Bring on the New Year

What’s better than a three-day holiday weekend?  A FOUR day holiday weekend.  To maximize the New Year’s fun, I took Friday off work as well.  I woke up early to bring my grandma to the airport.  Much to my delight, I climbed back into bed when my alarm would usually be going off.  I woke up a few hours later, cleaned the house, got packed to head to Melbourne later that day for a wedding then got ready to take a shower in time to meet up with friends for lunch.

I ran into the kitchen to put something away… then the room began spinning.  I thought it was a bout of vertigo from my congested sinuses that have been plaguing me but nothing would steady me.  This was NOT NORMAL.  Clinging to the walls I tried to get to my phone back in the bathroom.  It was like the whole room was being tilted and gravity smashed me against the wall and to my knees.

I remember thinking, “God, I don’t want to die”, “Get to the phone, you have to get to the phone” and “you’re all alone, no one will know and you’re gonna die.”  I managed to crawl to the phone and dialed 911.  I don’t really remember much except I was shaking, my heart was pounding out of my chest and they asked me for my address twice.  I started to feel a bit better, good enough to stand so I unlocked the front door and got dressed then grabbed my epipen, and sat on the couch.

The paramedics got to the house in minutes.  By this time I was feeling a little silly but I was still shaking.  They asked me questions , checking my blood pressure, running and EKG, taking my blood glucose, checking my heart rate.  I remember one of the EMTs asking me several times if I was anxious about anything.  My blood pressure was 165/111!!!  My blood pressure has always been on the low side so this was crazy.

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I called my friend, a doctor, who I was supposed to be meeting for lunch and she asked the paramedics to retake my blood pressure then she pulled up minutes later.  My blood pressure was down to 130/60.  By that time, I was feeling okay, totally freaked out, mind you, but okay.

What was wrong?  Severe dehydration.  What. The. Heck.

Apparently when you are really dehydrated your blood pressure drops.  Your brain doesn’t get enough blood since it’s fighting gravity so, being a resourceful brain, it causes you to pass out to get your body horizontal allowing the blood to flow to your brain more easily.

So, falling to the floor is what kept me from completely passing out… but thinking I was dying trigger a massive panic attack (hence the spike in blood pressure).  Nice… although I never think “oh, this is just a panic attack” whilst mid-panic, this time was like no attack I’d ever experienced.

My friends stayed with me for a few hours, bought me some pedialyte and got me relaxing and rehydrating.

Needless to say, I missed the wedding Friday night.

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Hindsight Ruminations:

  • When I ran back into the kitchen I was brushing my teeth, I managed to very nearly pass out then crawl across the house with my toothbrush in my mouth.
  • 911 ends the call with you.  I guess I watched too much Rescue 911 because I thought they did the whole, “stay on the line, help is on the way” bit.
  • It’s pretty rad to have friends that are doctors.  I remember thinking that it was pretty darn cool to hear spouting medical terminology and knowing that I could believe her when she told me I was not actually dying.
  • I’m pretty sure that was the first time I’ve ever dialed 911.  I’ve been in “911” situations but I was never the one to make the call.
  • I don’t find the “help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials funny anymore.
  • I’ve always had a fear of dying naked so it’s pretty interesting to me that I was, in fact, moments away from stepping into the shower when this all went down.  Near death or not-I managed to get some clothes on.

So, tonight isn’t exactly the usual champagne-bonfire-fireworks-extravaganza of New Years past.  I’m sitting here, typing up this post, drinking my 8th liter of fluids today, eating a few slices of my chocolate orange and watching my neighbors’ fireworks through my sliding glass doors.

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But you know what?  I’m okay with it.  I’m alive.  I’m completely fine except for feeling like I’ve been run through the ringer and my knees sting with rug burn from all that crawling.  Regardless, I’m finishing 2011 strong and I have big plans for 2012. Plans that involve a lot of kicking fear’s booty.   So I’m going to post this and watch a movie curled up with my pets that haven’t left my side in 30+ hours.  I look forward to watching the sunrise from my front porch in the morning to greet the first day of 2012 with open arms.

I hope you are all having an awesome [and safe] New Year’s Eve but more so, I pray that your New Year exceeds your dreams!

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P.S. I will be accepting any sympathy in the form of Pedialyte or water bottles.

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