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.