Tuesday, August 17, 2010

the unexpected...

Saturday, I received an email, read the first line, and fainted.

I learned, when I was first diagnosed with dysautonomia, that the vesovagal syncope can be caused by stress.  When I was on my trip, I fainted and struggled to recover because, I truly believe, of the stress I was feeling.  But I am not sure.

However, when I read that first line, reading something so very similar to something I barely survived, the flushing, sweating, nausea, and rushing wind washed over me and I fainted.  I guess it is good that I was on the couch.  I know that the stress of the moment and the great loss I feared sent me reeling.  I know the stress of the moment sent me reeling because of this degenerative neurological condition.

I am not sure if there was ill intent in the email, but receiving it was such a unexpected shock that I could not recover.  The syncope was too quick for me.

Today, at work, I nearly fainted three times.  All were from standing up too quickly.  All three times I did want is recommended:  quickly lie down and try to raise your feet if possible.  Do you know what it looks like for a grown woman to be lying down on the floor?  SIGH.

Today, at work, it snowed.  That, or it was a blue moon.  My boss is not unaware, it seems, of how poorly I am doing with this whole puking thing that I am struggling with because of the whole fainting thing.  It has not escaped her notice that I have started leaving work no more than 30 minutes past my close of day since returning from vacation.  Quite a few people have been concerned about the weight loss and the pallor of my face.  Well, she actually offered to go fetch my medication from Target.  Now, such a generous thing did not come to fruition and I know she only offered because she wants me better in order to be able to do more things for her, but the fact that she actually made the offer is simply incredible, almost incredulous.  

I suspect that I am fainting more of late because of the whole not-eating-probably-dehydrated thing that is very bad for someone with low blood pressure and a screwed up autonomic cardiac system.  The last three days running I have fainted each time I rose from bed.  [How will I ever remember not to roll out of bed so quickly?]  I have fainted nearly every single time I have risen from a seated position, probably 90% percent of the time.

For a long while now, I have been somewhat cavalier about fainting because I haven't felt I had a choice in the matter. It happens.  What can I do?  Even now, I am taking medication to (hopefully) blunt the response, not stop it.  I have been dutifully wearing the unattractive compression stockings and have been consuming as much salt and fluids as my body will allow (or retain).  I have also been unconcerned about being responsible for children because I do generally know when it might happen.  But my response to that one email has left me rather troubled. 

For a while now, if I have a genuine shock, like someone swerving into my lane on the highway, I have had tingling pain radiate out from the center of my chest and down both arms just beneath the skin.  I have assumed it is a wonky MS thing.  I do not particularly care for the sensation, but it is not a safety issue whilst behind the wheel.  I have actually not been near any impolite drivers of late.  But what if such a shock does more than cause pain?  What if I faint while driving down the highway because of one of nearly ubiquitous thoughtless/reckless/distracted/harried drivers (Beltway traffic and construction can lead even a saint to act like the devil) filling the roads surprises or shocks me?

Thinking about my response to that email has truly left me troubled....

Lord, I am Yours.  Save me!

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