A funny thing happened to me on the way to 7-11….
I am staying at my son’s house watching their cats Clementine and Haddie while they are on vacation. Because of my condition I can’t drive and being upright can make me sick. However, I decided to venture out after being inside for five days.
I needed some things at the store and per Yelp the closest store was 7-11. No offense to 7-11 shoppers but I have never shopped there for groceries! Using Yelp’s directions I started walking. The voice on my phone told me to turn left, then turn right. I realized very quickly that I was making a circle around the apartment building! I was out of breath, my heart was pumping a mile a minute, I was dizzy and my head started to feel numb.
I was really getting pissed at this woman making me walk more than I needed to. Instead of listening to her I made a right to the main street, then my phone died! There it was! I could see the 7-11 sign! It would be too far to walk in my current condition. So I turned around and made it back to the apartment. Needless to say I was upset and frustrated.
I used to have the freedom of driving or walking wherever I wanted without distress or having to depend on anyone. Yes, I was having a pity party! Worst of all I hadn’t gotten the things I needed. After a few minutes of my little tantrum I turned on the TV and realized that that’s how it is and got over it.
So today I decided to try it again. The rains here in Seattle had given us a reprieve. The sun was shining so I got ready to go. This time with a fully charged phone, I got my bearings and left. Thankfully there are benches everywhere so I could take several breaks along the way.
As I sat on one of the benches I could see some leaves lying on the grass nearby. One of them stood out, this perfect red leaf. I love Autumn so I made sure I took a quick picture of it. It brought back memories of my boys jumping in the freshly raked pile. After a bit I stood up and continued on my journey.
This time I could see the 7-11 sign getting closer and closer. I stopped to rest in front of Egan’s Ballard Jam House and took a picture. Then off I went. Crossed a few more streets and got to my destination.
In all my excitement about being able to get there I forgot what I needed to buy. Oh yes the list, crap! My mind was completely blank. It is such a weird feeling to have actually nothing inside my head. It’s hard to explain but I have to literally squeeze my forehead together to try to press out some thoughts to produce images of the items that I needed, but nothing.
I stood there out of breath and starting to feel dizzy and things started to get blurry. I needed to get back and quickly. So what do you do when you can’t remember what you need and nothing I mean nothing triggers your memory? You buy cookies! So I left with a package of Lorna Doones and Fig Newtons!
I sat on all the benches along the way and made it home.
This post is only meant to bring awareness to a somewhat invisible condition that many like me suffer with. The month of October is Dysautonomia Awareness Month. Yes, another illness to add to the list. This time it is one that I have to deal with on a daily basis. I hardly ever discuss it because of the stigma of being “sick”.
Things that I used to take for granted, like a short walk outside turns into a lengthy ordeal. I rarely go anywhere alone because I am not sure about when and where the symptoms will hit me.
Blog posts which are near and dear to my heart can take up to six to eight hours to write. I forget words and have to use Google to assist me with word finding and spelling. Most of us have had to deal with months to years of misdiagnosis because the lack of knowledge in the medical community regarding this condition. The more we talk about it the more exposure this condition will get.
Thank you for taking the time to read about my 0.2 mile journey! If you happen to see the hash tag #DysautonomiaAwarenessMonth on Twitter re-tweet it for me! Hugs!