Sunday, May 19, 2013

A scary experience........

I have not been very well since the 5th of May (notice the significance of this date? *wink*). Well, I actually started not to feel well on the 4th of May when I got caught in the rain upon coming back from a friend's son's wedding.

It was starting to hurt to swallow even just my saliva, and my nose was getting congested. I took Panadol and Clarinase and went to bed early that 4th of May.

It was Election Day on the 5th of May and the plan was that after the weekly maid leaves, we would go over to the Sekolah Agama near our house for me to cast my vote, and then we would proceed to Bangsar where my hubby would cast his vote. Our plan was to have lunch and then proceed to my MIL"s house for a visit.

That morning of the 5th, I woke up with a splitting headache but forced myself to get up since the maid was coming and I still had breakfast to prepare and the laundry to do.

After breakfast, I took another dose of the Panadol and Clarinase, and took a short 20 minutes nap. I told my hubby to go ahead to Bangsar to cast his vote and for him to come back to pick me up later so that I may go and cast my vote.

But after the 20 minutes nap, I felt slightly better and told hubby that we can go ahead with our original plan of going out to cast our votes after the weekly maid goes back.

With a slightly throbbing headache, I went to cast my vote at about 1.00pm.
Luckily the queue was not that long since I think many had already casted their votes early in the morning or had gone off for lunch.

Hubby dropped me off at Bangsar Shoppin Complex while he went to cast his vote. I spent the time waiting for him at Quilt Gallery, one of my favourite craft shops in town, chatting up with the staff there. Even managed to get myself a Jelly Roll! LOL! *wink*

My hubby and I met for lunch at Nando's before we proceeded over to my in-law's house. When we got there, after greeting my in-laws and telling them that I wasn't feeling too good, I went into the guest bedroom to lie down, and without realising it, I fell asleep.

I was woken up by a call from my son. It was nice to hear his voice, and made me feel much better.

We left my in-laws' house after a short chat and along the way, I decided that I really wasn't feeling that well and told hubby that I think I would like to go to the clinic to get some medicine, at least for my throat that was feeling very sore and inflamed.

I was right, my throat was inflamed, and at that time too, when the doctor checked my blood pressure, she noticed that my blood pressure was a little on the high side - 180/100. But she assured me that it could be because I was not feeling well. At that time I told her that even before this when I am sick, my blood pressure has never been high. But she dismissed it as it was just anxiety but told me to come back again in 3 days time when she expects my flu to subside to come back to check my blood pressure again.

The doctor gave me some antibiotics, cold and cough medicine and an MC.

I went home and after dinner, was about to take my antibiotics when I felt uneasy upon reading the name of the antibiotics - Cephalexin.

This clinic had once before prescribed me an antibiotics in the Penicillin family despite the fact that it was clearly stated in my record that I am allergic to Penicillin. I had already taken one dosage when I got a call from a frantic clinic assistant asking me to come back to change my medication.

I was already starting to feel dizzy then and told hubby to go and change the medication. That was some years ago, and luckily, I recovered quickly from the dizziness and nothing more serious happened.

Taking lessons from that, I googled Cephalexin and each webpage that I went to stated that precaution must be taken if one is allergic to Penicillin. I called the clinic wanting to talk to the doctor that prescribed the antibiotics to me but the clinic assistant came back to me to tell me that the doctor said that it was from a different family from the Penicillin.

I wasn't satisfied with the answer and not wanting to take any risk, I decided not to take the antibiotics that night. Instead, the next morning, I went back to the clinic seeking further assurance that Cephalexin would be safe for me to consume.

I saw a different doctor that morning, and after looking at my record, without asking much questions, the doctor immediately changed my antibiotics. Phew! Glad that I am more diligent when it comes to antibiotics. Syukur, alhamdullillah.

The day, the 6th of May, I spent the whole day sleeping. I could hardly keep my eyes open, which I believe was due to the medication and spent the day with the TV watching me sleep. heheh....

I only got up to make myself lunch of instant noodle.

When hubby got home at 7.00pm with dinner, I was feeling much better.

After dinner, I took my medication and went to bed early.

However, at 5.00am, I woke up like as if I had just gone through a bad dream. I had dreamt of a lorry filled with 1000s of soccer balls spinning. Next came a lorry filled with 1000s of shoes, also spinning. The 3rd lorry carried timber, also all spinning. I felt like everything was about to land on me.

I woke up crying like I just had a nightmare. My head felt like it was about to burst and I felt like as if I was about to go crazy when the throbbing to my head was like something was pushing inside my head. It was scary!

Hubby told me to calm down by reciting the dua kalimah syahadah, which I did, and after I had calmed down a bit, hubby decided to take my blood pressure and was shocked to see that the reading was about 186/115. But I told hubby that it could be because I had just had a nightmare.

I told him that I want to get up and do my hajat prayers as that usually calms me down.

However, even after I did my prayers, I still felt like my head was about to burst. I think all those things spinning in the lorry was like the present burden at work that everyone seems to load on me. I am starting to feel suffocated by it all and needed fresh air!

My most trusted, hard working and capable officer just got a promotion and was on transfer. Despite my attempts to keep him in my Unit since we had so many projects and prestigious ones too at that, no one wanted to listen, or rather, they didn't feel that it was that crucial for the officer to stay on in the same Unit.

Since my officer's transfer, I had been going to meetings non-stop, which, before this I would have been able to divide the meetings with him, jet setting from Penang to Johor to Kota Bharu to Kedah all in a span of two week, on certain days, arriving late at night from one flight, and catching a 7.00am flight the next day. I was burned out.

To top that up, there was this one particular prestigious project which no one in the department wanted to do, and it was finally entrusted on me to do. I am not one to push away responsibilities but this particular project was beyond me to take up when my most entrusted and reliable officer is no longer with me.

I tried to tell the people in the top management that unless this particular officer stays on with me, I am unable to do this project. But I felt like no one was listening as my request to keep my officer with me was rejected.

Everyday, as I run from one project meeting to the next, the client department for this one prestigious project was calling the office, wanting reports, schedules, and asking for us to call for a meeting so that the project can take off as soon as possible.

My schedule was tight already from meetings set much earlier and for projects equally important. My head was spinning trying to juggle my time. I think that was the start of my blood pressure rising.

That Tuesday morning, despite my high BP reading, I still went to the office because I had a meeting and I could not delegate it to anyone else to attend the meeting since I was short staffed.

On Wednesday, I was supposed to attend a Workshop on Project Management, but spent  most part of the day on the phone when a crisis arise at the office.

Usually, when I am away from the office, my capable officer would handle any crisis at the office and would only consult me if he could no longer handle it or needed me to make a decision. It was hard trying to focus on the Workshop when I had to keep leaving the Seminar Room to take calls.

By the end of the day, I think my BP shot up again when I felt like a jabbing pain at the back of my neck.

After the Workshop that Wednesday, I drove straight to the clinic, this time to the family clinic who we have been visiting for the past 20 years.

I told him about the pain to the back of my head and of the high BP readings of the last few days. He was shocked when my BP reading that evening was 186/115 and immediately told me that I am not going to work the next day and to be on MC for the next 2 days. I told him that I want to fly off to Langkawi on Friday so that I may see my son whom I miss so very much.
He said all the more so that I should be on MC so that I can stay home to try to fully recover from the high blood pressure, the stress of work and the flu which did not seem to want to subside.
I had trouble sleeping too and that could also have contributed to my high BP readings. The doctor prescribed me sleeping pills for 2 days so that I may get some sleep to relax.
The next day, Thursday, 8th May, it was another day spent sleeping. I posted this on FB. I wish I didn't, because it got my mum and sister worried.....
My mum insisted that I go to the hospital so that I can get myself admitted. Truthfully, I did not want to go to the hospital because I wanted to be able to take the flight to Langkawi to visit my son, but I didn't want my mum to worry, so I promised her that I will.
When hubby came home from work, we discussed this and hubby suggested that since the doctor said that it was OK for me to fly, so it was agreed that we would go ahead and take the flight to Langkawi and from the airport, after picking up our son, we would head straight to the hospital in Langkawi.
I packed my bag that evening, ready to spend a couple of extra days in Langkawi, including if I have to be admitted.
At the hospital in Langkawi, my first reading was again 186/115. The nurse gave me a medicine to take, and took me to a bed to rest for one hour. I slept throughout that one hour, and when the reading was taken again, it had gone down to 150/80.
I was allowed to go home with the instructions for me to take another reading the next day at a government clinic near to our hotel.  I spent the rest of the evening with my son up until the time for us to send him back to his hostel. 
It was a good feeling to have him with me though he was frustrated that he did not get to spend some time at the hotel since we had not checked into the hotel since arriving in Langkawi.
The next morning, after breakfast, we made our way to the nearby clinic for another BP reading and it registered 140/80. A slight improvement, but since we were not local, I was not admitted and I was just told to take another reading when I get back to KL. 
I felt much better, and we spent the rest of morning attending a PIBG meeting or Mesyuarat Muafakat as they call it as Aiman's school.
After the meeting, which ended at about 2.00pm, we took Aiman out for lunch and for him to buy his weekly supplies. We spent the rest of the evening in the hotel room before it was time for us to send Aiman back to his hostel and for us to take our flight back to KL.
I was tired but feeling much better. The head wasn't throbbing too much. The presence of my son helped, I think, psychologically, to make me feel better. That was why I insisted that I wanted to see my son as I had missed him so much.
We arrived late from our flight from Langkawi and after refreshing ourselves, went straight to bed.
The next day, still feeling tired from the trip to Langkawi, we went for another BP reading, this time at Serdang Hospital. I had left my bag unpack from the trip the night before, thinking that I might need the bag in a hurry as I just might get admitted since I wasn't feeling too good.
However, despite a BP reading of 169/100, I wasn't admitted, but only told to take another reading the next day.
The next day, I went to Tanglin Hospital since it was closer to my office to get another BP reading.  
I was hoping that I wouldn't be admitted when I went to Tanglin Hospital after the 6th day that my BP reading was high because I don't like hospital stays, but when the nurse checked my BP and told me that it was 196/115, I almost fainted and was very sure that I was going to be admitted. But the nurse assumed that that was my 1st BP reading and it was just anxiety.

When I told her that that day was the 6th day that my BP was high, she just told me that the doctor will decide what to do next.

When I met the doctor and gave her my BP readings from my visits to 3 clinics and 2 hospitals, she asked if I was going through any stress at work or if I had a family history of hypertension, and when I answered yes to both questions, she just prescribed me medication, told me to go for a blood test and that's it. No MC.

Since I didn't get an MC, I just went to the office as my head wasn't throbbing as much as it did the last few days. I also had a meeting which I could not delegate since I was short of a Senior Officer to attend the meeting.

I am feeling much better since taking the medication. Today, my BP reading is 137/87. I hope it will keep on improving and be back to normal.
This experience and bouts of high BP readings in the last 2 weeks had been very scary. It was something I have never experienced before, and hope that I will never have to experience that again.
I am trying to work something out at the office so that I need no longer carry this burden of heavy workload and stress alone. My immediate boss is aware of my present health condition and has been very understanding and kind.
I told him that I need to take some time off from work, especially during this school holidays so that I may spend some time with my son. I just need to get things organised at work and delegate some work to my junior officers so that I can take leave without having to worry too much about problems at work.
To my mum and sister, and all my friends, and my hubby too, who have been concerned about my health, thank you. It's good to know that people care. Hugs, everyone!

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