Since I am getting calls from folks about what happened to me the last few days, I thought I’d blog a little about the whole thing. So, for my friends and family that I don’t get to talk to personally (and probably a little for me so I don’t forget the next time I am feeling a little off, to make sure I take her easy); here goes… This Friday (Dec. 4) I had a strange thing happen at work. Work weeks are long and laborious in TV land, (this time of year especially). It’s not uncommon for me and people in my department to literally be going on fumes by weeks end. This Friday was no different until I also experienced acute dizziness and weakness in addition to the general end of the week nuttiness we get. If I walked I easily lost my balance and I felt like I was going to pass out. I thought the dizziness would subside if I sat away from my desk for a bit. So I went to the studio and took a little rest on the Better Philly Set! Here is an image for those of you not watching Better Philly, (Weekdays at 8am!) as often as we’d like you to! It was pretty funny to see me sprawled out on the Better Philly set! Ratings were probably through the roof!
As entertaining as Better Philly is, I hope someone in the control room had the good sense to roll as my male coworkers came to make sure I was okay –as it was pure hilarity. Even though we were all probably concerned something was wrong with me, guys just have a way of making other guys laugh, regardless of the circumstance. The ladies on the other hand were very motherly and sweet and I felt very confidant I was going to be fine. Still it freaked me out enough to get a ride home from work that day and to make an appointment as early as I could… Even though I had not other symptoms, the consensus I would very soon be visited by the flu. Sat and Sun no flu came.
That appointment turned into Monday. I met with the awesome staff at Franklin Family Practice. I was feeling less dizzy then Friday, mostly because I spent the last 48 hours firmly planted on my ass. They took my temp, blood pressure etc. Both were low, but not abnormal low. Then they took blood. I have a history of lightheadedness after blood being taken from me, so I lay down during blood tests. They took the blood. I chilled for about 5 minutes…everything seemed fine so I headed out. As I began walking out in the waiting room, my vision got a little blurry around the edges so I sat down again in the waiting room with other patients waiting to see the Dr. Then it all got a little weird.
I felt myself struggling to come to. I was caught in this weird brain loop. I felt like a computer locked in a function I could not get out of. I was definitely passed out, but I am not sure I knew that at the time. It was just dark. And one half of my brain was saying, WE HAVE TO GET BACK TO WHAT WE WERE DOING! and the OTHER half was saying, WTF ARE WE DOING?! Everything was dark and I bulleted between those two thoughts so rapidly that I could not stop. When my eyes opened I was surrounded by people from the waiting room.
“Be still, honey, you just had a siezure…” said the sweet older woman kindly.
“YOU’RE a NARCOLEPTIC!!!…” said the corn-cob next to her that reminded me of the Scarecrow in Kansas before he went to OZ….
Then a Dr. came out. I tried to come to as he told the other patients in the room not to be alarmed. Someone gave me a cookie, and I took a bite, came to somewhat, and joked, “WOW, this is a really good cookie, definitely worth the price of my co-pay!” The Dr. thought it best to get me out of the waiting area and away from the Berlin Paparazzo that was gawking at me, so he began to walk me back.
I should have had more cookie.
As I walked to the door that was only two chairs away, down I went. Crazily enough? The EMT that had just arrived was there to catch me. (I have no idea who called the EMT, maybe the Scarecrow?) The EMT took one look at me and put me on a gurney. She took my vitals, looked me over and said she was taking me to the hospital. As she strapped oxygen to my face and an IV in my arm? The George Costanza in me took over and I was sure I was a goner… My life passed before my eyes. (Yes, that actually DOES happen by the way. The specifics of what THAT was like, is another blog!) I do not know if it was Berlin EMT, or West Berlin, but they are awesome people. All the taxes we collectively pay, I would like a few hundy set aside next year to get the Emergency Vehicle some new shocks however.
Once in the E.R. they took my vitals and they were a mess. So there in the ER I waited for them to recover. The Berlin E.R. was great too. I would not wish that job on anyone, but they all did it with a smile and a really nice demeanor which is remarkable if you consider what a “normal” E.R day is like for these people. When I spoke to the Dr he said that what he thinks is happening is that I have a lower heart rate then most people. He asked if I was a marathoner, (I am not. Yet.) But I do run 5-6 miles a few times a week. And have for about 15 years. That makes your heart rate lower. When things in life make your heart rate go even lower– stress, loss of blood, or even standing up to quick, it can make some people lightheaded. If your heart rate is pretty low to start? Sometimes lightheaded can turn into passing out. And I did. Hardcore.
Now why it took so long to bring me back up? Or why I was dizzy on Friday? Those questions are not for
the people at the E.R. Their job is too watch you long enough that whatever symptoms you had when you came in, are either gone, or gone enough that you won’t die. Then they give your spot to someone they think might. And God bless them, they do this ALL DAY every day, in shifts that probably double the length of most working folks. (NOT CREATIVE SERVICES at WPHL however!). So after many hours of watching and many tests. I stabilized. The final procedure for me was a “portable chest x-ray.” Which for those in my line of work can tell you, looks like a giant TV camera. They pointed it at me, shined the light… and in a Pavlovian response I didn’t even realize? I smiled big for the “camera!” My family assembled in the E.R. pretty much knew then it was time to go home!
I now begin a series of tests to see why I am so acutely dizzy at times. (The original reason I went to the dr.). I have had an array of heart and blood tests that are coming out awesome. I am also strapped to a heart monitor for a few weeks to see when I go low, and how low. (I had fasted a GOOD while the day of the blood tests.). The second thing they will look at will be things like glucose test, thyroid, etc. If that comes out normal they will look to neurological stuff… This Thursday I was BACK to work. As luck would have it, I got to shoot the girls of Lingerie Football at a press conference. It was just what the doctor ordered! I am curious to see what the monitor did that day!
Thanks to everyone for all the concern but it looks like I am going to be fine. We can now commence making fun of the whole ordeal and helping me treat this heart monitor like the parking attendants treated Cameron’s Dad’s car in Ferris Bueller!
PS. Extra Credit for those that immediately recognized this blog’s title as The Cure lyrics…
PSS. Thanks to all those that have given me tips about various, blood, blood sugar, hydration and other things that could be happening to me.