I was out somewhere with a group of friends. It was somewhere that I don’t remember ever being before. I heard my cell phone ringing in my purse, so I rifled through the bag to find it. I answered to find It was Ms. C, returning my call from a few days previous.
“I was just wondering if you could give me the information about the Menopause clinic you went to. My mom is curious for the information; I told her how successful it was for you.”
She began to answer my question, but I couldn’t hear her. First, I thought it was because there was too much background noise.
“Sorry, can you say that again, I can’t really hear you.”
I still couldn’t hear her, and now the room was starting to close in on me. I sat down in a nearby chair. Blackness was coming in from around me and a dense, warm, uncomfortable sensation was rising from my pelvis, into my stomach and clenching into my chest.
“I’m sorry… I still can’t hear you.”
I awoke in my bed, fighting off the warmth of the nausea and the syncopal sensation that I was feeling while talking on the phone. In big orange numbers, 00:24 was starting at me from the corner of the bedside table. I had only turned off my lamp 20 minutes ago – I must have just fallen asleep. I must have been dreaming that I was talking to Ms. C.
But why was I feeling so syncopal in my sleep – I was laying down, I hadn’t moved. I was feeling fine all day and night. A few more waves of warmth and nausea overtook my body in the minutes that followed. I got out of bed to take a gravol, even though I wasn’t too nauseous, and it wasn’t long before I drifted off to sleep.
At the nursing station, I was in deep conversation with another member of our health care team: “Yes, her urinalysis came back with 2+ leuks and 2+ RBCs. Her creatinine is through the roof and we don’t know why. She also has an inexplicably high CRP.
No, I don’t know if she’s symptomatic – she has advanced dementia, so it’s hard to tell.
Yes, the cultures grew Enterococcus, but it’s only borderline significant… and the… the sensitivities won’t…”
The blackness was invading again. I tried to shake it off, but it was coming on harder this time. I tried to sit down, but the rising sensation from my pelvis was coming fast – and the blackness was coming faster.
“I’m sorry, I have to leave…”
The growing syncopal sensation immediately began to subside as I blinked my eyes open and adjusted my vision to the darkness of my bedroom. Again, I realized I was dreaming, but the sensation was real. This time, the orange numbers on my bedside table told me I had only been asleep for maybe 10 minutes.
The sensation resolved quickly and didn’t come back. I adjusted myself in bed and felt my radial pulse with my left hand. It is was strong, slow, and regular – maybe too slow. I didn’t want to find a ticking clock to find out for sure. I fell asleep to the calming rhythm of my pulse.
I’m not sure what’s happening with my body, but I fear that this is only the beginning of something new.
I fear an arrhythmia – a 2nd degree heart block, maybe? Or maybe paroxysmal SVT?
What I fear even worse, though, is that this is the beginning of a series of nocturnal panic attacks. I thought my anxiety was getting better. How is it possible that it is only getting worse?