Early yesterday morning I drove over to MMC for the tilt table test.  Christy met me around 6:30a and we were told my test had been cancelled, but soon discovered it had just been delayed.  Sometimes I think my stress test from last Monday is still underway.

Anyway, we enjoyed a quick game of chess and not to brag or rub it in too much, but I won.  I should add it was the first time I’ve beaten Christy and mostly because she mistook my bishop for a pawn, so it’s not really fair, but still…

The test was strange, but fairly simple until I passed out at which point I felt very ill (normal reaction).  The positive reaction kept us there another hour, for a grand total of five hours.  When we arrived home, I puked my guts out and then felt a little better.  I was told to increase the amount of salt and water I intake to help increase blood volume, so naturally, I ate half a bag of salt and vinegar chips with my sandwich and water.  Little did I know that would be it for food until morning.

(That last sentence was for added suspense.)  Erick and Christy returned to work shortly afterward and I was feeling very tired so I tried to take a nap while the girls played.  I was asleep for  about five minutes when I woke up to the girls fighting and when I opened my eyes I couldn’t see very well.  My right eye felt numb and when I closed my left eye, I had only partial vision in my right (just shapes, no detail).  So, I called the nurse who took care of me earlier and explained, but she referred me to the attending cardiologist who told me to get to the ER immediately.  I explained my husband was only 10 to 20 minutes away and could I just wait, but he said no.  I called Erick first and then an ambulance and waited.

Erick arrived home rather quickly followed by the ambulance about 20 minutes later.  We watched it pass the house and then pull into our neighbor’s drive, but eventually, it found us.  Erick was a little irritated, but I’m glad we waited because they were able to capture some events while on the road that we wouldn’t have otherwise (and I knew one of the paramedics; both were very nice).  My blood-pressure was spiking and then dropping and I was getting hot and then cold and then hot again.  At this point my vision had cleared up substantially, but my eye still felt strange.  It was similar to having the glaucoma test at the eye doctor’s that leaves your eye feeling numb and heavy.  There was pressure, but no pain.

Several hours later after being checked out by one of the nicest ER doctor’s I have ever met, and  following consultations (FINALLY) with all doctors involved in my recent health history, the docs are coming to a consensus that I have a vascular problem which may have been brought on by the radiation therapy.  The doctor suggested I may be having mini-strokes and asked that I not drive until I’ve been checked out by a neurologist.   This could take a while.

I feel pretty good this morning, but I’m not liking the idea of being dependent on others for a ride.  It’s not really that big a deal because I don’t have to drive alone that often, but it does make it more difficult to make plans with other people.  At times I’m convinced life is just one big stress test.  I try to remind myself of all that my body has had to endure in recent history and allow for time to heal.  The night sweats might continue for up to a year, these heart problems indefinitely, the vascular stuff might be controlled by medication and the cancer taken care of if it returns by some experimental drug, but the thing I’m certain of; the symptom that will always remain; a symptom of having made it through all of this in one piece with a little to spare: gratitude.