Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fire Alarms

It was a busy day at Easy Street with 3 appointments back to back. Each appointment today is worth its own post but I had an incident that really threw me.

We were just finishing up in Physiotherapy and reviewing what I need to do for homework when a fire alarm went off for the hospital. The sound absolutely got to me. I was not panicked or worried about a fire, it was really the physical sound that hit me so hard. I remember saying I can't stand this! I had trouble talking and felt kind of like I was being hit in the side of the head. There was an almost instant pain in my left ear like I had a bad ear infection. It was time to head to the next appointment but the space was kind of locked down so I was grateful to just sit for a few more minutes and try to pull myself together until the all clear bell rang.

My balance was gone, I was dizzy and thought that I was going to vomit. All the people rushing around after the delay was tough to watch too and aggravated the situation even more. My physiotherapist walked me back and it was so challenging I needed her help a lot. It was like the past 12 months worth of work and progress had vanished. We got to the other side offices for my next appointment and my therapist brought me some water and I just sat.

I was pretty useless for the first part of the appointment. I had huge amount of pain in my ear and in my eye by that point and even my face felt horrible. It slowly settled into just a horrible headache and I was able to see better. I think it was close to an hour after the alarm before my equilibrium started to improve and I could focus on my dietician. The cab ride home was hard but I was coping okay right until he decided to back up for several houses. I could hardly get out of the cab and it was another half hour before the nausea settled down.
In the evening after a long rest I felt able to go to Canadian Tire with Bob. I was tired, and still had a lingering earache, but felt okay. I bent over to look at a product tag that was upside down and woosh I was collapsing again.

This morning I am feeling fine, the ear ache is gone, and I am back to what is now normal for me but I feel pretty thrown by the whole experience. I have been doing so well and feeling more confident in myself, but that I could have found myself so miserable and incapacitated with just the sound of an alarm is very disconcerting to me. The world is feeling a little less safe today than it was yesterday morning.

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