To be absolutely honest, I feel like I'm in hell right now. My body feels completely out of sync, and my mental health is also suffering. I have to change the way I'm looking at it - obviously there is no quick fix, my skating/running season is more than likely over for the year; so I need to focus on getting my body and mind healthy again. It's a lot harder than dealing with an injury because I don't even know exactly what's wrong yet. I have ideas but until I can get in to see my GI specialist (4 more days....) then I only have some theories. With an injury it's pretty obvious; this bone/ligament/tendon/muscle is injured, you need to do this and this and this to fix it; and no physical activity for x-amount of days/weeks/months...
My painful realization came this past Tuesday. I went skating. I am having trouble with shortness of breath; and I went skating. I was 8 miles in with 2+ miles left to go, and I felt like I couldn't catch my breath. My limbs and face started tingling, I had to stop to focus on slowing down my breathing because I was beginning to panic. It took me over 15 minutes to get back to my truck. I thought I had it under control but I realized I was having a panic attack and I could not deal with it on my own. I asked a cyclist to call 911 and an ambulance arrived about 15 minutes later. I don't want to write too much about it, just reliving it is making me feel some anxiety. But I have to note that the paramedics were WONDERFUL. I was lucky to have 2 of them who had actual experience with panic and anxiety so they were very compassionate. When the breathing exercises couldn't bring me down and I couldn't get it under control; they gave me 2 shots of Valium and took me to the hospital. I went to Littleton instead of Skyridge this time, and I actually had a much better experience there. The nurses were a lot more caring ad compassionate, and we had a very thorough discussion with ER doctor.
I had a CAT scan done and it came back normal, my potassium was low and something with my heart was a little off - he said it wasn't alarming but worth noting. I was given a potassium pill and sent home. I slept from 4:30 pm Tuesday until 7:30 am Wednesday morning. I woke up, took my Thyroid medication and a Reglan, and 20 minutes later I was having a panic attack. Upon doing some reading I have come to the realization that the Reglan exacerbates my anxiety so I am no longer taking it. This really sucks because it was helping with the bloating and overly full feeling in my stomach; which allowed me to eat more.
My primary care physician had me cut my Thyroid medication dose back from 120 mg to 90 mg - apparently my labs for my Thyroid were high last time I was in so I may be over medicated. This can cause a whole host of issues; including some of my current ones. He also mentioned I might have some adhesions; I had 3 abdomen surgeries a couple of years ago, including my gallbladder - I've been having some sharp pains in the area where that used to be. Who knows. It's like all of these 'maybes' but nothing definite yet. Frustrating.
For now, I am having a great deal of anxiety around eating. I am hungry but I'm afraid to eat. I feel dizzy and short of breath; I just want to sleep. I cancelled my trip to Minnesota - there is no way I can even think about traveling with my heath this unstable; let alone competing in the duathlon. Northshore is still a maybe but for now I am thinking I won't be doing that one either. I feel like my season is over.
But I have to get healthy again. I know I will. I'm just right in the middle of it so it's hard to see a light at the end of the tunnel. I feel frustrated. and scared. and sick. I have moments of utter despair and hopelessness but these seem to pass quickly. I just want my life back. I have a lot riding on my visit with the GI doctor. In the meantime, I am taking a lot of Xanax to keep the anxiety at bay so I can at least eat... And I'm watching a lot of movies. (They keep my brain occupied so I quit dwelling on where I'm at right now.) I also had to put my job search on hold as well - I just don't feel stable enough to be starting a new job on top of everything else.
My next update will come after my GI visit. My guess is that I'll have to have another Endoscopy done (camera down the gullet) and maybe some other tests (gastric emptying, etc...) I just need answers; definitive answers so I can start fixing it. The not knowing or just guessing is very, very discouraging.