It’s been an on-again, off-again week of how I’m feeling. Same old, same old of issues with my hip, my legs locking up, and sometimes having the clearheaded nature to function like a normal person. Some days my blood pressure is high, other days it’s pretty damn perfect. Some mornings I wake up so lightheaded I stumble like a drunk, and… say it with me now… some days I don’t.
But yesterday had one bright spot– my “partner” at Susquehanna Service Dogs who will handle the final phase of my mobility dog application emailed and asked of she could do my home visit this coming Saturday. Why, I said in reply, that’s my birthday but I can tweak my plans to accommodate a visit. And the idea of this got me very happy.
And so we set the plans.
Today, I went for my tilt table test. If I had a Dr. Frankenstein fetish, it would have been quite the event. If I had teased my hair to flow upward, I could have been a Bride of Frankenstein’s Monster, since I was strapped to a table with large straps and covered with wires and tubes.
To make it more fun, my dehydrated veins (I was not allowed to eat or drink for four hours prior to the test) would not cooperate with the poor older man who had probably done 1,000 IVs in his life. The first attempt was in the inner arm of my right side, as the left completely refused to offer up any juicy conduits.
But seriously, they hooked me up to the ekg and monitored my blood pressure every 10 minutes. They strapped me to a bed that stands 70 degrees upright, and after 10 minutes at rest, they stood me up for 45 minutes to see if anything happened. Nothing did. So perhaps smug little doctor man was right. My symptoms aren’t consistent with POTS.
You know, the man administering the study said, your beta blocker can do that. (Meaning the symptoms I described.) But, I thought to myself, I had these falls that caused injury and required medical attention before I started taking a beta blocker.
Before I laid down to start the test, my heart rate was more than 100 bpm because of some inherent stressors in my morning. In comparison, when I first wake my heart rate is usually between 52 and 65 bpm. At work, my heart rate is typically between 75 and 95. My resting heart rate average for today, according to my Apple Watch series 8, is 64. And my walking average is 130 today, which, again seems a little high.
When the bed rose, it make me feel like I was drinking alcohol. Not all out dizzy but the world swirled. But it cleared up. The scary part was when my whole right hand fell asleep– because if you have read my previous blogs you may know that my left pinky is often falling a sleep and I feel like it’s a warning sign of an impending episode.
The pressure on my head and chest when they lowered the bed made me feel like I was being crushed, and the strain of standing completely still for 45 minutes made my right toes feel like they were getting frost bite.
It looks like my ekg and other results of the study were normal. Even my blood pressure behaved.
So, with a headache from barely eating, I visited Gayle for a quick meeting (I never quite realized she lives probably 500 steps from the hospital) and then grabbed some wings and fries from Wing Stop. And now I’m completely spent.
What if after all this… maybe the only thing wrong with me is that I’m overweight and out of shape?
Then, I got an email from the service dog people rescheduling my visit to 5/25. And when I got home, I had a birthday card from my mom. And since we got in another ugly disagreement on Mothers’ Day, she sent a bunch of old letters I sent her in my birthday card. No personalized note. No mention of celebrating. Just old mail. It’s a habit she’s had lately. Her own special passive aggressive way of saying “you used to love me.”
My daughter has another way of interpreting her paper trail of past communications.
Whatever it is, it’s exhausting. Ever since my dad passed away, my mom has been even more dramatic. She’s experienced a lot of loss in the last two years, as many of us have. I’m at my wits end. I haven’t had a connection to my father’s family for about six months now, and with all my recent health problems, the lack of familial support weighs heavily on me. It’s terrifying to have a known congenital disability and have something else going on that doesn’t make sense.
And it makes one’s heart hurt when you can turn to your teenaged daughter, your soon-to-be ex-husband, your in-laws and your work friends, but your own mother can’t even give you a courtesy phone call when you are in the hospital. Or, say, maybe she sends some keepsake letters in a birthday card, so even on your birthday, you can be reminded what a disappointment you are and how rather than celebrate you, your mother would rather make your birthday about her.
I just want a mom. I just want a mom who can see who I am without constantly criticizing me, or emotionally blackmailing me, or making snide comments about how I might be living my life. When I was a kid, I idolized my mom. And there’s that little girl inside of me who still wants to.
She grew beautiful flowers. Has a beautiful smile. But I look back on my childhood, and I’ve survived so much and forgiven so much, and laughed off so many things… and to constantly have her blame me for everything that’s wrong with our relationship is just not fair.
Because in my experience as a mother, I want to be there, I want to help, and I would probably spam text my daughter if she ever fell out of contact.
But we’re all different people I guess.