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I’m so Grateful for my Emergency Kit!

Posted Nov 19 2012 1:21pm

I always hoped I’d never need it.  When I made up my emergency kit it was more a peace of mind thing, not a real thought that I’d ever need it.  On Wednesday, I was so grateful I had that emergency kit!  (TMI -This post contains information that may be too much for some people.) 

The day started off so wonderful.  You can see that in the last post….but later that afternoon I was hit with an attack, and I was in public!  We decided to go out and check out a few stores that carry allergy friendly foods, but we were hungry and thought we’d grab a bite to eat.  (yes I know, too much food out…too much sodium! But I had steamed chicken with vegetables and rice, no sauce….I ordered smart!)  We were sitting in the restaurant and Stuart pointed out something to my left and over my head, I glanced at it and everything spun around.  It scared the mess out of me!  First I started to panic, then I felt it was slowing down.  I thought it was Migraine Associated Vertigo and would pass after I took my migraine medication and emergency pills.  Boy was I wrong!  I took the pills and things didn’t get better.  I was getting sick.  Very sick, and the world was spinning faster and faster.  I handed Stuart my purse and asked him to get my emergency kit.  I needed to cool down, and I needed something to throw up in (just in case).  I have cold packs in my emergency kit that turn cold when you twist them…or hit them really hard.  This was a wonderful thing.  I needed to cool down my core fast.  We left the restaurant as soon as I could stand.  It had slowed down so I thought the medication was finally working and we could get home with minimal discomfort.

I was VERY wrong again!  We drove a ways fairly well, then the spinning got so much worse.  I couldn’t stand the car moving.  I asked Stuart to stop the car, he couldn’t stop where we were, and I started to panic….”Please just stop the car!”  It was torture.  I was actually screaming before he could get stopped. He stopped.  Later he told me he was not in the best spot. It was pretty public and he knew I’d feel uncomfortable. Frankly, I didn’t care, nor did I notice. I was throwing up (thank goodness for those little garbage bags I packed in the Emergency kit), and I was losing control of my bladder. I was devastated. We were in Stuart’s father’s car, it had just been detailed….I mean like an hour before we left in it….it has leather seats! How could this be happening to me, in my father-in-law’s Lexus? (luckily it was his older car, but still, leather seats!!) Stuart swears when he went to clean it up, there was nothing on the seat, and no vomit anywhere. I did miss some the last time and got it on me. I’m so glad I was wearing a reusable pad, I use them for my menstrual cycle, but I also use them most of the time in case I sneeze or cough and pee a little.

We got home, and got me inside. I collapsed on the couch and passed out. I woke up an hour later gagging, but didn’t throw up. My body was spasming, it feels like I’m convulsing (not that I’d know what that feels like first hand), this lasted what felt like hours. I got very scared. I was having a hard time breathing with the spasms, and for the first time during one of these attacks I was afraid of dying. Then i passed out again, but only for a few minutes. When I came to, I decided I wanted to try to get to the bed. We succeeded. Not without much difficulty, but I was out after that for a few hours.

I know most of you have heard my horror stories of my vertigo attacks before, but the main part of this recount is how much my emergency kit helped. In it I have cold packs (to cool me down), small trash bags (to throw up in), large Ziploc bags (to put the soiled items in…and bags that have throw-up in them), wash cloths (to wipe my mouth, and help cool me down when they are wet), extra meds (we always have my emergency pills on us, this is an extra safe guard and it has more meds than I usually carry), a card explaining what is happening to me…and I keep a water bottle with me (normally this is just to drink from, but when I’m having an attack it helps to wet wash cloths and I need to rinse my mouth).

I will never think I can go without that kit again. I was recently thinking it was taking up too much room in my bag, no more! If I go out with nothing else, I will have my kit!

I’ve been working on this post since Thursday, the day after it happened. I’ve had days and days of extreme disequilibrium. I couldn’t move my head at all without seeing the world move. It was like it just didn’t keep up with my head….strange. I just started walking some unaided yesterday. Today I feel better and can get around by myself, but I still feel a bit wobbly. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t just a Meniere’s attack. My hearing in my right ear did drop significantly, and hasn’t returned to its normal level…that’s weird for me, normally after the attack ends the hearing comes back…at least almost to where it was. We think I had another spinal “blow out”, and my Cerebrospinal Fluid Pressure (CSF) dropped. Stuart suggested the first night after the attack to not take my medication that controls the high CSF, it’s a strong diuretic and I couldn’t afford to lose any more fluids. But I started taking them again the next day after I was sure I was well hydrated. Then things didn’t get better. I was scared that I would feel that way all the time. I was having a big pity party for myself (sorry I didn’t invite you all). Yesterday morning, Sunday, I woke up feeling much better. I took my CSF medication, then I got up and fixed myself some breakfast. After making breakfast I turned and the world spun, dang-it! But it was at that time I realized my CSF pressure was too low. I had all the symptoms…the wooshy head, a headache when standing..ect. I went back to bed and lied down flat and the symptoms lessened and went away. Ah…yep, low CSF. So yesterday I spent the day lying flat. I’m holding off on the high CSF medication until I get signs of high CSF, then I’ll ramp back up on them.
Today I’m feeling much, much better, but still weak. My main goals for the day are a shower, and finishing this post…not necessarily in that order.

I’m sure I’ll feel better and better. The weather here is still gorgeous. We had an overcast day, but it was still nice. Today we have the windows open and are enjoying the fresh air.

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