Aside from the tailbone incidents, I have had my fair share of health issues and doctor appointments thus far in my life.
I can peg it down to the age of 2, because that’s when I had a seizure caused from too much heat. It was also discovered then that I had asthma. Since then, I have had a few asthma attacks, in which one was on a school bus in grade school. I scared my friends and bus driver, but it all worked out in the end. So there I was, doing breathing treatments every night until I slowly started getting better.
In fifth grade, I woke up one morning and thought it was just a normal Thursday. Boy, was I wrong. I felt a bit odd, like I was under water or in a tunnel so I went to go tell my mom. As I got to the room that she was in, I immediately blacked out, falling and banging my head against the wall on the way down.
After that, I had several doctor appointments to try and figure out what was happening to me. I had a heart test, where I got to keep a framed sonogram of my heart, an EKG for my brain in which I had to pull an all-nighter so that I could sleep in the doctor’s office, and even a diabetes test where I had my blood drawn in little vials six times (one per hour) without food. None of those tests had any of the answers my parents were searching for, so the doctors had me do a tilt-table test where they stuck an IV in my left arm right on the inside of my wrist. I was lying straight on my back and the table slowly rose to where I stood up straight and they timed me while I passed out. It was definitely not fun feeling fuzzy and hearing absolutely nothing but buzzing noises.
Then they finally diagnosed me with vasio-syncopy which is a fancy term for: passing out due to blood vessels not contracting and constricting correctly. Apparently my blood doesn’t circulate as well as it should. Sometimes the blood supply from my heart to my brain doesn’t work fast enough and when I stand up fast or exercise too much, I get dizzy and see black spots, or just have really bad migraine headaches.
I know this column isn’t the happiest, but it is in fact unfortunate. From fifth grade up until last year, I had to see a neurologist in Wichita every six months for a regular check-up, which made me feel dumb. I had to do memory tests, which I absolutely suck at, math tests and reading/english related tests. The best part about it? Skipping school and eating out with my mom or dad because I got to choose the restaurant.
I was also told that there are “triggers” for my migraine headaches. My neurologist said they were: caffeine, cheddar cheese, processed meat, and chocolate. It just so happened that the day I was told this, I had eaten a slim jim, a cheesestick, a Kit-Kat, and for my drink, Dr Pepper of course. I glanced at my dad and I knew he was thinking the same thing, that I could never give up my favorite foods and drink. So, I have limited myself a bit. Sometimes I have white cheese and I don’t eat too much chocolate because it does give me a headache after a while. As for the caffeine… Let’s just say it’s a work in progress.
On the bright side, I haven’t had an episode in two years because I can usually detect when I am going to pass out before it happens, so I sit or lay down as soon as I hear ringing in my ears or when my eyesight goes black. Also, I can always get out of a sticky situation by standing up straight, locking my knees and counting to a minute and a half. I’ll just need someone to take me away from any danger around the area.