Monday, May 18, 2020

My Fight Against Covid 19

I wrote this blog over several weeks as I dealt with the illness so forgive the original date shown for publishing.

So by now you have probably heard I had Coronavirus Sars 2 - Covid 19, I shit you not. After everything we have been through I don't know why I didn't just assume it would strike my house. Sometimes I know my family feels I put our life on display but now that I am recovered I felt the need to share my story to help others. 

On or around 3/11/20 my work placed all employees on a work at home basis to avoid physical contact and to keep our workers and clients safe. Prior to leaving our office I had a dry cough for about 2 weeks and I chalked it up to allergies. This dry cough continued and my co-workers even poked fun at me on our zoom meetings that I had the virus (it was truly all in fun). On 4/18/20 I started feeling very tired and I had a sore throat in the base of my throat. The next day I remember watching my husband plant some flowers and I could barely move. I wanted to help him plant but I just sat there and watched him. By Monday things were bad and my symptoms were increasing rapidly. On Tuesday 4/21 I decided to put a call into my doctor and I found out I needed to do a telemedicine visit. I didn't get my personal doctor but did reach a doctor within Baylor. I went through my symptoms, 

*Dry Cough
*Body Aches
*Sore Throat
*Shortness of breath
*Pretty sure I was hit by a train. Like an express train going 190mph that didn't stop. 

I thought I had an upper respiratory infection and that I would just be placed on some antibiotics.  I was surprised when I heard the doctor state she suspected I had Covid. It did all make sense though because the virus was unlike anything I had felt before. So she sent me to downtown Dallas to have a nasal swab which I am pretty sure pierced my brain cavity. You pull up to a private location and nurses come to you dressed head to toe in zombie fighting gear. They have you sit on your hands while they shove this long swab up your nose. It only lasted a few seconds with mine (hence the future issue you will read) and then it was over. I went home feeling like death and waiting on my results and at this point I was still nursing myself without medication. On Friday my results were in and the nasal swab said negative. My family was free to go back to work and I was left feeling like death and left in limbo without any definitive answers as to why I felt so horrible. 

Friday night I began experiencing what I labeled as oxygen attacks.  I would begin to feel winded if I was walking around and when I used my pulse oximeter my oxygen was floating around 89-90, whoa. That's no bueno! However, when I sat down the oxygen would rise so I waited a bit but the night grew worse so I went to a local Urgent care/ER. The facility listened to my story, checked my vitals, tested for strep - negative, tested for flu - negative, and mentioned doing a rapid Covid test but they decided against it. They sent me home with antibiotics and a diagnosis of Acute Respiratory Illness. Days later I was back on with the regular doctor and at this point I cannot even describe how ill I was. She prescribed a whole host of medications and advised me to rest and if it got worse go to the ER. I then had a follow up care date and I began to feel like I was getting better. My voice began to switch from a sultry Darth Vader to a more normal scratchy and a bit shaky voice. The headaches, upset stomach, and low oxygen would come and go. Then I began to notice that the symptoms would seem to start all over again which is unlike any virus I have ever dealt with. Also, I would feel terrible in the mornings, okay in the afternoon, and horrible at night. Finally at a follow up I had a blood test and on day 20 I tested positive for active Covid.

The doctors said they believe I already had a virus which weakened my immune system and I then caught Covid, sorry but we will agree to disagree here. It was Covid from the start.  The symptoms never varied and although I am not a doctor I do believe my levels for testing were just not functional at the beginning. When you test positive things switch into high gear. My personal doctor called later in the day to do a follow up based on the testing information and were truly so kind and understanding. They were concerned about my lungs and wanted a chest X-ray but they didn't have a machine at their office and their urgent care was closed. So it was suggested I go back to the facility I was at prior that diagnosed me with an acute respiratory illness. They had full machines and a prior X ray on file. So I called ahead to let them know what had been requested and explained I had active Covid.  When I arrived I found that the door was locked or at least the sliding feature was turned off and no one was in the lobby to be seen.  So after knocking a bit they answered the door and asked if I was the one that called and I advised I was. I realized at that point the door was a deterrent for me as they panicked. An initial nurse came out asking me what I wanted and I explained the situation. Then another nurse came out asking me the same thing and then pointing out she had negative cases in the back. The attendant in the front asked me to wait outside around the corner while they checked in other patients. So I quietly made my way outside and shed a few tears.  I understand but it was like walking into a clinic in 1980 and telling them you may have HIV. Finally, a nurse came out in full zombie gear and led me down the walk of shame towards the back of the building where everyone stared as I was escorted into a zippered room. They did a chest X-Ray from outside the room........interesting. Thankfully it was clear and then the doctor came and spoke to me. He was very nice and explained I 100% had Covid and he was prescribing some additional medications to ease my symptoms. The nurse in the room with me apologized for everything that happened at their clinic and while listening to her words I made a realization. I look at her curiously and asked, "Wait am I your first case of Covid?" She looked down and then back at me and said, "Yes our first positive case." I replied, "Well no wonder I bet you guys were like oh shit!" She said, "Pretty much!" I mean in all honesty they should have been better prepared but I guess these are unprecedented times. So I went home with another sheet of paper to add to my growing stack.

Later that day my doctor's office called again after communicating with the facility I went to. The PA was concerned about my inflammation and how long I had been sick. She was really recommending and pushing me to go to Baylor Hospital. When you are sick with Covid it is hard to know exactly what you should do because everyone around you is affected. My family was placed on quarantine and then let go when my swab was negative. We now know the swab was probably not performed right and that is why you got a false negative. I felt my family was embarrassed that I had the virus and worried that people would treat us differently, I can't say that I blame them but at this point they were well beyond their window for illness. So since I had been stable at home I decided to nix the hospital. I am well trained on respiratory illnesses due to Jude and I know when things turn worse. I also know it can be quickly turn for the worse but I felt comfortable enough staying home.

Skip to Monday 5/11 now 24 days into misery and I was dealing with burning pain in my legs and my bones felt like they were breaking. It had lasted about 4-5 days and this was a symptom I had at the second urgent care/ER visit. Ironically my phone rang and it was an RN case manager in Dallas that has been assigned to my case. I guess she gets updates twice daily on how I am doing and was reaching out. I told her about the leg issue and they were checking into possible rhabdomyolysis. Don't google it. So they got that information to my doctor who was again okay with me monitoring for signs and symptoms at home. The primary goal is to keep you out of the hospital so you don't spread the virus and you don't catch anything else to further complicate your healing. 

Thankfully, I was directed to a Covid support group on Facebook and they were such a lifeline or hope and support for me. I felt so incredibly alone during this fight and after 20 plus days of illness everyone has pretty much reached their max with me. So let me put some rumors to rest for you. 

1. If you catch the serious version of Covid (Cornavirus) then you are not generally better in a ten day time period. My doctor was very upfront that this could be a lengthy recovery. Thankfully I was never in the critical category.  Some with the mild to moderate cases luckily recover quicker. Within my support group it doesn't seem to matter if you have underlying symptoms for the expected duration. I healed (mostly) in 25 days when there are others much healthier than I am that are on day 90+. I find those in New York seem to post more often that they or a loved one are seriously ill. It makes me wonder about strains but I am not a scientist, I just simply lived this.

2. This virus doesn't just attack the elderly or those with underlying issues. My group is full of young and healthy people that are truly suffering. Luckily most conquer the illness. 

3. Covid is a menagerie of symptoms that are not standard and the virus is ever mutating with more symptoms. 

4. It's not the flu! It's not anywhere near the flu. If you say flu to me you will get punched (not really but I will say, Oh bless your heart). Telling someone it's just a flu or not a death sentence is not helpful 
what-so-ever when they're dealing with it and you are healthy. I understand any illness can have complications but when someone is trying to relay to you a lengthy list of symptoms that do no fall in line with seasonal flu it's worth listening. 

5. Swab tests can be wrong. If you have symptoms I believe treat the symptoms and that seems to be the route the doctors are now turning to. I did feel a bit scared but relieved when the blood test showed positive, only because I couldn't understand why I was so sick. However, as stated many many people in my group are being treated for symptoms and not being required to test. 

6. The symptoms can drag out lasting days, weeks, or even months even after positive antibodies show and you are no longer contagious. 

7. You don't always run a fever with Covid. I laugh a bit at the facilities installing temperature monitors.  My temp is generally 97.4 and my temp was ranging 98.1 - 99. The doctor said that with Covid that's a fever. So throw what you have always learned out the window. There is no longer the mentality of "rub a little dirt on it and you will be okay"  with a mild temperature increase. 

8. There is no "big brother" watching your every move in Texas but they do in some states. At this point the medical staff informs you that they have to tell you the CDC guidelines for quarantining but no one enforces it. I simply had a case manager that would call to see how I was doing.  I stayed home because I felt it was responsible and I didn't want to spread the illness. I am still indoors and will not be venturing out until this weekend. This virus is just so new and is full of so much unknown. However, there are many cases out there that are positive and people are just unaware.  People walking around you everyday. I tend to believe we are all going to be exposed at some point. 

9. Covid can rapidly change and become deadly so please get to an ER if you believe you have Covid and experience breathing issues. 

Watching people debate politics on social media and discuss whether the virus is a hoax is incredibly frustrating when you are battling it. You tend to just scroll past those posts but sometimes we as a human race should stop and think about how we can be kind versus how we can argue. Also all social media seems to be is a debate between the maskers and non maskers lately. My cousin told me that she has an opinion but she chooses not to share it because she doesn't have an ego that needs to justify being heard. That can sound a bit harsh but it makes you take a step back and realize that no matter what we think our only job is to give others grace and support. Many people in my support forum are from outside the US and they remark frequently on how odd it is that our country is so divided against each other. My husband constantly tells me that the powers that be set in place motions to divide the red ants from the black ants. It's those that participate in the division and fuel the fire on social media that let those powers that be win. I thought that was rather enlightening.

It's a slow healing process and I am not sure if there will be lasting effects or if I can catch it again. I am praying for no on both of those items and promising data suggests once you have antibodies you cannot get infected again. This scenario seems to change daily but it's still promising. However I can say I am getting better and stronger each and every day. I have what's called "Post Viral Fatigue" which is not contagious it just means the illness took a huge toll on my body. I get winded and tired easily and I take that into consideration with work and other activities. Point of this long blog is to share with the world the misconceptions, what it's like, what we need to learn, and how we need to care for those with the illness. I hope it helps someone because this virus isn't going anywhere. Patients with Covid19 are not lepers and they are still the same people you care about. It's not their fault they caught the virus and they just need your support. My favorite was when our bank couldn't fix their deposit app so Mike had to run his check to deposit. He did this from his vehicle, outside the glass, and 20 feet away. Our banker basically griped me out that he came to their facility. I explained he is outside his window and they should be using hand sanitizer, especially while handling money. Her reply was, "that gets tedious". Um how is that my fault? Insert me turning my head to the side with squinty eyes.  

The most asked question I get it, "How in the world did you catch it?" I believe I brought it home when I was first house-bound. My doctor believes Mike had a very mild version and brought it to me from his work. Emily then got a very mild version as well but they were rapidly better. The next question or statement I always get is, I think I had it back in so and so. So far every person that has told me that that follows through on the antibody test has been negative. I am sure that will change but if you get the serious version of this there is zero doubt what you have! However, if you do have the antibodies then maybe you're a candidate to donate plasma.

In closing I want to say how grateful I am for the people in my life. Thank you for all the business referrals for insurance as I battled this illness from home. Thank you to my aunts both checked on me every single day, my friends would listen to me complain to NO END, my work was so attentive and patient, and Emily/Mike who were extremely helpful. I am very thankful to all those that prayed and helped. Without you I don't think I would have kept pushing through this. I was so tired of life tribulations and health issues that I was just ready to give up. You turned my thinking around. People say 2020 is a year we won't want to remember. I say it's the year I beat the odds, Emily will graduate, she will achieve her goals (more to come later), and our family yet again become stronger!! We still miss our little Jude every single day but at my most sick point I could feel him holding my hand. He is always there.

I hope that everyone I know stays healthy and safe but if you do get it have hope it will clear up and there is support out there for you. 

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

The Cemetery And The Weekend

So last week wasn't an easy week and neither was the weekend. That's okay because things happen and if we don't learn how to pick ourselves up an wipe the dirt off we just continue to drown. Basically, the primary issue centered around a visit to Jude's grave at the cemetery. Mike went by and noticed that all of the items we have left for Jude had been removed from his site. Now, let me explain that we chose a rural cemetery for two reasons. We felt it was peaceful and serine like Jude but they were also more lenient regarding wreaths, plants, rocks, etc left at sites. Parts of my family are Catholic, parts are Methodist, parts are Jewish, etc. So we combine a menagerie of customs when it comes to Jude, one of which is leaving a rock on the headstone to symbolize a prayer. We had a small wire bird basket that held prayer rocks in it and rocks friends had decorated. We also had a Saint medallion that had hung on  Jude's bed for 7 years hanging on his headstone, we felt it was fitting. When Mike called me I was calm at first and then something just triggered my grief and I had the ugly cry. You know the one where you cannot catch your breath? 

Mike showed up at my office and assured me everything would be fine, they're just material items. He has a way of calming me down when it's most needed. I called the cemetery and found they had Jude's items in a box and had completed a "clean up" of the cemetery. We were grateful to have the items back but I was crushed that his medallion was missing. The facility explained they no longer allow rocks on headstones but I pointed out even the national cemetery allows rock in the symbol of prayer. We will see what happens but at least we have his items back and I understand that sometimes they have to clean up the areas. So we got everything in a box with the rules in a folder. Lovely. 

Skip to this weekend when I had to tackle four stores for items I needed. I actually walked out of two stores and forgot the same thing twice, sigh! Anyway, it's hard at the holidays to be in a store if you have lost a child. There is a multitude of feelings that become overwhelming as you walk through the aisle's laced with Christmas cheer. Seeing the little children with their families is both glorious or torturous all at the same time. You smile as the kids bump into you as you wipe small tears away at the same time. So I decided to buy myself a bouquet of flowers, a bottle of wine, and head home to put up Christmas. I figured I would tackle the negative with positive. 

I then encountered a situation where I tried to do the right thing but it just didn't work out in my favor and that's okay. Sometimes that's the way life goes. So I found an interesting meme today that made my thought processes fire in all different directions. 

True that sometimes in some situations we just need someone to just listen to us without judgement or opinions. However, let's spin this saying another direction. Sometimes to help a friend all they need to do is listen. Sometimes your true friends are not trying to be your parent, not trying to know it all, but they're just trying to protect you because they know the ultimate outcome. Sometimes your friends who love you dearly can sniff out crazy and unfit people before you may see them. Sometimes we don't want to see the, "he will learn or she will learn the hard way" happen to a good friend. A good friend wants to see you avoid the pain all together. Just my thought for today. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Why Am I Sick?

I haven't blogged in awhile again but thought I would today because it always helped me with Jude and maybe it will help now. I am sick again, diagnosed with "community acquired pneumonia", yea I have no clue either. Last week my right ear started hurting but other than feeling run down I didn't have any other symptoms. Saturday evening my husband started complaining he was not feeling well and by Sunday morning he was at Minute Clinic diagnosed with Bronchitis and a host of medications. On Monday morning I woke up feeling TERRIBLE. So I also went to our friendly neighborhood Minute Clinic too, I love the doctor up there. She spent a lot of time with me and I figured I would get the same diagnosis as Mike and get sent on my way. I was wrong. 

The doctor said I had zero movement in my right middle lung and with the fever that led to the pneumonia diagnoses. Read until the end of this blog because I am not just complaining my writing has a purpose. So the doctor asked if she could be blunt and I told her I prefer blunt. She said, "Between the lengthy trauma you guys faced, the grief, and the invasive virus that attacked your facial nerves, your immune system is shot!" (no kidding) She went on, "It will never be the same but I am worried if we don't get it stimulated somehow you won't make it to 70." Wait what? Okay whoa doctor that was too blunt. She explained that I would run out of medication options. So she had me pick up some Vitamin D3, prescribed me a healthy dose of antibiotic, and suggested an immunologist. She did go through a host of questions which I found interesting. Of course she swirled around if I smoke or vape multiple times (I don't) but what was most fascinating is she asked if I live in a new home. I told her I didn't and she confirmed that was a good thing because many new homes carry mold and toxic issues. Interesting since I have a friend that is SO sick from mold in a new house. 

I told her I have tried CBD oil (made it 100 times worse), juice diet, Keto, celery juice in the morning, supplements,  etc etc. She laughed at most of it and other times she nodded her head in agreement. I told her I like to walk and that helps unless I am sick and she agreed that is helpful. I explained that I have learned to treat my eye issue with rest and non-conventional medications, she seemed to like that. She was kind and just said basically that this is trauma and the body's reaction to trauma both through Jude, my life, and now the virus that attacked. So the reactions I get when people hear I am sick is "again?", why?", "what's causing it?".  I don't mind but if it annoys you just think how annoyed I am. I am not a stay at home type of person and I feel trapped at home. 

I almost feel like this is comparable to Mike's heart situation, everyone has an opinion and we appreciate it but not all health issues fit in a bubble. Mike had nothing structurally wrong with his heart and zero blockage he just got a nasty virus called myocarditis combined with pericarditis that attacked his heart muscle. Why? Trauma and grief. We work through our grief each day but I would love for everyone to take one step back today. Imagine not sleeping correctly for 7 years and being constantly stressed for 7 years then after that 7 years you spend the rest of the time grieving. We were in and out of hospitals racking up viruses and bacteria's in our bodies like MRSA Staphylococcus. That's a booger to deal with. 

I have learned to tell people no when asked to go out. I have learned to rest when I need to and that the world will keep turning. I am still learning to balance work and health but it will happen. Regardless it's just the side-effects of a traumatic situation that no one could have avoided and one we wouldn't ever take back. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Birthdays, Weddings, and Showers and attendance.

Wow, I really don't write as much as I used to. Looking back over my blog I had about a 1000 visitors a day looking for updates to Jude's situation. I am honored so many people followed his story and his life. I guess without him here there is a bit of emptiness I feel in writing but it can still be therapeutic. 

So today's topic is one that may be a bit controversial or not, we will see. Let's talk about celebratory functions in life such as birthday parties, weddings, and showers. Today on one of the special needs groups I am still a part of (I stay to help others) a mom was upset because her sister-in-law was currently not on speaking terms with her. They weren't on speaking terms because the girl in my group failed to attend her nephew's birthday party. She turned down the party because with outside temperatures soaring a stroke survivor can have a hard time regulating body temps. She put her son's situation before the birthday party. So let's break this down in a realistic manner on all sides. The sister-in-law was probably just disappointed and failed to express her feelings in a positive manner. She also probably didn't fully understand the reason the family didn't show to the party, but it really doesn't be blunt. It's okay to be disappointed when a family member doesn't show to a party, wedding, or shower. I have been there, you have been there, we have ALL been there. However, under no circumstances does anyone owe you an appearance. This is something you really learn when you have a special needs child and it was a lesson I needed to learn. 

I always made sure my kiddo's had nice birthday parties and of course I would be disappointed if I didn't see family, more so with Jude because we knew it could be his last. However, people have lives and they have situations that come up. I can tell you flat out I don't like driving anymore especially long distances, it causes high anxiety for me. By the time I reach your event I will resemble some sort of wonky eyed Gremlin. This is an after effect of Jude's death. I had an accident years ago with Emily that was horrific and it caused driving anxiety, this went away until Jude passed. Luckily most of my friends and family fully understand this situation and my husband is extremely patient with it. 

Families that have special needs children have a lot of daily issues that prevent them from going many places. A lot of times the family just doesn't want to go, they're tired for Christ's sakes. I lost a friend when I was with Jude partially because I didn't attend a wedding. Granted this family was very close to me but it was a long drive, I would miss time with Jude or family, and I just decided not to go. Mike was fantastic about not letting people who were upset bother him. He would use my grandmother's line, "they can get glad in their mad pants." As I went through Jude's situation I had to admit sometimes people just don't WANT to come to your hosted party, shower, or wedding and that's okay. I became comfortable with the fact people needed to put themselves and their immediate family first a lot of time.  

For us, Jude didn't travel well and had a vast amount of equipment. Sometimes we had nursing who could watch Jude at night but the vast majority of his life he didn't have that. Having someone watch Jude other than his nurses was a lot to ask of someone. So sometimes prior to getting upset maybe we just need to step back and realize that people have lives and other things going on. It's certainly not worth not speaking to someone. 

Disappointment is also a part of life and it's okay for kids to learn that not everything always goes as planned. Sometimes people don't show, sometimes things happen to prevent you from attending, and sometimes a child their age is just too sick to travel, or even have a birthday party like your child can have!  Sometimes I wonder if children learn this lesson at a young age they won't terminate conversations with family members because of party disappointment as adults. 

Friday, March 22, 2019

Emily, The Great Fall, and Life.

Great news on Emily, well most of it anyway. Her biopsy did show inflammation in her thyroid but no cancer! Also her MRI was clean. So Emily was officially diagnosed with Hashimoto's and they seemed to have have found a good medication for her so she is finally feeling better. She spent her Spring Break seeing multiple doctors but since she is feeling better it was all worth it. 

So because my life always seems to be chaotic last Saturday the 9th wasn't any different. I had spent the day cleaning outside and was very tired so I went in the house to take a shower. Mike had been shampooing the carpets in our bedroom and I didn't think about the fact it would leave residue on my feet. I have a very deep tub/shower combo and when I went to step into the tub I fell. My foot slipped and I remember thinking I would catch myself and I didn't. My body twisted sending my left leg up under the glass and I landed on my right ear/head. I felt shooting pain and just began screaming for Mike. He came to my aid and I don't think either one of us really understood how bad the fall was or how much worse it could have been. Over the next few hours and days my leg began turning lovely shades, my ear was bleeding, and my head was pounding. I assumed I would be fine but my friends and family got to listen to me whine a lot (A WHOLE LOT). So about a week later my boss made me go to get a concussion workup and when the urgent care saw my leg they sent me to the ER side. Sure enough yours truly waited an entire week and had a closed head injury, don't do that! Take it from me and get checked out. The point of this drawn out story about my clumsiness is that when I fell and Mike pulled me out of the tub I just sat on the bed and cried. I just broke. Maybe it was finally needed. I just cried and cried and cried. I said, WHY do things keep happening to us? Then I got up and saw a tree had fallen over on my chicken coop fence and I shook my head and walked off. 

Here is the thing, I could have died from the fall or had a compound fracture but I didn't. Emily's biopsy could have been must worse and Mike's chest pain could have been a heart attack. The coop fence can be fixed and all the other complete bull%%$@ we deal with never ever compares to losing Jude. So it's all fixable. However, for the first time I just said NO MORE. It was like a declaration to the universe that nothing else needed to happen to us. I know I cannot control this but I just felt I needed to let God and the Universe know that I couldn't take anymore. So from that moment forward I just started believing nothing else was going to happen and that I needed to distance myself from any type of negative news for awhile. So I am respectfully asking people to let me heal for awhile from everything that's happened and let me have a bit of a break. Spare me from sad news or tragedies unless it's vital. 

I have been spending more time outside walking our dogs, spending time with my good friends at wine nights, and watching lots of movies. So I am taking what steps I need to so I can decompress and recover from a rough ten years. Last night I sat and went through Jude's book from his funeral, it's something I needed to do. I don't remember a lot from his funeral and it was comforting seeing all the names of old friends and new friends that made their way to tell him goodbye. 

So it's been a joke that 2019 has started off absolutely terrible but I am declaring this the year of  a return to health and a positive state of mind. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Update On Emily And A Hard Weekend

I have been mulling around the words for this blog today but I am having a hard time properly articulating the exact emotions I am feeling. I worry about sounding down, defeated, or brimming in self pity. Honestly though I don't really care how I sound anymore because I am at my wits end. I haven't been very talkative today because I am processing all the thoughts I have and evaluating what's important in life. So I cannot handle bad news today or honestly much chit chat so forgive me if I am not answering you, I will. I talked with Em prior to posting this so she is on board with people knowing what's going on. I just ask people to refrain from texting or calling her because she is overwhelmed.  We have been hit by what seems like an endless cycle of tragic or stressful circumstances and each time one strikes we find a way to keep marching on. A sign that hangs in our house is, It's not about waiting for the storm to pass it's learning how to dance in the rain. However, sometimes the flooding from the hurricane is just too much. Sometimes it just takes a huge toll. 

On Saturday Emily called me and said she was being taken to the ER by her friends. Keep in mind Emily is in Tusacaloosa at school. I basically said, "What why?" I knew she has been having issues with the problem I referenced in my prior blog and has been very ill for weeks. She said her blood pressure was reading high around 145/85 and she had a high heart rate. She also mentioned her heart felt like it was fluttering. Having dealt with Jude's medical issues this is how my brain works in order....

High blood pressure - Probably anxiety
High heart rate - Probably medication related
Fluttering heart - concerning but I have heart palpitations so it could be hereditary, could be medication, could be multiple items. 
Hold it together mom and be calm on the phone. 

So I tell Emily to contact me once she reaches the hospital. A few minutes later she calls back and says when she stands up her heart rate soars over 150. Call 911 Em, and she did. They got her to the ER and thankfully most everything checked out normal. Her thyroid was off which was the issue from the start, she was having a panic attack from feeling so terrible, and side effects from the thyroid medication. So they released her knowing she had a Endocrinologist appointment yesterday at 11 am. However, prior to releasing her I was researching flights trying to get to Alabama because I had enough of being so far away from Emily while she felt so terrible. Mike talked me off the ledge and when the standby flights turned red I explained to Emily I just wasn't going to make it on a flight. 

Fast forward to her specialist appointment. I had an event in Dallas yesterday so when Emily called I excused myself and walked in the other room. She was trying to find her voice crying and I was once again scanning scenario's in my head and wondering WHAT was happening. So she calmed down and said she was diagnosed with Hashimoto's and then she informed me they found a nodule on her thyroid. They said there was a slight chance it could be Thyroid cancer but it's rare. For a minute the world seemed to spin and I muttered something to Emily who promptly reminded me she was calling ME to calm HER down. Of course of course I said and then asked what the next course of action was. They will do a biopsy of Emily's thyroid next Wednesday and they put her on new medication for her Hashimoto's. To do the biopsy they will insert a needle into her neck into her thyroid. Right after my call to Emily I called Mike who was now standing on the ledge with me in full force and also talking about flights. 

Emily then took paperwork from the school to the primary campus health department to have them fill it out for a type of college "disability." Which basically just means she's been dealing with an issue that has made her miss classes (keep in mind she made the Dean's list with this mess) and they will work with her professors regarding absences as long as she completes her work. The lady at the healthcare center must have been having a bad day because she was extremely rude to Emily. It's hard letting go of your children sometimes because the Mama bear in me wanted to call the department and professionally explain that their job was to make her situation less stressful not more stressful. College's wonder why we have issues with mental health. Anyway, I encouraged Emily to email the doctor directly and explain the entire situation and ask for help. She assured me she would do this. 

Here is the reality. 90% of these nodules are benign and I have no doubt Emily's will be too. I have no doubt that this is simply being caused by the Hashimoto's.  With that being said statistics can sometimes grate on our nerves with our family as a whole. Every time someone gives us a statistic we tend to be in the 10%.  We are literally the, "You have got to be kidding me." elephants that are in the room with everyone. That is the best description I could come up with. There really isn't much to say......we know we will get through this, we know not to let it get us down, we know it could be worse and we know all the other words of encouragement anyone can offer. The reality is we have faced many situations and they didn't turn out well so we are staying very positive but are still a bit scared so we have asked for lots of prayers.  People might just have to bear with us while we are a bit angry for a bit, I am sure it will pass soon. Emily is young and shouldn't be dealing with this and our family should really just get a pass on a child being sick. Once we get over being upset we will march forward yet again. I am quite sure Jude is helping us every step of the way and holding his sister's hand for sure. She is the one dealing with this head on and as usual she's amazingly strong. Emily has a resilience like no one I have ever seen and a great heart.