June 03, 2009
If Fainting Was An Extreme Sport
The irony of a massage therapist having a leg muscle cramp so painful that it wakes her up, is not lost on me. But that's exactly what happened to me yesterday morning at about 6:00 am.
I was sleeping on a small air mattress on the floor and when the cramp seized my right calf, I cried out in pain and quickly stood up to stop the dang thing from firing. I stood up much too quickly, apparently, because suddenly I was swimming in dizziness. More like drowning in it. I went to the bathroom and it just got worse. I was confused and very troubled because I had never experienced such an intense level of dizziness in my life (and believe me, I've had my fair share). I kneeled in front of the toilet, expecting to vomit, but instead, I blacked out, and when I regained consciousness, I was lying face down in the shower stall in a pool of blood.
Confused beyond belief and my nose still bleeding profusely, I managed to apply pressure to the bridge of my nose while succumbing to a hysterical panic attack. (I'm pretty good in a crisis, but apparently my breaking point is waking up in a pool of my own blood in the shower, completely alone.) I called my poor mother, incomprehensible, rambling, confused, frightened, and sobbing, who managed to calm me down. Thanks, Mom. :)
I then attended to what I was sure was low blood sugar and finished off a chai protein smoothie, one and half bananas and a glass of water. Still woozy, I laid down and it was then I discovered the bump on my forehead. I grabbed an ice pack and considered the various locations of blood in the bathroom: the toilet seat, the roll of toilet paper, and the shower floor. Later that day, pain in my neck manifested and I pieced together what probably happened when I fainted (here's where the extreme sport of fainting comes in).
When I blacked out, I must have face-planted on the toilet seat, hitting the bridge of my nose, the thick part of my skull above my left eyebrow, and the top part of my left cheekbone. Reflexively, my neck whipped back and turned me around, where I landed on the toilet paper roll stand, which I bounced off of and came to be lying on the shower stall floor, hitting my left shoulder and chest on something (based on the bruises I discovered this morning) in the process. Now that is what I call extreme fainting.
Long story short, I got checked out at urgent care and all the blood work came back within normal ranges. So, apparently it was just an extreme hypotensive moment—a moment of very low blood pressure—that my body just couldn't balance out before the physiological command for "lights out" was issued.
Lessons learned? I should have laid flat when I got so dizzy instead of placing myself in front of a hard surface. In mild moments of dizziness, I do this. But this was such an overwhelming sensation, I didn't think of getting myself out of the way of hazards. Two, I should be taking better care of myself, getting massage regularly, and doing more self-care on my calf muscles, which have been increasingly prone to middle-of-the-night painful cramping. Three, I am so so so tired of being "independent" and alone. I have never been so frightened and have never panicked like that—even the time when I woke up, face all black and blue apparently because a spider had been crawling on me and biting me and I proceeded to beat the crap out of my face trying to kill it...all while asleep. (Yeah, if unconsciousness was an extreme sport, I probably have enough material for 12 episodes of a reality tv show.)
So, yeah. That was my Tuesday.
Thanks everyone for the well-wishes, help, offers of help, information, "hang-in-theres", thoughts and prayers all throughout the day. I am lucky to have such wonderful support from such amazing friends, family, and even the kindness of strangers.
July 11, 2008
I Think I May Have Caught Something
I'm wondering. Is Vegetarianism contagious? Because I was in the car with a vegetarian all the way to Portland and back and now I think my gastrointestinal tract is Just Saying No to red meat. I've been sick twice this week. The first time was either a 24-hour bug that kinda seemed like food poisoning. Or it was food poisoning. (Bad Mexican Food. How cliché is that?!) My lunch just sat in my stomach all afternoon and most of the evening. I'd look down at my bloated tummy and think to myself, oh dear, it's still there. I think I'm gonna be sick. And a few hours later, I sure was! Then I felt better (on Thursday) and then I may have been a little overindulgent with a BBQ hamburger dinner (because it was my favorite meal, you know). I don't know if it was the late hour in which we partook or the meat or my tummy or a little bit of all three, but this morning I was sick until I finally gave in and took some drugs. Now I'm sipping Ginger Ale and feeling much better. But I've gotta say, this has been a bad week for the GI system. I'm very much considering leaving out the red meat altogether and try some BBQ salmon instead. Or smoothies. Or Other Yummy Things.
Or could it be stress? Indeed, that is my guess. The last few weeks have been more tumultuous and mind-altering than I care to admit.
Oh yeah, I'm moving back to Portland. No idea when. Grandpa's moving to Avamere at Bethany whenever a suitable room becomes available and I'll stick around here until my obligations have been fulfilled. This could take months.
Yeah, it might be stress.
January 20, 2008
New Discovery: Nathan's Blog on Public Health, Human Rights and Faith
I've been a bit out of the blogging loop since my move this Fall but as you may have noticed, I'm getting back into the swing of things. I've just discovered my old friend Nathan's blog covering the very important (not to mention interesting) interdisciplinary topic of Public Health, Human Rights and Faith. I'm very excited to dive in to this blog and an area of study I am excited to explore.
October 22, 2006
Healthy Girl Update: The Rice Disaster Diary
File this one under, "Things My Mother Told Me That I Forgot To Remember."
In Part 1 of our story, I learned that cooking wild barley fancy pants rice in a regular rice cooker does not comply to the normal (easy) rule of 2 parts water, 1 part rice. Cooking wild barley fancy pants rice in a rice cooker in the normal fashion will yield 1 Cup Crispy Rice. What?!
In Part 2 of the continuing saga of cooking rice, I decided to follow the directions on the back of the bag of wild barley fancy pants rice. Mostly. Yeah. The space between "mostly" and "completely" really got me this time around. It asked me (firmly, but gently) to bring the broth, water, and rice to a boil in a "tightly covered pot." Mmm. Tightly covered pot. Well, I don't really have a pot with a lid per se. But, look! I do have this nice ginormous glass measuring cup, and oh! over here I have the lid to my rice cooker. They almost fit tightly! So I poured the ingredients into the ginormous glass measuing bowl and covered it with the lid from my rice cooker. I watched it heat up. All was well. I left the room after a few minutes, moments later, I heard a sound. A disconcerting sound. I went into the kitchen and found this:
Yep. Implosion. I turned off the burner which was now burning the rice that spilled on top of it, opened all the windows downstairs, ran halfway up the stairs, grabbed the smoke detector off the wall and put it in the bookcase at the top of the stairs. At least I defeated the smoke detector!
I'm sure my mom told me at one point in my impressionable youth not to use a glass container on the stove top, but apparently that memory was not to be summoned by my crack staff of neurons in my central nervous system. Ah the lessons we learn...and how we learn them. So amusing, isn't it?
So I'm trying to be healthy girl, cooking my food instead of eating out all the time. I know this obvious to, well, all of you, but let me tell you, one does not learn the finer skills of creating fine (or I'd even settle for eatable) cuisine in the drive-thru of a local fast food restaurant. But one does not grow healthy and strong eating food from strangers delivering food out of windows in the dead of night either. Riiiight. I knew that.
Anyway, I know it now. :)
By the way, thanks to all of you who have stopped to encourage me on my healthy girl quest. Your encouragement has meant a lot!
Happy rice cooking!
October 05, 2006
Day One As "Healthy Girl" (Urban Extended Remix)
Today I kick-off my new life as Healthy Girl. This morning I met with my doctor, Dr. Ariel Policano, a naturopatic doctor and at lunch time I met with my very own personal trainer, Susanne, the owner of Miss Fit, for a 30-minute strength assessment and workout.
The verdict? Dr. Ariel thinks I have low stomach acid (which is pretty common), I'm deficient in essential fatty acids, and I probably am allergic to dairy. She's recommended an "anti-inflammatory" food plan. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I've got some handouts to read to get a better idea. She's also given me a few supplements. This is good news because now I have a compelling reason to make healthier choices in what I eat. (Sometimes a girl just needs a really specific reason before she'll make a change.) I'm also meeting next week with a nutritionist at Dr. Ariel's office for some creative menu ideas. Good times.
My 30 minutes with Susanne was excellent. She is a superb coach. We did strength assessment (push-ups, sit-ups, squats with 40-lbs, jump rope, etc.) and then played with the balance ball a bit. I was all hot and sweaty and red-in-the-face afterwards, but I sure feel great right now. She gave me homework -- walking, yoga on Saturday (my first yoga class ever) and a hike on Sunday (Columbia Gorge, anyone?) and I meet with her again next Thursay before class.
All I have to do to afford all of these "healthy choices" is to stop driving my car and take public transportation and pretty much stop eating out. I estimate that will save me close to $600 per month (whoa!) which is more than enough to cover these costs plus groceries.
So here's to good health and happiness. Cheers!