Monday, December 3, 2012

Falling Apart

If you've been around me the past couple of months then you know how I'm struggling with my breathing.  I just can't seem to get a good, deep breath.  It happens all the time.  I can be driving, watching tv, taking a bath, sleeping...doesn't mater.  I find myself gasping for air.  I've had to start sleeping with my inhaler by my bed.  I've even had to get out of the tub and scramble to find my inhaler.  It has just been awful.  I was driving to Jason's office about 2 weeks ago and had to turn around.  I was scared for the safety of my kids.  I could tell my breathing was getting REALLY bad.  I used my inhaler but it wasn't helping.  I called Wendy to come watch the kids and I headed to the doctors office without an appointment.  By the time I got there it was worse.  I felt like I was going to faint.  About that time my OB/GYN's nurse walked into the waiting room with her sick son.  I went and sat by her and told her I was so glad to see her because I really felt like I was going to faint.  She checked my pulse and asked me some questions.  I started to cry as I was telling her about my breathing problems and that I think it is triggered by things that have to do with my Dad.  I told her that I just feel like I'm falling apart.  The front desk girl called my name and told me that the next appointment was in a few HOURS.  She could tell something bad was wrong with me and asked me some questions and then told me that she thought I was having a panic attack and I needed to go to the ER.  I didn't know what to do.  I knew I couldn't breath and by this point my hands were drawn up and I couldn't separate my fingers if my life depended on it.  My OB/GYN nurse insisted that she take me to the ER.  Once there, the doctor confirmed that I was having a panic attack.  My oxygen was at 100% and blood pressure was sky high.  My hands were drawn up because I wasn't getting enough oxygen to my hands.  They gave me some meds to calm me down.  I fell asleep almost immediately.
I'm now on two different inhalers and a small dose of anxiety medicine (which I don't take because it makes me too sleepy).  I feel like the inhalers have helped.  I've gone 2 days now without having to use my emergency inhaler.  My anxiety is still pretty bad, but I'm dealing with it the best I can.
The other thing that I've been dealing with is losing my hair.  I'm losing clumps of hair.  I started noticing my hair loss about 3-4 months after my dad died.  It has continued to fall out.  I feel like the very front part has become so thin.   I went to see the dermatologist today and he said it was most likely telogen effluvium which can be caused by severe emotional stress.
("Some people experience Telogen Effluvium or sudden diffuse hair loss after a traumatic event such as the death of a family member or someone close, an accident, divorce, abuse or any other severely traumatic event. These events may trigger hair follicles to enter the resting phase prematurely, in which case an increase in the amount of hair shed will be noticed about 3 months after the event.")
Sooo, the doctor did a biopsy of my scalp today.  He gave me a shot to deaden the area and then took out about 3mm of my scalp then stitched me up.  This will let him know if my hair follicles are dead or if they will recover.  We will discuss treatment depending on the results.  I'm trying not to STRESS about losing my hair bc that causes more hair loss!!!

I just wish it wasn't on the FRONT part of my head!!!

So for the people who ask "How are you doing?"... THAT is how I am doing! Lol


Kara Oosterhous said...

Just said a prayer for you sweet girl. I cannot imagine, but I know that no matter how overwhelming our circumstances are and how broken our hearts are... God is greater still. Hang on to that and know that you are being prayed for. I pray that good memories will be a source of comfort and not pain; that those kiddos will give you numerous reasons to continue to take each day one minute at a time while being enveloped in sweet hugs and kisses; and that your hubby will continue to be a refuge from the storms of life. May you find joy and peace in the little things today and throughout this holiday season. xoxo

The Cowart Family said...

Stephanie, you are so honest it pains me to read your blog at times. I so wish I had some magic words to make you all better. Your dad loved you so much and would not want to see you in this much pain and distress. Please know I am praying for you daily!

Anonymous said...

I just happened on your page today and had to read until I came to the day you wrote about your Dad and the hospital....As I was reading, I could almost see our family in each moment. My Dad died on Thanksgiving Day in 2004 at 72. (Massive heart attack, 6 bypasses, ventilator, days in CCU and then the phone call) I still miss him every day! I hope your days get brighter soon !! lmb in Ga

Renee and Brandon said...

Uggghh!!! I'm so sorry you are going rough this on top of the rough year already! I thought about your family on Thanksgiving and thought you must be feeling the way my family did! I felt a huge tugging at my heart to pray for your family! I hope you get well and will definitely be thinking of your family over Christmas!

Kara said...

This is none of my business but make sure your inhalers don't cause anxiety, faster heart rate, and a jittery feeling. My albuterol has done that to me, sometimes making pani and anxiety worse, but I've only use it with bronchitis and some mild asthma so i don't know exactly what you're dealing with. I just know that some inhalers cause more anxiety. I hope you feel relief soon, I'm sorry.