Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Freakin' out

Well I usually blog about something or another on Mondays but I didn't get to this week because this happened.

Emergency Room Selfie!

I've always been super healthy and pretty active, so when I started having weird medical issues last year it was just kind of a mystery. I still don't know why I have an achy hip (that sometimes hurts up my back too), a weird pain in my abdomen, or a painful spot in my ribs--seems like I'm just having weird little spots of inflammation that nobody can see a cause for on any of the procedures they've tried (X-rays, ultrasounds, and a CT scan). Buuuut then this past month or so I've been noticing a feeling like my heart is racing as if I just got off my bike after a long ride, and that's just while I'm lying around in bed reading. Sometimes if I'm on my laptop lying on my stomach, my heartbeat shakes the bed enough that the screen is jiggling. I don't know what that's all about. And it would do it for hours at a time. Whaaaaat.

So over this past weekend it was really bad and not going away and I was shaking a lot and couldn't stop, so after an entire weekend of just having stuff like that kinda come and go (but not really go all the way), I tried to go to sleep on Sunday night and just couldn't get comfortable. So I texted my mom to see if she was awake, and she was. (We're both night owls, and it was like 3 AM.) I asked what she thought I should do, and she came over and took my blood pressure with the cuff she owns. She didn't think my blood pressure was too high, but the thing is, I always had low blood pressure before (like, so low that it's in the range you should have if you are either an athlete or a child), so seeing it at the upper end of normal is probably bad for me. And yeah, my pulse was fast but not ridiculously so.

So we hung out a little bit and she tried to calm me down and stuff but I was getting tingly fingers and dizziness and felt like I was going to throw up, so I decided I wanted to go to the ER. And that we did.

It was my first time ever in the hospital (well, since I was born, you know). And it was fine. I got an IV and had my vital stats checked and got put in one of the ER rooms. My mom stayed with me and we just hung out and talked about stuff. I had a doctor and a couple nurses and a tech come check on me, and they gave me a pee test and hooked me up to a machine that monitored my heart rate and blood pressure and took an X-ray of my chest and tested my blood to see if I had any electrolyte imbalances or thyroid problems or whatever. Nope and nope.

So they basically couldn't find any reason for why I would be feeling that way, and determined that perhaps it is caused by anxiety. Which runs in my family. They more or less considered it a panic attack.

That to me seems a bit weird because this has been happening on and off for the last month and I've been in public regarding it as "dangit, why is that happening?" and not being afraid or panicked at all, and I don't feel anything like what my mom feels when she has panic attacks. But even though nobody said this, I guess anxiety can manifest in weird ways and no two people will necessarily react to it the same, so maybe my body is being anxious even if my mind isn't on board?

As soon as I started telling people what happened, they all emphasized how busy I am and how much stuff I do and how maybe I'm putting myself under intense pressure. I have an easy job at my office career, but yeah, the writing career stuff is much more demanding and stressful, and I do indeed do a TON of stuff (and I never feel like it's enough). I run four blogs, answer media and speaking requests, make content for two YouTube channels, answer lots of e-mail, draw two webcomics, read a book a week (if I don't flub it up) and post reviews, do weekly karaoke videos, and write an obscene amount of content in my novels, short stories, and nonfiction work. I'm always waiting for a verdict on something, trying to sell one novel and currently having nine short pieces out for review.

(Did I mention I got a short story rejection WHILE I was in the hospital bed? Ugh. I went home and found a new place to send it as soon as I got out.)

Anyway, given everything I do and everything I WANT to do, it seems like other people are looking at what happened and suggesting that maybe I'm making myself sick.


I thought it was good motivation, and I enjoy having the fire under my ass, and I love being so driven, and I think it's part of my personality that I am. But now I have to wonder if it's legitimately having a negative effect on my body, and if there's anything I can do to manage it better or do less without feeling horrible in a different way.

Anyway, I have some anti-anxiety pills now (I took one in the hospital and it knocked me out for eight hours; my mom says it's because my system is "so pure," since I don't smoke or drink or take any medications or drugs). And I have a follow-up scheduled to make sure my heart really is okay, and I'm going to ask the doctor if there's anything else we can do to diagnose or treat the mysterious achy spots on the right side of my body. But if it is an anxiety-based reaction, I'm not sure how I'm going to manage that.

We'll see.


  1. Oh man, I'm sorry to hear about this! I hope you're feeling at least a little bit better right now :/ Hope everything works out with your follow-up.