Starting back at 1

Ugh, you guys, my streak has been broken.

If you asked me on Saturday when the last time I lost consciousness was, I would have told you “I don’t exactly remember, but it’s been a while.”

It was close to a year.

I’ve been doing really well.

Until Sunday…

I have no idea what happened. One second I was fine, talking groceries with my mom, offering to go downstairs to check if we had chicken in the freezer. I remember walking down the stairs, and then I remember being at the bottom of the stairs, having landed very uncomfortably on my bottom.

But I have no idea what happened to those last 5 stairs.

Ugh, sorry, but I have to say ugh again, because I am super cranky.

This used to happen all the time. I wasn’t allowed to empty the dishwasher from 2007-2013 because if I lifted my hands above my head or tilted my head back just so, I would black out. Just for a tiny second, but enough to drop whatever I was putting in the cabinet, resulting in quite a few broken dishes. And cups. And there was that one time the plastic pitcher bonked me on the head on its way down.

You know when there’s a thunderstorm and the power flickers for just a second? It’s like that. But in my brain.

My eyes are open and from all outward appearances I look pretty normal, but something just short-circuits and I lose 10-30 seconds.

Enough to break a dish…

Or fall down the stairs…

Needless to say I don’t feel that great today. I’ve got a bruise the size of Texas in an un-photographable place (otherwise I would have posted for show-and-tell). I also had a doctor’s appointment today (convenient) to tell my rheumatologist (one of the many doctor people I see) about how tapering down my meds has been going really well (see When your meds become your frenemies, from June 20). You know, until yesterday. I also had to get a swollen finger joint drained, which is about as pleasant as it sounds so I’ll spare you the details. (In case you are keeping count, med students were called in to watch this happen, yet I still have 0 dates with med students. I really thought a swollen joint was more alluring than an upper body/face rash, but who knows with interns?)

So it’s been a little bit rough lately. But the Polymorphous Light Eruption is fading, and the biopsy came back negative for Lupus, so I’m simply a “tad” sun-allergic, which can be dealt with by investing in Costco-sized bottles of sunscreen and nifty long sleeve bathing suits (I plan to properly express my love of the “rash guard” later in the week). And the rheumatologist assures me that it is perfectly fine to think that my body is just adjusting to my medication changes, as I am also decreasing another one now that I’m fully off the one I talked about in that previous post. He doesn’t think that we have any reason to believe that my tiny, yet unfortunate-for-my-bum blackout is going to be the norm. My resting heart rate is creep creep creeping up in number, but my blood pressure is normal and stable (Yay!).

I’m starting back at one. It has been 1 day since my last loss of consciousness. My initial reaction is to be mad and curse the universe. I am doing everything RIGHT over here, Universe. Seriously. Gosh. I let myself feel that way for 5 minutes (ok, 10), because really, it’s important to validate your emotions. But now I am choosing to /Let it Go, Let it Gooooooooo/ and be /Rise like the break of dawnnnnnnnnn/ (sorry, the Frozen soundtrack had been getting a lot of airplay here lately) because it’s the better choice. I’ve done bitter, and it ain’t pretty. It’s lonely and frustrating, and no amount of retracing my steps through what-did-I-do-differently-yesterday is helpful. Sometimes you just black out.

Or, well, I do…

I feel like I need to tell you not to worry about me. While it sounds kind of scary (and it is kind of scary) to blip out like a pre-digital television occasionally, I am well taken care of.

For instance, my dog, Suki, takes her job very seriously.

Here she is, guarding me on the couch last night:


I am the pale person with the awkwardly disembodied elbow. Suki is the small furry ferocious one wondering why on Earth we would take her picture at a time like this, can’t you see she’s busy making sure I stay put and don’t fall down any more stairs. And yes, eleven years ago I named her after Lorelei’s best friend on Gilmore Girls. I loved Melissa McCarthy before it was cool to love Melissa McCarthy.

Of course there are also people here (hi Mom!) but we all know Suki is boss lady when it comes to watching me. Which she does. In a weird, death stare sort of way.

So, don’t worry.

Anyway. I am sitting on the couch, well guarded and cared for, slowly accepting that sometimes in life you just have wipe the slate clean and restart your count. It was a good long streak, and maybe this next one will be even longer. I’m starting back at 1 this week, but now I know what it takes to get to 360something and eventually, I’ll get back there again!


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