We are officially one quarter of the way through the first semester. I feel more organized in some areas like my lesson plans and music selection and in other areas I still haven’t hit my groove (like grading assessments, tests, etc.). I had a blast being a Freshman advisor during homecoming week and loved the chance to interact with the students outside of school during hallway decorating and float building and at the football game. As much as my students can drive me insane some days, I love working with them and I love my job.
Now for a more serious post than I usually write. I had wanted to share this information earlier but I also wanted to wait until I had my results and more information.
On a personal level, the start to the school year was a little rocky. The first full day of school I started feeling a little wonky after teaching junior high choir. I was starting to walk down the hall to get some water but I was starting to feel really dizzy. Thankfully another high school teacher noticed that I was not looking good and ended up walking with me. I made it to the activity directors office where I got a trash can and promptly passed out. Needless to say, they did not let me stay and teach the rest of the day. On the plus side, I was able to help the school nurse see what needed updated in her emergency bag My elementary principal took me to the local clinic and after fitting me in I promptly went home and slept away the afternoon.
This was the second time that I had a fainting episode or Syncope episode in the last year. The first episode was the summer of 2011 while I was at my small group. That time I was so dizzy before I passed out that I had double vision and ended up passed out on the bathroom floor. Since this was my second episode, the nurse practitioner that saw me referred me to a cardiologist up in Monroe Wisconsin. The cardiologist wanted me to have a tilt table test, an echocardiogram, and a stress test. The main test was the tilt table but the other two were just to make sure everything was okay. Without the tests he was fairly certain that I had Vasovagal Syncope.
The day of the tilt table I ended up with four appointments. The tilt table started out the day, then the echocardiogram, allergist and ended with the ear, nose, and throat doctor. This last week, I had my stress test and follow up appointment with the cardiologist. Throughout this last six weeks, I have kept myself busy and tried not to think too much about the “what ifs”. It was easier to do that during the week but the weekends started to put me in a mental funk. I thought I was doing okay at school but I honestly was just getting through the days and what I needed to do and not thinking as far ahead as I needed to. I don’t like the feeling of being dizzy and since I don’t know what my triggers are, I was worried about when the next episode would happen.
My mom came up for the day of four doctor appointments and I am glad she was there. I had to go into the tilt table without drinking or eating anything from midnight since the test could cause nausea and who wants that to happen. The test wasn’t too bad but it was a little akward. After getting hooked up to the different machines and strapped to the table I was raised to a seventy degree angle standing up. After thirteen minutes of standing I started going through an episode and they brought me down. The point of the test is not to make me faint but to get me to start going through an episode. During recovery they brought my mom in. I started to get very chilled during recovery and found out that heated blankets at the hospital are wonderful! They kept me hooked up to all the systems during recovery and I am very thankful that they do that. I decided that I was strong enough to sit up but my body had other plans. After sitting up for only a couple of minutes I started to get very nauseas and dizzy. My mom and one nurse were in front of me so they couldn’t see the monitor but the other nurse could. The last thing I remember was hearing a suggestion that I lay down and laying down on my side. I woke up with three very concerned faces over me and hearing them asking me to open my eyes and talk. Apparently, my pulse dropped to 30 (not normal) and might have even paused for a few seconds. The nurse that saw it immediately said “we have to get her down now”, started tilting the table so my head was down a little and even pushed the code button. They said I started to turn blue and during my second recovery it took a while before the color returned to my lips. Um, yeah I freaked them all out. Instead of a quick one hour test and recovery I used the entire two hour block dedicated to the tilt table. I felt much better after getting liquids in my body and latter lunch.
My afternoon was less of a roller coster ride. Did you know that each valve in your heart has a different sound? We are fearfully and wonderfully made! At the allergist appointment, I found out I am allergic to dust and mold. Not grass and not cats. A little surprised but glad to find that out. My allergist wants me to do a sleep study so that is coming up in November. The ENT visit was a little more or a precaution visit. I wanted to make sure that I had not hurt my voice with all the use it gets. I lost my voice after my first month of teaching last year and never felt fully recovered. I was pleasantly surprised when he decided to scope and look at my vocal folds (this is my favorite vocal fold video so far). The good news is that my vocal folds are healthy and now I have a reference point to look at if anything happens down the road.
Stress test was unenventful. The walking speed was not a big deal but the incline of the treadmill was intense! I think I only made it to the fourth level of the stress test but there was not a lot of talking going on during that last level Good news! Healthy heart!!! That is a big weight off my shoulders. The doctor thinks I fainted due to dehydration. I disagree because I am always drinking various liquids. If it is dehydration, it is that paired with another trigger.
Right now the game plan is to try to get my body in balance again. Yesterday I had a massage to help balance out my muscles, I am going to start doing yoga more often and my school is starting a Biggest Loser contest that involves various group fitness activities. Since it is at school, and I tend to live at school, I am hoping it helps me with my activity motivation.
For those of you that follow me on facebook and twitter, thank you for your prayers. I could not have gotten through this without the prayer support.
How do you keep your body healthy and balanced?