The past two weeks have been rough. Very rough. It’s taken me a while to even work up the courage to write this post.
Two weeks ago I started feeling really crummy. I came down with some sort of stomach bug. It sucked, but it was just a stomach bug, I knew it would end. A few days passed…and then a few more. Before I knew it I had been down and out for a solid week. I woke up that next morning to something that I had never experienced before. My whole body was shaking. It wasn’t just shivering, it was violent, uncontrollable shakes wracking through my entire body. I would later find out that this phenominon is called Rigors.
At first my husband and I thought I was just cold. We cranked up the heat, layered clothes onto me, and piled on the blankets. But the shaking just continued. In fact, it got worse. The next day I emailed my doctor asking for advice. I’ve had chills before when I have had the flu, but never like that. My doctor suggested that I be seen that day.
I went in, got some meds. They did some tests and assured me that I had an infection and with some antibiotics I would be fine. Fast forward two days and I could barely walk anymore. My body was exhausted, I was exhausted, and to be honest, I was scared. Really scared.
I ended up spending the day in ER getting fluids and more tests than I could count. Again, they ruled out everything (this time also ruling out an infection, and advising me to stop taking the antibiotics). My heart rate was high, and I was running fever so the ER doc gave me the option of going home and trying to rest, or being admitted overnight for observation. I chose to go home, and try to get some sleep. I felt like that was what my body was needing the most. Looking back, I wish I had stayed.
Two days later I was back in the ER for more fluids and tests. This time I was put on a drug combination of Reglan and Benadryl. The Reglan to help with nausea, the Benadryl to help counteract the side effects of the Reglan. I was so tired of being sick at this point, that I didn’t even question what these side effects could be.
“Reglan can make you a little restless.” The doctor had said.
Well, it did. But it was manageable for the first day. I felt uncomfortably wired, but the Benadryl took the edge off. But that night I barely slept. I had the worst Insomnia of my life. The next morning it only got worse.
I started feeling incredibly anxious. I didn’t feel like myself at all. I could feel every racing beat of my heart pounding against my ribcage and rattling my entire chest. I couldn’t focus on anything, I couldn’t stop moving. I felt like I was dying.
It turns out I was having a severe adverse reaction to the Reglan. My heart rate continued to run high and my body was going completely haywire. It was worse than anything I have ever felt, including from Steroid Infusion Therapy, which anyone who has had done can tell you is not a ride in the park.
I was scared before, now I was terrified.
I ended up being admitted to the hospital due to the extreme adverse reaction to Reglan. Luckily I was able to go home the next day. It’s been four days since I last took the Reglan (and I only took it for one day) and I am still having waves of extreme anxiety and racing heart, although less frequently and intense each day.
It turns out this is not an unheard of reaction to the drug. Although uncommon, it can cause this type of response in some people. My chart now has Reglan listed under my drug allergies.
These past two weeks are a blur of pain, fear, stress, anxiety and tears. I’m having a hard time moving past these painful memories. I know that it is in the past, and that I will never take that drug again so I will never have that reaction to it again, but I am still scared.
It is hard to admit that I am shaken, that I wasn’t able to just bounce right back like I usually do. It’s not easy to talk about things that caused such pain. And it is definitely not easy to look this kind of anxiety in the face and tell it to fuck off.
But admitting I am scared is nothing to be ashamed of as long I don’t give up. As long as I keep my head up and keep moving forward. As hard as the past two weeks have been, I did make it through.
I proved to myself that my body and my mind are strong. No, they are not perfect. But they can take a few punches and stand up again. I might not stand up gracefully, or quickly but I will stand.
So with shaking hands, but a determined heart I look forward to a new week full of smiles, healing, positivity and growth.