Friday, November 21, 2008

Fast Forward to May 2008

Want to start at the beginning? Go to So It Begins...

I woke up on the morning of May 9, 2008 with a headache, so I called in sick to work and went back to bed to see if sleep would help. When I woke up, I started to walk to the bathroom, I felt like I had consumed copious amounts of alcohol! What the hell?! Everything was spinning and I was completely off-balance. I went back to bed for awhile, then decided I should do something productive, so I attempted to vacuum the living room. Two platinum-blond Cairn Terriers can make a mess of a burgundy carpet!

I think I tripped and hit my left foot on the vacuum cleaner about 10 times during that exercise in futility. I tried to eat something, but it didn't stay down long. I found some flat ginger ale and laid back down until the hubby got home.

He didn't believe I felt as horribly as I did. He thought I was exaggerating my illness to procrastinate the much-needed housework. BTW, housework is the largest bone of contention in our marriage. Hubby is a tidy person and I am not as particular. The biggest arguments we've had in our eleven years together are about the division of housework duties. Truly, if that's the worst thing we fight about, I think we have a pretty solid marriage!

At one point when I got up to go to the bathroom, he noticed the uneveness in gait. He said, "Walk to me." So I did. I kept leaning to the right, since my left leg was not responding properly. He then said, "Seriously. Quit screwing around." To which I replied, "Honey, really, I'm doing the best I can." Finally, he realized that I wasn't exaggerating, he went into caretaker mode, making sure I was OK and trying to find something that I could eat.

By the next morning, I was still miserable. The only position I could manage was lying down. Anything else made my head spin. I asked him to take me to the urgent care facility close to our home. Of course, this wouldn't happen during the week when I could see my regular doctor. So we went. I was pathetically miserable riding in the car and I couldn't fill out the forms; he had to write everything for me. I did manage to sign my name. When he saw my signature, he said, "You know, your writing looked really weird last week when we signed that rental agreement with our new tenant at the duplex." I replied, "Yeah," because that was all I could manage right then.

The doctor I saw looked like she was about 14. I almost called her Doogie Howser. ;) I mean, seriously, how much confidence can you have in a physician who wears a midriff-baring shirt to work? Although, honestly, at that point, I didn't care. Just give me something for the nausea. She made me do that neurological test that resembles the sobriety test. C'mon, you know the one, "Close your eyes and touch your index finger to your nose." Well, I could do that fine with the right hand, but I was missing wildly with the left. The sad part of that is that I am left-handed! Doogie was quite freaked by this. She insisted that I get an MRI first thing on Monday. She also prescribed some Meclazine for the nausea, which is the main symptom I wanted to control. I was really afraid I would get dehydrated if I couldn't keep anything down. The diagnosis she gave me was vertigo, which is what my brilliant powers of deduction had assumed, although I had never had vertigo before.

I went home and called my mom to let her know that we had to cancel the Mother's Day lunch we had planned. I was going to make a fabulous prime rib dinner with all sorts of wonderful side dishes. She was very understanding and told me to just get better. Since we already had the prime rib defrosted, hubby decided to cook it the next day. I got up long enough to eat about ten bites of the meal before I had to lie down again.

In the midst of all this, I had to call in sick to the first rehearsal in the theater space for Midsummer Night's Dream. I was playing Hippolyta; it was my first Shakespearean role! The stage manager was very sympathetic and told me to get better and hopefully be at rehearsal on Monday.

On Monday, I saw my regular primary care physician. He was pretty concerned at my situation, so he ordered an MRI and set up an appointment with a neurologist. He gave me some vestibular exercises to help redistribute the fluid in my head, hopefully curing the vertigo. I started doing the exercises 2-3 times a day and it seemed to help. I stayed home from work until Thursday, although I was going to rehearsals at night. The show was to open on Saturday!

I managed to make it through the first weekend of the show with help from many people. The director's mom did my hair, as I still did not have full use of my left hand. She also helped dress me. Other cast members helped me on and offstage, as well as up and down the stairs on the set. By the end of the week, I was feeling better and returned to work on Monday.

The MRI experience really deserves a post all its own. 'Til next time!

Next, The MRI of DOOM

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