Prescription for Disaster

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Adrenal Shock is not as fun as it sounds

Well that was fairly unexpected.

I had honestly figured that with the Infliximab/Remicade infusions I am now on that my remaining medications are no longer as effective or important.

Not so much!

I missed my morning dose of steroids. Totally skipped my mind as I walked out the door and went to the hospital and then work.

11am (+2 hours)
Feeling fine. A little tired, but I had just walked 7 miles (to the hospital and then to my office)

12noon (+3 hours)
Totally fine, feeling focused and very productive. The long walks in the morning really pull me out of my 'brain fog'.

1pm (+4 hours)
Mega productive. Brain firing on all cylinders. Also starving, even though I ate lunch. Started to obsess over teriyaki tofu.

2pm (+5 hours)
ate Teriyaki Tofu at desk in shame.

4pm (+7 hours)

I started to get a bit aggressive. Nothing was angering me, I was just irrationally angry. I knew this, but couldn't stop it. Trying to separate myself from 'people' I went to a quiet room to calm down, and passed out on a table for half an hour.

5:30pm (+8.5 hours)
I left work early, just couldn't take it any more. I couldn't focus and was dead tired - assuming it was from my walk earlier in the day.

This is when things really went downhill fast. I called Paul to tell him I was on my way home and we chatted, I felt fine. Until I realized, while talking to him, that I had walked 10 minutes in the wrong direction like I was on auto-pilot. It was one of those times when you think back and wonder how in the world you crossed the street safely as you clearly weren't paying attention to anything you were doing. None the less, I got on the tube and pulled out my book, ready to settle in for the next 45 minute ride.

And then I started to cry.

See, I did not have anything to be crying about. I wasn't in pain. My feelings were just fine. It was like sudden, random, overwhelming depression. And then debilitating nausea. This didn't make any sense. I put my book down and stuck my head between my knees while sitting on the train bench, gripping a nearby pole for support. I ironically looked up to see the TFL Public Service Announcement sign about getting off the tube if you are feeling ill.

Gripping my head in my hands I acutely felt every sway, every bump of the train as it hurtled through the underbelly of London, feeling intense relief when we rushed out of the tunnel and into open air at White City - I debated crawling off the tube to lay on the platform out in the sun - but instead texted Paul to 'please, for the love of God and all that is holy come and get me at the station, something is wrong'.

It is a good thing he did come to pick me up, as when he did I was looking and feeling something like this:

I didn't know if I was going to be sick or fall asleep. I was fighting off my sudden onset narcolepsy as I zombie-lurched home, ready for the sweet release of my couch and the potato pot to curl up with. It was awful. We ate dinner and I passed out at the table, chopsticks in hand. I was so weak that I could barely hold my chopsticks together, resorting to stabbing chunks of broccoli and laying my head down on the table to suck rice off my plate like a fish out of water. It was pathetic.

My family set me up on the couch with a heating pad, an ice pack, a dog to warm my freezing feet, the potato pot (just in case) and a blanket. I couldn't move. I was done. I was going downhill fast. Paul came over to check on me and my wrists were hot and flaring, as were my cheeks and shins. I was confused, talking to nobody and imagining conversations about Lego princess cat molting (to be fair, though, it is quite probable that the twins were actually talking about that). My right eye swelled shut and my face began to droop. He wanted to take me to the hospital but I refused - I didn't want to look like a hypochondriac. 

Things were getting worse and I slipped into a deep coma-like sleep on the couch, certain that I was just reacting to having a cold. Also thinking that maybe I was going to have my period soon? Or this could be a sinus infection? Or maybe I just over-did the walk earlier?

No, no. That wasn't it.

10:30pm (+13.5 hours)
Paul woke me up with a verbal bitch-slap - he was just looking at my med case for the week - I'd completely skipped my morning meds, I'd had no steroids for over 12 hours. 

"You muppet! You don't have the flu! You're in adrenal shock!"


Well, I guess that made more sense. Another couple of hours and we would have needed an ambulance. I guess I'm more drug-dependent than I thought. 

It could always be worse though, it could have really been the flu.

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