No More Excuses Supermom, Time to See a Doctor
Wake Up Call Supermom
It felt like the worst day of my life
January 8th, 2016 was one of the worst days ever for me, on how bad my body has ever felt, and trust me, I will share some of my horror stories this was just the beginning. Even though I have had it pretty rough over the years, I am my mother’s accident-prone child. Growing up, broken leg, scuffed up knees, shoulder injuries, fingers, etc. I have had more than my fair share in my youth. But this pain was different, this was a headache from hell and nothing that I did or took soothed the pain. Trying to sleep was impossible. I would wake up every half hour or so. Sometimes even with a little throw up in my mouth. Yes gross, it gets worse. After ten months of waiting, I had finally got my period. This was a new woman pain for me. I have had two children so it’s not like childbearing pain, and it wasn’t cramping period pain, it felt as if little bullets were exploding inside me, crouched in a ball and crying in bed with the room pitch black. My husband came and found me crying, not the soft tears either, this was hardcore wailing no holding back can barely breathe between tears cry. He took one look at me and sternly stated were going to find a doctor and have me checked out. God was watching out for me as I googled doctors in my area to find the nearest one. Found a medical group typed the address in the GPS and off we went to doctor. Little did I know at the time, God was guiding me to a one-stop shop for doctors. All specialties and medical services all under one roof, including an urgent care. We arrived fairly early in the morning and waited no more than 20 minutes before a nurse came out and attempted to call out my name.
The Nurses Checklist
As the nurse asked for the reason for my visit she took my weight and blood pressure. I was shocked when she read the number on the scale back to me, no fucking way, I silently said to myself. She also asked me whether or not my heart was racing as she wanted to take my blood pressure reading again. It’s higher than normal she had said. I was off to a great start and the doctor hadn’t even walked into the room yet. So while the nurse kept going through her checklist, I clearly remember thinking to myself, shit something might be wrong with me. Why is she typing way too much into that computer in front of her? She asked if I had eaten anything and byways of a bad habit of skipping breakfast, no I had not even had a cup of coffee yet that morning I was on complete empty. This turned out to be a good thing, I was able to do any blood work needed.
In walks the doctor
The doctor is friendly and introduces herself and starts asking questions. Eventually, the first one to somewhat offend me is when she asks, do you always breathe like that? What does she mean do I always breathe like this? This is me breathing normally, or so I thought. After about 10 minutes she proceeds to exam me physically, no more questions now. She can barely touch my body as I am inflamed all over and everything hurts. She comments she wouldn’t even recommend a massage I’m so inflamed. She calls the nurse back to take me to the lab downstairs for blood work, full screening, and then to take me to the pulmonology department and get me in with the doctor that she was sending a note over about me. She also sends me to a gynecologist for a full evaluation. Meanwhile, you can imagine all panic buttons going off inside my brain. WTF pulmonologist. The word alone was scary.
Pulmonology Department? Immediately I regret ever having smoked a cigarette
I have a confession to make for those who don’t know the old me. One of the stupidest things I did was smoked cigarettes. In fact, my last cigarette that I smoked was outside the building right before this doctors visit. That was my old way of relaxing. I have not had a cigarette since. If I knew years ago that this is what it would take for me to quit I would have gone voluntarily years ago. I quit naturally both times I got pregnant but both times after got back to the bad habit. Being referred to a pulmonologist scared the shit out of me. I’m too busy kicking myself for smoking and being referred to a pulmonologist I still didn’t see the connection with having a sleep disorder, my thinking was I am here because I am a smoker and I have fucked up my lungs, no way thinking this is anything related to how I sleep.
I have had the lab work done and now waiting to be seen by the doctor in the pulmonology department. My husband has not left my side yet through this process, and God knew why as in next few minutes he became crucial in the first parts of my sleep disorder diagnosis. After the first few moments with the doctor, my husband and he are chatting back and forth, they were now talking about me. I had that sinking feeling something was wrong, I was no longer part of the conversation but they were talking about what I did or did not do during my sleep. The doctor starts saying that based on our initial conversations he suspects I have a case of severe sleep apnea that I show all the warning signs. However, without the proper testing, he could not provide more information and we would have to schedule testing right away. His advice was that In the meantime; I was to remove all stressors that may have been aiding to bad sleep. He could clearly see that I wasn’t getting significant oxygen during my sleep and headaches were the side effect. (Lightbulb moment) Not only did I have all the warning signs of a sleep disorder they had started to lead to additional medical complications. Tests were quickly scheduled and I was set for an overnight evaluation the following week. For now, I had to keep a sleep diary, monitor every info I could on my sleep habits. I was told go to bed as early as possible, and number one thing was to quit smoking. When I walked out of this doctors office it was the cold shower feeling and girl gets your shit together to stop smoking ASAP.
I am now in the gynecology department. Here I wasn’t too worried initially but that changed quickly when speaking with this specialty doctor. She went more into my overall history of womanhood if you will and started asking about all my symptoms. Since I had been under treatments rather regularly and with follow-up annually, scheduled pap smears and the like I had a consistent record in this department. I was being treated by another doctor during the whole episode of no period and had all my records. So while I am sitting thinking this is a routine check now that I have gotten my period it didn’t quite result in that way. You see as part of this exam the doctor also exams your breast. So while the doctor is feeling me up she says, oh, have you always had that bump? Fucking bells go off in my head. Now truth be told my husband had mentioned it to me once many moons ago, but again making excuses and hoping it would go away backfired bigtime. I would get light chest pains on that side but never did I link the two thoughts together. Great now I’m being sent for a mammogram screening. I would have to come back to the doctor in a few days for further test anyways as I had my period. I was also sent to have some echo’s done.
When everything starts going wrong
It’s nearing 6:30 pm by this point, we had called the kids twice to let them know we were running late. I am back upstairs sitting with the first doctor I started out with at the beginning of that day, Damn what a day, all day at the doctors to have me checked out. Pissed off at myself, put it off for too long and it’s coming to bite me in the ass. Anyways sitting in front of this doctor she now has my blood tests back and starts to talk about my blood counts, my blood glucose levels, my cholesterol, and then she says the word prehypertension, I clearly remember asking what do you mean prehypertension? Isn’t that like high blood pressure. I can’t have that, old people have that not me, I just turned thirty-five. She goes on to further explain this is a side effect from many things going on with my body but the underlying issue may be stemming from my sleep disorder, obesity, and that my body is showing many different failures because of the lack of oxygen to my brain while I sleep. By me smoking, I was only killing myself sooner. I was lacking oxygen. The doctor now starts talking about vitamin levels in my body and that I have a deficiency in various vitamin levels. This can all be treated, however, she wanted to do additional testing on was my Vitamin D specifically and she mentions its unusually low. She also says that various studies have been done linking the unusually low Vit D levels in patients with a sleep disorder. She also explained that Vitamin D has a big role in high blood pressure and chronic pain and depression. I was given a prescription right away for the inflammation, Vitamin D, and a schedule for follow-up testing that I had to go through within the next few weeks.
Then she starts talking about the S word, no not shit, stress. She list some of the effects stress has on a person and asks me if I recognize any. No shit, in every category she described I saw a bit of myself. She suggested that I take time and evaluate my lifestyle and look at making some major life changes. She was frank and honest, she said that based on our conversations the past few years sounded like there were some major life events happening in my life and with an undiagnosed combination of a sleep disorder, and everything else going on in my body I simply could have one day decided not to wake up. My body would not have been healthy enough to remind my brain to wake up and to breathe. I remember thinking, I just became a fucking case study for this doctor, I’m a mess.
God is always watching over all of us, Thank you, Lord
I leave this medical center thanking God he had to lead me to a one-stop shop and being very mad at myself for letting things getting this bad with me, my health. Guilty as charged, it wasn’t a priority for me to take care of me, what a fucked up way of thinking that was. I didn’t have a lot of answers but I did a lot of different questions. But there was a path laid out in front of me to do some tests and figure this out. I knew there were a few things wrong. Yes, the next month and a half were scary AF. I still don’t know what’s worse waiting to hear the results or getting them. Either way, after this long day this supermom was supermom no more.