"Hi. Don't be concerned, but I'm having some problems seeing."
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
I am tired.
Actually, tired doesn't even come close to how I really feel. I can't even find the right words to explain how I REALLY feel.
But apparently when I cannot find the words, my body does the talking.
And I end up in the ER.
It was Monday, November 15. It was just like any other Monday morning. Actually, it was pretty easy going for a Monday morning. I had no meetings, I mostly caught up on all my work over the weekend, and I was ready for a fresh week.
Right around 10:30, my vision started getting blurry. It's difficult to explain, but it was almost like tunnel vision. I could only see directly in front of me and not out of my peripheral.
If you know me, you know I am pretty blind without my contacts or glasses. When my vision started getting blurry, I thought,"Hmm...that's weird, maybe my contacts are messed up or something."
I went to the bedroom to get my glasses (thank God for the opportunity to work from home!). When I stood up, I had a headache and felt a bit dizzy but didn't think much of it. Put on my glasses. Still blurry. Me being me, I tried to continue working. This would pass and I would get on with my day!
After about 20 minutes or so, I wasn't feeling better so I reached out to Brian just in case something happened.
"Hi. Don't be concerned, but I am having some problems seeing. I'm just letting you know in case it gets worse."
He called me right away and I told him what was happening.
No honey, you don't need to come home. No, I'll be ok. I'm sure it's nothing.
He told me I should take my blood pressure if I could find our cuff (neither one of us have had issues with blood pressure, but just keep a cuff around because it was a crazy good Black Friday deal 😂).
My blood pressure reading was...
Brian (in a very calm, steady voice) said, "Babe, that's really high. I'm on my way home. Take some deep breaths. C'mon, breathe with me. In. And out. In. And out.
Don't freak out, but the internet says this 'high of a blood pressure coupled with symptoms such as headache, nausea, blurry vision, chest pain and shortness of breath point to a hypertensive emergency. This is a potentially life-threatening issue.' I will be home in a few minutes."
Doctor's offices, urgent cares and emergency rooms are incredibly difficult to get into right now.
To summarize a very, VERY long day:
Urgent Care sent me to the ER
At the ER, I was tested for all the horrible things that HBP could cause: heart attack, brain aneurysm, stroke, blood clots, etc.
I was discharged around 9 p.m. with a clean bill of health and a blood pressure of 119/58
Stress & Birth Control
You guys know by now that I'm a researcher. I've never really been interested in science or biology or anything like that, but this journey has changed that.
While I was sitting in waiting rooms, I was thinking about all the changes to my body and my meds in the last 6 weeks or so:
Stopped responding to hormone (Femara)
New hormone to trigger period (Provera)
Cyst on ovary
Provera doesn't work
New med to help me fall (and stay) asleep at night
Start a birth control to trigger period
That's a lot of new things that happened in a short period of time.
I checked out the side effects of my new birth control. Lo and behold, rare side effects include high blood pressure and vision changes/problems.
Now, we don't know for sure that this is what caused my little episode. But I'd be willing to bet that the birth control mixed with the everyday high stress of infertility and life is what's behind it.
A few things that I DO know:
I have the best husband––period
I was hesitant to go to the ER, but I'm glad I did to get checked out
I'm incredibly grateful that I didn't experience any of the things that COULD happen during a "hypertensive crisis"
I stopped that BC and started yet another new one (stay tuned for how that one goes)
My parents are saints –– they drop everything for their kids
I'm surrounded by the most caring and loving family, friends and work team
In this very moment as I write this blog, the most frustrating thing about this infertility journey for me is having no idea what is happening in my own body.