It Was Bound To Happen


I’ve been free of prescription meds (with the exception of my asthma inhaler) since last summer’s drug debacles. I’ve not been in physical therapy, I’ve not seen my former rheumatologist, I’ve not seen my PCP for anything EDS-related except to get a referral to a doc in another city (who can’t see me until September and who might not take my insurance, anyway). I’ve stuck with the Shrink and massage and wine.

My shoulder pain, by yesterday, had gotten to where I felt short of breath. Yesterday morning, as I sat at the table drinking my coffee and wasting my life online, everything went black. I had a second before my face would’ve hit the keyboard to take a really deep breath, and the mist gradually cleared. This has happened once or twice before, but usually with warning. My heart will suddenly flop, or whomp against my chest, and I know to take a really deep breath. It’s never been that it was suddenly lights out, no warning.

I checked my blood pressure and pulse and they were both high. I worried that I was having a heart attack, or that my lung had collapsed, etc. I called my mother to consult (I am the best unlicensed physician you ever met, but self-diagnosis requires a consult with the second-best unlicensed physician). She agreed that I needed to call my PCP. Also, she said, I shouldn’t drive myself to the appointment.

I called the office and the assistant gave me a 2:00 pm appointment. I texted my PCP. As an aside, let me note that I loathe my PCP’s office, which is crappy. I find his staff generally unprofessional, inefficient and sometimes stupid. He is in a practice with his father, so his mother is the office manager and my, that was a bad idea. There is even less than the standard of zero confidentiality that exists in this town. I stay with them only because my PCP is really smart and good at what he does, and because we are friends and I can text him.

I texted the details to him and he replied: two options, a) see (asshole cardiologist) or b) I’ll do an ekg in the office. I picked the EKG. My husband took the afternoon off to drive me to the appointment. The EKG was normal enough. The symptoms (including a migraine-esque headache) were all clearly of the autonomic/P.O.T.S. variety. We have already tried the benzodiazapines, the SSRIs with no success. That leaves beta blockers, so I now get to take Propanolol. He gave me a tiny dose–10 mg twice a day. I suppressed my standard objections–they’ll make me tired (he had predicted that and suggested this was least likely to drag me out), I don’t want to take medicine (then don’t go to the doctor), etc.

He felt my shoulder/neck pain was coincidental. The other reason I stay with him is that he’s a nurse practitioner and a chiropractor. He said that people don’t realize that we have ribs going all the way up the spine, and he felt that one or two of mine were out of place. He adjusted my neck and shifted the rib back in place. It may have been subluxed by massage, but who knows?

This morning I am worrying about taking a new drug and what it might do to the delicate balance that is my gut, and frustrated because my shoulder still hurts. I’m back on the medical merry-go-round, and while I know this past year was borrowed time, I’m unhappy about having to get back on that ride.

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