On Jan 10th I went to sleep eating way too many cookies that I had just baked for my cousins baby shower that Sunday. When I say “Way too many” ok it was only 3, but that’s MORE than I should have had. I felt like my head was starting to hurt, but getting a headache was nothing new for me. I woke up at 2:30am thinking “ugh I better call into work sick this morning, I don’t feel good” and fell back asleep.
I woke up that morning (Friday) at 3am and made a mad run to the bathroom. By 9am I was laying flat on the floor in my underwear so I could feel how cold the floor was (let’s keep in mind here in Sask. It was -41), it felt amazing as I attempted to cool my body down from what I thought was the flu. 9:30am I quickly realized “this is NOT the flu”. Our hospital isn’t the best hospital to be at over the weekend, so I figured I would give it the weekend to see improvement and if I wasn’t better, deal with it Monday.
By the time Monday came I was 100% in a relapse, with symptoms I had never experienced before?! Vertigo & vision loss are common for me, no panic there. Where did this “frostbite” feeling come from… EVERYWHERE on my body!!??
When I saw my neuro that afternoon he took one look at me and admitted me into the hospital for the week.
My week in the hospital was a series of ups and downs: my BP dropped to 84/44, my vocal chords were damaged somehow and my voice had changed to this high pitched 13 year old girl voice, my weight dropped, I had a panic attack due to an allergic reaction I had to medication through my IV, I was about to have a catheter inserted, I still had vertigo and triple vision, my hands stayed curled in a fist, I was 100% numb (from my eyes down to my toes). The only great thing about being numb is that you don’t feel needles every night and morning!
Let me tell you, you QUICKLY lose any pride you think you might have when a 20 year old nurses aid comes to take you for a shower while your butt is hanging out of the wheelchair. For the 1st time since my diagnosis, someone had to bath/shower me while another person held me and I couldn’t tell what was on my face … water … or tears.
Me – a girl who has been a personal trainer for 6 years, couldn’t even stand on her own 2 feet without throwing up or falling flat on my face.
I’ll never forget the morning I woke up and could feel my right hand enough to uncurl it … only to discover that my left hand was worse. I had no pattern of improvement … everything at this point was a guess. I was tired of the confused looks on everyone’s face, tired of the sad expression from the nurse because I broke down in the shower, tired that NO ONE ever expects me to break down … being strong is exhausting … and liberating.
As I was wheeled out of the hospital with my release forms and a promise that I wouldn’t be a “dare-devil” and I wouldn’t be alone for the next 8 weeks … I saw my friend being admitted into the hospital for a very rare condition that none of the neurologists had seen … slap #2 in the face – “stop feeling sorry for yourself, sneak into his room and see if he’s ok” … I did and felt much better about my own situation … even though I couldn’t feel that slap on my frost bitten cheeks, somehow it was effective.