Everything was going well in my life. Nothing new, but just the same old day in day out chores and responsibilities that we all have. Actually, a little boredom had set in. I would soon long for a normal routine day.
July 16, 2011 was going to be a day in my life history that I would never forget. I awoke suddenly about 3:30 that morning. Something felt wrong. I just didn’t feel good. Being I was still groggy my brain wasn’t all the way awake. You know the feeling of being in and out of dream land and reality? It didn’t take long for me to realize that I was feeling a spinning sensation. It felt as if the room were spinning as I lay there on my back. I waited for the feeling to pass. It didn’t last long (maybe 2 or 3 minutes)- however, it felt like an eternity. It was if I were laying still, yet the room was spinning around me. Starting to panic I nudged my husband awake. “Honey, something’s wrong,” I said. ” I don’t feel well, I’m dizzy”. He was half asleep and said ” just sit up”. I told him I was afraid to sit up. I was shaking and the palms of my hands and my whole chest were covered in sweat. Finally, I slowly rolled over onto my left side. I was still feeling funny, but the room wasn’t spinning. I finally worked up the nerve to sit up on the edge of the bed. As soon as I did, It felt as if something was pulling me down, a force of gravity so strong I had no control over it. The force of being pushed, yet it was a pull downward onto the bed. I was near tears. It took another 15 or 20 minutes before I attempted to get up. By then my husband was up and had turned on a small light in the adjoining master bath. I was able to sit up and take a few steps to the bathroom. I was so shaky and I couldn’t stop shaking. I felt nauseous, but didn’t vomit. I was praying, but all I could say was “Lord Help Me”. I couldn’t come up with anything else. The fear in my heart was so intense. Even as I write this it is so hard to explain; unless you’ve ever had dizziness or vertigo like this before, it’s probably hard to understand how it feels. I thought it must be something bad. The only thing that kept me from going to the ER was the big bill we had just finished paying off to our local hospital. I figured unless I knew I was dying I wouldn’t go. The thoughts of stroke and tumor entered my mind. My husband tried to get me to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. I still felt sick and I was too scared. I was scared to lay back down on my back because that’s how I was laying when the room was spinning. So I stayed awake. We made an early appointment to visit the Centra Care Clinic, making sure to take barf bags just in case. Nothing worse than getting sick on the road. I was so tired and thought that was why I felt so spaced out. It was like a cloud of fog was covering my brain. I couldn’t concentrate. I figured fear and anxiety were the culprit. I’m sure that was part of the problem. but not all of it, as I would later find out.
I walked into the clinic looking and feeling like a Zombie. I was never so happy to be at a doctor’s office in all my life. I felt more secure. At least trained medical professionals were around. I noted that they could do an EKG and stuff like that. I figured it was the next best thing to the ER. I had to read a bunch of forms and sign my name. I could hardly read. I could make out the words, but it was so hard to read. It felt like the lines were kinda moving and blurring. My eyes were messed up somehow. “Lord, help me sign my name,” I said to myself. While waiting in the waiting room I felt an odd sensation as I looked across the room to the other side where chairs were lined up along the wall. It felt as if the chairs were pulling towards me. We waited for what seemed like forever for the doctor to call us in. My blood pressure was about 20-30 points higher than normal. “Do you usually have blood pressure that high”? The medical assistant said. “No, it’s usually really low. Lower than what’s on the machines at the grocery stores.” I was so scared, but the whole time I was so stoic. I’ve always been one that could control my emotions during physical distress. Heck, I gave birth without any pain medication, not even an aspirin. I didn’t yell or cry out. I moaned, but that’s not bad considering the pain of child-birth.. Playing the tough girl in the face of adversity: that’s me! As this epic unfolds I would later cry rivers of tears, but for now I was just too scared.
An Epic of Dizziness (Part 1) by Melissa Jo Elliott is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.