It has been a rough week.
There were some positives, for sure. I got to dogsit this little cutie:
And, the BF and I booked our honeymoon. More on that later.
But unfortunately, there were some negatives, too. Apparently summer is here already.
I had a wedding dress fitting yesterday. As you might expect, the fitting involved putting on my dress and standing in front of a panel of mirrors while a lady with a thick accent who is kind of sweet, but also kind of reminds you of your stern grandmother, pulls and tugs the dress in all directions while coming dangerously close to copping a feel. I knew I would have to stand for a while but told myself it was good practice for the big day. After all, if I can’t make it through a quick dress fitting, how will I make it through a wedding?
From the moment I stood up on the pedestal in front of the mirrors, I felt the typical dizziness and lightheadedness associated with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) take hold. I fought it off for as long as I could, determined to make it through. Unfortunately, fighting POTS is a losing battle, and I definitely lost this one. I began to feel sick to my stomach and had an intense warm adrenaline rush – both tell tale signs that I’m about to faint. I told the tailor that I needed to sit down NOW, and fortunately I made it to the chair before I passed out. My face tingled badly and my vision went dark, both from lack of blood to my head. I tried to focus on anything but the feeling that I was about to vomit all over my wedding dress.
I think there is a common misconception with POTS that we feel better the instant we sit down. We don’t. Instead of pulling the blood down to our legs like when we’re standing, gravity pulls it to our abdomen when we’re sitting. My symptoms are better when sitting, but I still have symptoms. After about 10 minutes of sitting and staring at myself in the mirror while I willed the adrenaline, lightheadedness, nausea and palpitations away, I somehow convinced myself to stand up and finish with the fitting. It took about another 10 minutes, and my sister was very sweet to come and stand next to me so I could lean on her while the tailor finished.
We had plans to go out to dinner afterwards – I wanted it to be a special and memorable day for my sister and I. One that just the two of us could share and look back on fondly when we’re older. Instead it ended up being an awful experience, and I felt sick for the rest of the day.
And now, for a possible TMI warning: I’m about to discuss butts.
About a week ago, I had blood in my stool (stool is just a fancy word for poop). It seems that I am bleeding somewhere along my digestive tract, but we don’t know where. It’s alarming anytime you see blood when you aren’t expecting it, but especially after you use the bathroom. I was visibly anxious until I was able to get in to see the doctor. Intestinal bleeding is not something that would be caused by POTS, so it seems I have something else going on.
The cute doctor (of course) performed a physical exam, then examined my “posterior”. For this kind of bleeding, they have to examine the bleeding site, and essentially give you the equivalent of a pelvic exam for the butt. It’s uncomfortable and humiliating. I’m sure you can use your imagination, so that’s all I will say about that.
The bleeding is farther up in my intestines, so the exam wasn’t helpful. The doctor also ordered some blood tests, for which I’m still awaiting results, as well as a stool test. The stool test is absolutely vile and disgusting and makes you do things humans should never do.
And, that’s all I will say about that.
The next step is just to await results, and see where we go from there. Right now I’m not worried that it’s something very bad – I don’t have a history of bowel cancer in my family. I’m just very frustrated that I may have to spend a lot of time, energy, and expense to have tests done to figure out what is wrong. I’m already trying to balance the time, energy, and expense of a wedding, and the time, energy and expense of POTS. I don’t need this right now.
I debated whether to even include this on the blog, as no one wants to discuss butts, unless it’s a discussion about cute butts. However, I receive a lot of emails from readers who have come across a post they can relate to or find helpful. My purpose in starting this blog was to help myself (and others) feel less alone. So, I guess that involves writing about the less glamorous side of illness.
“Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on.”
– Henry Rollins
Smell ya later.