Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holy Head Trauma

Saturday was a busy day full of Christmas shopping and fun, but it ended with a freak accident that landed me in the hospital.

I'd woken at 1am with a headache, so I got up to take a couple Tylenol. In the kitchen as I opened the pill bottle, a wave of nausea hit me like a brick to the head. It happened so fast, and the next thing I remember I was flat on the floor, blinking in the dark and very confused. I sat up in a mess and realized I had, in fact, been sick.

Disoriented, I woke up my husband and told him I was sick. I later learned I didn't mention to him for several hours that I'd passed out. I vomited four more times and was shivering cold. I was concerned that I was so sick, which is unusual for me, but when I realized I was losing blood-tinged fluid from my right ear, my husband and I got scared. He rushed me to the ER.

The ER doctor determined that I'd ruptured my ear drum when I fell on the floor. He ordered a CAT scan to be sure I didn't have any other injuries. I thought it was just a precaution and didn't expect them to find anything. After all, I didn't hurt anywhere; I was just so sick.

Imagine my shock when the CAT scan revealed I'd fractured my skull.

The bone behind my right ear cracked upon impact. Crazy!

I was emitted into the hospital as neurologists and cardiologists worked together to figure out why I passed out in the first place, and to be sure another episode didn't happen. I underwent many tests and learned some stuff about my physical self.

First, I have always suffered from Vasovagal Syncope. According to  Vasovagal syncope (vay-zo-VAY-gul SING-cuh-pee) is the most common cause of fainting. Vasovagal syncope occurs when your body overreacts to triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. The trigger results in vasovagal syncope — a brief loss of consciousness caused by a sudden drop in your heart rate and blood pressure, which reduces blood flow to your brain.

In the past, I've passed out from having my blood drawn and once, from just hearing the story of a friend whose appendix burst. But Saturday night was the first time I passed out from violent vomiting. I learned that can happen.

I underwent an EKG, which revealed I have Prolonged Q-T interval

My cardiologist wants to be sure my prolonged Q-T intervals don't indicate I have Long QT Syndrome, which is a heart rhythm disorder that can potentially cause fast, chaotic heartbeats. These rapid heartbeats may trigger a sudden fainting spell or seizure. In some cases, your heart may beat erratically for so long that it can cause sudden death. (Source I am scheduled for a stress test after Christmas, which I must pass before I'll be given the okay to resume vigorous exercise, like training for half-marathons. Wow. So thankful all this happened, if I discover something life-threatening in my heart.

Okay, this is getting longer than I anticipated and my head is beginning to pound. Time for some meds and a long nap. Please forgive me for not responding today, should you leave me a comment. I will be back to my old self soon -- within a week, according to my doctors. Just need rest to heal.

Hope your feeling healthy and vital today. Happy Holidays!