating it didn't help, although it didn't make me feel worse or nauseous.
I have had chest pain like this before. In college my teacher panicked when she saw me rubbing my chest and all but laying across the desk and sent me down to the college clinic, which when sent me to the hospital to get a heart monitor. I felt better about an hour after all that and of course the heart monitor didn't pick up anything.
I've had little jabs of pain that feel like mastitis, although it's always the left side. My heart flutters occasionally, but I've been told that that's normal.
But this, this was lasting for up to two hours now, and I was finding it hard to do much of anything. My dad took Toby upstairs and I had a hot bath. I immediately felt better, though still dull pains everywhere. My stomach growled again and felt like it 'settled'.
I would have just wrote if off ad indigestion if it hadn't been for the chest pains.
When I stood up out of my bath my heart started pounding again and I was light headed.
I didn't want to go in to Emerg at 9 at night, because I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep, and it would have messed up Toby's sleep schedule too.
I talked to my mom who said it was probably an anxiety attack, and that she's had things like that before, and it just takes a few days to go away.
I've had panic attacks, but not in this manner. I"m usually an out-of-control hyperventalating mess, but I felt pretty calm, aside from my skyrocketing heart rate.
In the morning I was still exhausted and still had dull chest pain. I tried calling my doctors office but they are on vacation until next week. The after hours clinic wasn't open on fridays. I finally convinced my mom that I wanted to go to emerg, just to make sure things were ok.
Toby went to work with her and I got dropped off at the hospital. My mom does picture framing, so she works with pliers and screwdrivers and eyelets and wire and stickers all day, which was right up Toby's alley. Apparently he was the perfect little helper all morning.
I didn't take long in the waiting room because it was still early and not many people had piled up.
I got led to a private room, instead of the long curtained hall way with all the beds where 'simple' problems go. So right away I'm thinking 'oh great'.
It took another half an hour for the doctor to come, so I curled up on the bed and slept.
I was expecting an abrupt male doctor like I had last time I was in for mastitis, but I ended up with a very motherly female doctor who was patient and listened to what I had to say and I felt really comfortable with. After talking to me she said I had none of the triggers for blood clots or heart problems, but the fact that the pain was lasting so long was a concern so she ordered blood tests, ECG and x-rays. The blood tests take 45 minutes to get results to I was to expect to be there for over an hour. Fine by me, I'm gonna sleep.
Everything actually went pretty fast. I got sent to a couple different rooms, donning my glamorous hospital gown. A nurse even came in and asked if i wanted a blanket and the lights off, and I said better not because then I really will fall asleep and probably shouldn't at the moment.
Finally the doctor came back and said that everything was returned normal. There's a possibility it would be a lasting pulled muscle, although I hadn't been very active the previous few days. Then she said that stress can do a lot of funny things to the body, even if we don't think that's what it is. I had told her about all the things piling up, and now this sudden major dentist trip, and she said that it could have been stress that brought on the upset stomach, on top of being hungry, and causing a muscle spasm that ran across my chest.
I said I just wanted to make sure I wasn't having a heart attack and going to die tomorrow. She assured me again that they didn't see any blood clots or fluid in my lungs and that ti should be just muscle bruising.
She prescribed me some anti anxiety medication for 'just in case'. I still am debating whether I actually go get them. But it's good to know I can I guess.
I watched movies with Toby the rest of that afternoon and snoozed on the couch for about two hours. I went to bed with Toby and 8 30 and didn't get up until almost 9 today because Toby actually slept in.
Today I've been better, but now in the evening I'm feeling the tightness in my back and left side again.
There's still a lot to do and a lot to get ready for and a lot of phone calls to make.
But I'm moving at a slower pace.
And maybe that's a lesson for all of us to just take the time to sit down, close our eyes and breathe.
Before it's too late.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Erin!!! That does sound reaaaaally stressful! I hope everything goes better than you expect with the dentist and all the prep. Take care of yourself. I'll be thinking about you!!