When I’m stressed about something I can usually deal with it and move on but since Sunday something has been bothering me a lot. It may seem like a small thing to anyone else who asks me what’s wrong but to me it just blew out of proportion and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and ended up getting my blood pressure high.
I’m not on regular medication for this ailment, but have in the recent past suffered from bouts of the pressure building up and making me feel like I was run over by a big red double decker bus. Twice. The feeling is really unexplainable but it makes me feel dizzy and I can hear a tinny sound that just doesn’t go away, feel nauseous and just want to lie down and not talk to anyone at all.
By Monday evening I was feeling worse, despite hoping that some rest at home would sort me out and once I put the kids to bed, I did tell them I’d quickly go to the doctor to get checked. I called a cab because I was in no state to drive and calling an ambulance that was part of the medical cover I have was an option but I didn’t want the kids to get scared.
The twenty-minute journey from my home to the hospital took half the time because the kamikaze driver thought I was dying of a heart attack or something. He was kind enough to take me through to the A & E and make sure I was attended to before he left me. He even offered to wait for me but I politely declined. I didn’t want to have to sell my kidney at the hospital to fund my drive back home. I’m saving to sell it to buy myself the new iPad2.
As I sat there after getting my number and making my payment at the counter, and while the gentleman located my file at the hospital, I looked around at the astonishingly busy room full of people with ailments waiting to be attended. Some looked really ill, others looked tired, and a little girl in a pink frock kept coming up to me to stare at me with her nose leaking stuff that made me want to vomit. I’m a Mum. Such things shouldn’t affect me but I was not in my normal frame of mind.
The low buzz of voices sounded magnified to my already irritated ears and it took all my energy not to stand up and scream loudly and tell everyone to shut up. I tried to distract myself by going through my phone but that just got me more worked up. I tried to shut my eyes and put my head back and relax but I just started thinking of what was stressing me out and a single, lonely tear managed to escape my eye as I sat there feeling sorry for myself.
I wondered who to call, and sadly couldn’t think of anyone. It’s not that I lack people who I can depend on in my time of need. It’s just that in my state I couldn’t think of who to call to come and help me or be with me. Most my friends would be in the middle of dinner, or with their kids preparing them for bed, or something or the other. I don’t know. All I know is I didn’t want to call anyone and bother them.
Eventually my name was called out and I walked to the all too familiar emergency treatment room where I have watched my Mum in the past few months be revived, treated and almost brought back from the dead in front of my own eyes. I walk behind the nurse as he indicates me to lie down on a bed and he starts checking my vitals.
I look at his face as he does the blood pressure reading to see if his expression changes as the monitor registers a high systolic and diastolic reading but he’s trained to be expressionless, I guess.
He tells me to await the doctor who will come and check on me shortly and I lie there and close my eyes trying to block out the moaning and groaning coming from the next cubicle that is parted with just a curtain. I can see feet at the bottom. I see a pair of smart dress shoes, a pair of heeled sandals and a pair of plimsolls with green jinja cotton trousers and I deduce the nurse is in that cubicle too.
I look around at the digital blood pressure monitor and realise the nurse has forgotten the thermometer stuck in my armpit. Should I take it out myself and check it, I wonder. I think the better of it and just leave it. I really can’t be bothered and mentally urge the doctor to come and check on me quickly.
Right on cue the doctor walks in with a clipboard and the nurse who had taken my vitals, and talks to me in a very calm voice that has an instant soothing effect. I tell him I’ve been stressed about something and he in turn tells me to take it easy and asks some more health related questions and if I have any allergies to drugs. My mind is racing and I know he is going to prescribe me a plethora of drugs that I’m going to hate because pill popping and I have never been good friends at all. I was right. He tears of a prescription slip and gives me medication for five days and a strict warning to rest and not get stressed and to come back for a follow up appointment after five days.
I say my thanks and look around, get off the bed and put on my shoes and make my way towards the exit. My eyes well up with tears of self-pity and I furiously wipe them away with the sleeve of my oversized jacket that I had worn before coming to the hospital. I stand outside as the cool evening air hits my face and I shiver involuntarily and check my phone for the cab company’s number to call for a ride back home.
Not for the first time in my life, I felt truly alone and wished I had someone by my side to tell me it’s going to be ok. Eventually everything does get ok but just to hear those magical words from someone else when you really need to hear them always work wonders on one, don’t they…?
I’m much better now, thanks.