Why did my face feel like it was being pulled apart?

Valentine’s Day 2001 was anything but romantic. I had been on the IV for a few days and the antifungal drug and oral antibiotic for close to a week. I had gone to work as usual…..Shortly around noon, my throat began to feel restricted. I tried to wait it out. Finally I phoned Dr. D. He suggested that I go to the emergency room. I drove myself to the hospital, which, I realize now, was probably not the smartest thing to do.  While waiting to be seen, I phoned Sarah. I asked her to pick up her father as soon as he got in from school and to drive him to meet me at the hospital emergency room.

The constriction in my throat began to get worse and I was beginning to have tremors. My face felt like it was being pulled apart. The ER doctor came in. I told him—in between spasms in my throat and face—that I was having an allergic reaction to one or more of the medications that I was taking. He asked what medications I was taking and why I had an IV line…..

The ER doctor had the gall to tell me that my reactions were not typical of allergic reactions. I was just having an anxiety attack.

Later the next day while Sarah was visiting and helping me make soup, I began having problems again.  In my book I continue to write:

Some of the same symptoms began while we were working on the soup. My throat began to get tight and feel constricted. We phoned Dr. D, and he told me to come to his office. Unfortunately, he was not in his local office. Sarah drove me about six miles to see him at his other office.

By the time we reached Dr. D’s office, I was beginning to have tremors. He ordered an EKG and had my blood sugar tested. My EKG was normal, as was my blood sugar level.

The tremors and spasms in my face and neck continued to get worse. This time, however, I also began to have tremors on the right side of my body. My right hand and leg would shake. During the spasms in my neck, I had difficulty breathing. The doctor’s staff would ask me questions. I would not answer right away so they would ask them again. I had no control over my body. I had to wait for the tremors and spasms to stop to answer questions. It was if I were riding a wave. I would have a spasm and tremors and then it would stop, only to start up again within seconds. It was almost like a seizure.

I was so frightened, and I hated that my Sarah had to see me in this state. I didn’t want to die here, not like this!

Dr. D ordered an ambulance to take me to the hospital. The tremors and spasms were getting out of control and I needed to be in a hospital setting. I remember hearing his nurse asking if he wanted lights and sirens. He responded yes! He wanted the ambulance there as soon as possible. Hearing the urgency in his voice only made me more terrified.       

I became increasingly sicker and had a fourth sinus surgery while in the hospital and developed so many problems that we had to stop most of my medications to see what was causing what.  I was on an oral antifungal, oral antibiotic and IV antibiotic.   After all this, I thought the worst was over and my journey towards wellness would begin.  I had no idea what was to come.   The tremors and the pulling apart feeling in my face (as if someone was taking my skin and stretching it over facial bones that were too big for it) soon came to be a common occurrence when I reacted to chemicals and molds.

It is because of the skeptics like the doctor in the ER on my first visit and those who know I have been sick but not really known what I have gone through that I have written my book.  There are still so many out there who do not believe mold can make you chronically ill and that there is such a thing as multiple chemical sensitivity.   I hope to have the final edits soon so that I can get my cover photos done and submit it.       

7 responses to “Why did my face feel like it was being pulled apart?

  1. It is because I too encountered the same misdiagnosis after my mold exposures when I was in the ER twice from Anaphylactic reactions….”anxiety attacks” is what they treated me for and refused to listen to me about my mold exposures….that I am so thankful that Kathy is writting this blog and her book as a testimony to the truth about toxic mold and those of us who get sick because of exposures to it!

    As a caution here to anyone who has an Anaphylactic reaction that is misdiagnosed and treated as an anxiety attack….I found out during my 3rd one while being treated at another ER for the first time that I could have died due to the misdiagnosis of the previous 2 because the treatment for Anaphylactic reactions includes being given medication and watched for an hour afterwards to make sure there is not another reaction before they discharge you. It could mean your life it you are misdiagnosed!!!

    I am sure that years ago when people were just first getting sick from their exposures to asbestos for example they encountered the same type of treatment and frustrations…..but now no one would dream of arguing that asbestos is safe to be around.

    It is the same with toxic mold….each of us who have been exposed and are now sick must never be silent when the opportunity presents itself to “advocate” for toxic mold awareness!! And we must also continue to be supportive and encouraging to the people who can write the books and the blogs about mold….there needs to be more books and more blogs on this subject!!

    It’s the only way that the public will get educated so that they start to understand and believe those of us who are sick. Please do not just come here, read the blog and leave….give Kathy a thanks now and then if you can, so that she knows we appreciate what she is trying to do for all of us!

  2. Thank you Patricia. During that visit to the ER my husband kept on insisting that this was the way I reacted. It was typical for me. I think my body had reached the tipping point. The doctor was nearing the end of the shift and I don’t think he wanted to be bothered with me. Eventually another doctor came on and while probably still suspecting some anxiety had a CT done on me because I was on medications for a severe bacterial infection to see if the medicine I had been on was doing any good. As Dr. Rea explained it at the beginning of my time with him. Our body is like a barrel. The more we are exposed the faster our barrel fills up. If we cannot detox some of these things from our body, the barrel overfills and we become very very sick.

    I agree about the asbestos. Now they are asking that even family members who may have been exposed to the clothing, etc. of a person working with asbestos to come forward. What about all those who were exposed to the mycotoxins and spores that we had on our clothes, that we transferred onto our furniture and carpets or that were sucked into electronic equipment and heating and cooling vents via being airborne from our disturbing them on our clothes? One day these family members will too be asked to come forward. I just hope that it is sooner than later.

    I talk about it whenever I get the opportunity. I have given information to patients of doctors I know. It is not just the mold and mycotoxins that cause damage to our organs; it is the new multiple chemical sensitivites and allergies that comes in it wake.

  3. I’m glad you have medical help that you can trust now. It’s a shame that that has happened to you (and others). Thank you for sharing.

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