As mothers, it’s so hard to know at what point we need to ask for help. We try to do it all on our own, accepting the husband’s offer to pick up pizza for dinner maybe once a month and only demanding someone else change a flippin’ diaper for a change when we realize we’ve changed literally every.single.diaper for the last four days. Right?
So, when we have our own little crisis, it takes some finesse to know when you really need help and when you’re going to be just fine without it. Last week, I needed help and I didn’t get it because I wasn’t quite sure whether or not I should ask and now… well…
Sunday night I went to bed late, feeling a little headache-y. Nothing out of the ordinary and I am usually able to sleep those off. I do get migraines sometimes (triggered by running, chocolate, stress and dehydration, mostly) but I didn’t have any visual aura so I thought I’d be fine. Belle woke up crying shortly after 1am and I woke up to a feeling in my head like I’ve never had before. It was like I had been shot in the forehead. I felt a hot pain that left me feeling disoriented. I made it down the stairs and took care of Belle, laying her back in her crib to an immense head rush that almost knocked me over. I took a couple of Advil and went back to bed where my head was hurting so bad I felt like I couldn’t breath.
I decided I’d try to wait it out before waking Ryan up but I knew something was really wrong. Belle woke up again more than 30 minutes later at which point, I felt paralyzed in bed and woke Ryan to go help her. When he came back to bed, I tried to explain what was happening but I couldn’t make words. I was mumbling and felt like only half of each word was coming out of my mouth. My body felt incredibly weak and it took everything in me to pick up my phone to try to find the emergency nurse’s number – which, insurance company people, are you listening? – should be made WAY more accessible and obvious on your websites, m’kay??
The light from my phone was blinding and I felt like I was going to throw up. It had been an hour since I had take the Advil and my head was still killing me but now I had nausea, confusion, weakness and sensitivity to the light of my phone to add to my list of symptoms. Ryan called the nurse’s line and I talked to the nurse who told me to call 911.
And I couldn’t.
I knew I needed help. I felt like I was dying. I couldn’t even roll over onto my side or hold the phone to my ear. And my head hurt. so bad.
Ryan asked if we needed to call my parents to come over while he took me to the ER. I told him to wait. A few minutes later, after crying and sweating into the nook of his shoulder (he had to roll me over to get there), the pain started to become more manageable. He started snoring and I was able to roll over myself. I fell back to sleep around 4:30 and the kids woke me up (per usual) around 6am.
I called the doctor as soon as the office opened and they rushed me in that morning, followed by an MRI just after my appointment. Hours later, they called to tell me that there’s a lesion on my frontal lobe and I need to see a neurologist. My appointment isn’t till the end of August which I’m hoping means it’s not an emergency and it can wait. If I have another episode, I’m supposed to go straight to the ER.
So where does that leave me? Well, I’m terrified of having any headache at all so I’m avoiding the treadmill and chocolate and drinking lots of water, per usual. I’m avoiding Google-ing what my prognosis could be because that’s just too scary right now. And I’m kicking myself a tiny bit for not going to the Emergency Room that night.
Mother’s Intuition is real, people. I know when my kids need the doctor and I take them. Heck, I know when my dog needs the vet and we go without hesitation! But, when my gut was telling me that I needed help right then and there, I didn’t listen.
So, when you need help, whether it’s with the laundry or because of a toothache that’s making you crazy, ask (demand if you have to!) for help. You’re worth it, SO very worth it. And so am I.