Happy Birthday to Me-NOT Part I

In so many ways, getting the appointment with the Neuro ENT was a huge relief, yet it brought a whole new set of questions for me to mull over. By this time, I’d done so many Google searches, my computer should have melted! The web can be a very scary place, it could be this or it might be that…one can go crazy. Which I did, much to my husband’s dismay, “Why do you do this to yourself”? I’d come back with, “I’m just trying to figure out what’s wrong with me”. Followed by a weary, “That’s why you’re going to Dr. Roland” from Mike. “But it’s my birthday”! “I’m supposed to be having fun”! “I can’t do ______ or ______”… “I want to _____”…ME! ME! ME! I was sick of me, so I don’t see how Mike wasn’t, but he never waivered.

Oh my gosh, the things Mike put up with and did for me! He takes the ‘For better or worse, In sickness or health, etc.’ of our vows very seriously. He was my everything by the time of the appointment. He took off work for all my appointments (as I was usually too sick/dizzy to drive), he added housework and meal preparation to his already full schedule. I was pretty much bedridden (I’d broken so many bones, I was scared to walk). I still had ALL the original symptoms. The minute vertigo began, I started vomiting. I was so sick of being sick! The Scopolamine patches I’d worn behind my ears for a year were giving me an allergic reaction of ‘weeping’ wounds (I know, GROSS!).  I was using a walker for safety and was mortified. “I’m too young to use a walker”, I’d whine to Mike. Really? I was a Pediatric therapist. There were MANY children using walkers (a different type, but a walker all the same), but I hadn’t yet grasped the concept of losing the freedom to just ‘get up and go’-false pride in it’s purest form. Mike was/is my one’constant’during this time. He is an amazing man, and he’s mine!

Dallas is a 6-hour drive from us and since the appointment was at 8:30 am, we went the day before. The anxiety I felt by this point was unbearable. The car trip was very challenging for me (too much movement), and I was throwing up most of the way. A lovely trip, just lovely! Here it was my birthday, yet all I wanted to do was curl into a ball in the bed, and I did. We were in a big city, all the best restaurants at our choice. The problem was, I was (as usual) very nauseated. Prior to all this, I’d have to classify us as ‘foodies’. Some of our best vacations were food and wine based, consuming delicacies from 5-star restaurants. The ones in Dallas were calling to Mike, like Sirens singing their song to him. I got so sick of his “What about this kind of food”? and “Do you think you’ll want to eat….”? I yet once again, let loose on him, “Mike I don’t want to eat now. I don’t want to eat later. I don’t want to eat anything. Please stop talking about food and eat something”! I honestly don’t remember, but I don’t think he ate anything that night. I was in bed, not going anywhere, and shutting down. It was a very long night, neither of us slept. Mike was just there for me, holding me, reassuring me of my ridiculous fears until the alarm went off. Again with the food questions! Did he learn nothing from last night? He ate the breakfast at the hotel, and you know how good they are. This poor man wasn’t going to get a decent Dallas meal on this trip!

I sat in the shower, trying to ‘get okay’ with what was about to happen. That was the problem, I had no idea what to expect. My medical records had been sent, I’d filled out a ‘book’ of new information for the new doctor, but I had nothing to think about but my Google searches. As we drove downtown (you know, where all the food is!), to his office, we just held hands. Oh, we also argued about traffic. Mike was fine, but I was a mess as the grip on my ‘puke’ bag tightened. “You’re going too fast Mike”! “Margaret, it’s Dallas! I can’t slow down”! “Well, stop swerving, it’s making me dizzy Mike”! “I’m not swerving, I’m just changing lanes”. Oh, I just wanted this OVER WITH and it hadn’t even begun!

We pulled into the big circle drive of the huge building that housed Dr. Roland’s office and were met by VALETS! I felt so horrid, yet so special at the same time. The man helping me said, “Ma’am, you forgot your gift bag”. “Uh, thanks so much”! My ‘gift’ bag was my bag to use in case I got sick. It was a lovely Christmas bag (it was the season), that was lined with MANY plastic grocery sacks. My dad came up with this concept when I was pregnant. I was lucky enough to be sick 24/7 for the entire nine months with both children! They were born in the late ’70s, my doctors could not make sense of it. Now, it seems to be ‘trendy’ (think Dutchess Kate Middleton pregnancies), and it’s medical name is Hyperemesis Gravidum (translation-Terminal Vomiting). So, although one could call me a ‘professional at puking’, I still didn’t like doing it in public! I was escorted in, and introduced to a woman who asked, “What doctor are you here to see”? I told her, and was offered a wheelchair, really? I took it, and off we went to be personally escorted to his office. “I hope everything goes well for you”, she said so sweetly. Wow! What a nice way to start!




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