Sunday, 2 March 2014

Unexpected Hospital Visit

I just returned from the hospital as I'm typing this. The reason for this sudden hospital visit was me collapsing a few hours ago as I was leaving the hackerspace. As I was making my way down the stairs I began to feel very emotional, with me having to seek support by leaning against the wall and sitting down on a step of the stairs. I found myself crying as well as making unintelligible sounds. I kind of knew what was coming next, and I wasn't disappointed. Before I knew it I was lying on the stairs, staring at the part of it which was right in front of me.

I could hear the others talking upstairs, then after a while people coming downstairs. I remember feeling so embarrassed and ashamed that they would find me lying like this. Helpless and foolish. Before I knew it so many people were standing around me and tugging at me. Someone was holding my hand and telling me it would be fine. I tried to answer their questions as well as I could by faintly shaking my head or nodding. All I could utter were faint sounds. The logical course of action for a bystander in such a situation is to call emergency services. At least I think it was clear to those with me that I hadn't fallen but 'merely' suffered a psychological/psychosomatic event.

I recall seeing this police woman talking to me but no details, as though it was all a far-away dream. Then EMS personnel who tugged on me, telling me to stand up, but only getting me to collapse as I had no control over or strength in my legs. They were yelling at me and I didn't understand it, but got scared. As they lifted me up with hands grabbing me everywhere I felt like I was being arrested again like those years ago. Then I was put on a stretcher. I remember seeing the familiar surroundings pass by from this weird perspective. Then I was in the ambulance. There was some commotion from the others. I guess they wanted to come with me.

In the ambulance I got questioned about some kind of identification and got even more scared. Then the police woman found my wallet in my shoulder bag and apologized. More questions. All of it a blur. At some point I began to regain my senses and control over my muscles. After that I was gradually able to speak again. I noticed that the police woman was gone and we were driving. I was able to inform the EMS guy sitting next to me about what had happened. Then we arrived at the hospital. Just for a check-up by a doctor.

The doctor was pleasant enough as I tried to put together my story in an understandable manner. How to compress a decade worth of experiences and the implications of being born with a rare physical condition into a few paragraphs worth of text. Also to explain how my PTSD was formed and that it together with the stress I'm under due to the whole migration thing probably triggered this incident. He seemed to understand though, and just did a few simple tests and had a sample of my blood tested for the usual parameters.

The results of the blood test showed no weird results and also confirmed that I had not been drinking any alcohol. After this I was free to go, just before 3 AM. This left me to find public transport back to the hackerspace where I could pick up my bicycle and ride back home. During this a couple of guys made lewd remarks at me, presumably while intoxicated. No guy in his right mind would make kissing sounds at a random girl on the street or call one a 'la chicka' out of nowhere. Weird indeed.

Adding some irony to this whole situation is that this afternoon I hooked up my new stove/oven combo to the available 3-phase connection and managed to not electrocute myself. After verifying that it worked as it should I congratulated myself on a job well done. While at the hackerspace I made a point out of mentioning this accomplishment to others, joking about not having put myself into the hospital. Little did I know.

The EMS guy in the ambulance asked me whether I had any indication beforehand that I would collapse like this. To this I could only reply that it was almost impossible to predict. I always start feeling emotionally numb before it happens, but I don't collapse every time I feel emotionally numb. I do suspect that in the cases where I feel numb but no collapse occurs I am storing up the emotional stress until enough has built up to make such a collapse possible. I wasn't feeling very happy by the time I left the hackerspace. My current situation is highly stressful in addition to the many worries about my immediate and long-term future, especially medically.

I really hope that solutions can be found for the sources of my stress, help with my PTSD and a quick resolution of the medical uncertainties, specifically the surgery and the exact workings of my periods.

It's 4.30 AM now. I really should try and get some sleep... goodnight.


1 comment:

bill bowen said...

This song helps me when i've had a particularly bad time or feeling fragile physically or mentally