Bday Bash, Hospital, Things getting better…

So much to say. It’s always when I have the most things going on in my life that I don’t update my journal. I guess just don’t have the time and feel like I don’t even know where to begin.

Saturday, Oct. 30 – My Bday Bash/Halloween Show. Getting through the day was tough. It was hard to prepare for the show. I wasn’t really thinking too much about it, but I started having breathing issues and chest pains again. I ended up getting there a couple hours later than load-in. I felt so bad but I had to do my breathing exercises when it happened. So I got there. Had to go to the bathroom a zillion times due to drinking way too much water.
I was so happy once I got there. I hadn’t seen anyone in forever. I was feeling kind of guilty before because I had to miss the Shorebirds Stadium show in Salisbury, MD. Luckily a friend of ours Sharon Parker – who rocks – filled in. But I really wanted to do it and plus Agents of the Sun and Goldmind Squad were there, too. And it was Halloween themed – there was a haunted house and stuff. That night I had a bad attack anyways, so if I would have traveled down there even though I knew I shouldn’t, that would have been really bad.
Anyways, it felt really great to be playing again and to be out in a social setting again. I had so much energy when we were on stage. Not only because I was looking so forward to the show and I love Halloween. But because the crowd’s energy was so great as well. Seemed like everyone was watching and was dancin’/rockin’ out and singing along. I loved it. It was one of the most rewarding times I’ve had on stage. I didn’t feel sick at all when I was up there and felt the happiest and most confident I can remember. Everyone was so nice and supportive – and all the bands rocked. Marino, To A Science, Oddzar, Eat Your Neighbors, Swath.. the list goes on (there were 13 bands). I even got presents! I got nominated but didn’t win the costume contest. It’s okay – the guy that looked like a woman was hotter anyways haha. I was dressed up as someone in a mental ward. A lot of people thought I was supposed to be from “Silence of the Lambs”. The shirt had these straps and is all bondage-like. I think I might wear the shirt just in general haha. And I had this mask on. Which really sucked since it was so hot in there that night, but I needed to cover my face. See… I was on steriods for when I had an ear infection and so my face is puffy and I have a lot of acne. That’ll probably go away within a month (I’m hoping… wish it could be sooner). So anyways, it covered that up.

Sunday, Oct. 31 – Couldn’t really do anything for Halloween like I had planned. But that’s okay, the show the night before was my fun. But I did manage to go to the 98 Rock station and give Matt Davis the copy of our new song “Muckraker”. I talked with him for a bit. He’s so friggin’ awesome. Then I did a recorded promo thingie with me talking and introducing the song that he played before he aired the song. Did I mention I love Matt Davis? Oh and they also aired Muckraker that night on DC101 I believe.

So things were going well but at the same time not. The medication I was taking I thought was making me feel better. And it helped me sleep really well at night. But starting on the Thursday before Halloween weekend, I could barely sleep. See… I’d sleep, but not really. It’d take hours to sleep. My back automatically cramped up when I laid down. And my heart would start racing and my mind was thinking a million different things. And no matter what I tried to do to relax, or even when I finally decided to take sleeping medication and pain medication that would work any other time, it didn’t help. When I finally did sleep, it was only half-sleep. And then I’d wake up with my chest hurting, heart racing, a random thought, or I’d have to pee. And even though I was so tired, I couldn’t go back to sleep.

Then on Monday I had the worst attack I’ve had to date. It was so scary. Usually I can kinda predict when they are going to happen. My heart will start to race and I’ll just do breathing techniques and it’ll go away. This time it came out of nowhere. And it started with an intense pain in my heart/chest. It last for a couple hours. It was violent. It felt like my heart was skipping. It felt like what I would think a heart attack feels like, though I’ve never had one of those. The pain was so bad and I was crying through it. I was so scared. No matter what I did to try to control it and make it go away, it would get slightly better and then come back again even worse. This happened at work. It was awful and embarassing. I didn’t want everyone to see that. But one good thing is the people at my work are so nice and supportive. And my manager’s daughter has the same thing I have, so he knows what I am going through. It’s really hard to explain to someone who isn’t dealing with it. So he was there to help me out and comfort me and give me advice while I was going through this. I went home that night. The heart pains kept coming back really sharp, though not as bad as what happened earlier.

The next day I went to go vote. Then I went to the hospital. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was getting worse and still not able to sleep. I was seeing spots and blobs that didn’t exist because I went all that time without sleep and my mind was going a little whacky. I wasn’t crazy or anything. But I wasn’t me anymore. I was there for at least 14 hours – plus I had to go to the pharmacy and all that so it was hours and hours before I could complete this. They ran a bunch of tests on me because my blood pressure and heart rate was so high. And in the past few days prior, I’d feel so hot and sweaty even though the weather was cold. So they kept checking my temperature. They a few blood tests, a urine test, and put all these wire things and stuck these electro-pads things on my chest and did some kind of test with a machine. I don’t even know what most of the tests were or what they were for – I was so out of it. Then I went to a different doctor who evaluated me for an hour or a couple hours (my perception of time was off at that point) and found out I was having an adverse reaction to the medication I was taking. So he prescribed me a different medicine which is similar but not the same.

By the time I left the hospital (I got there Tuesday afternoon/evening) it was around 8 AM Wednesday morning. So I went to Papermoon and ate breakfast. I was so friggin’ hungry! I sat there alone, sometimes with my head resting on the table and stuff. And I looked a mess. I think the people there thought I was crazy. Whatever haha. Ate my food and tried to kill some time before Rite Aid opened. When I got to my car I was sooo out of it. I had to wait in my car ‘cuz I would half sleep and couldn’t function or focus at all. So I stayed there for a while. Went to Rite Aid, came back in an hour and my prescription had been done. Thank God. Went home. Took my meds. Waited around and did some things around the house. Then went to bed. Actually got three hours of sleep. When I first woke up I felt like the me that was on the old medication. But as I started waking up and some time went by, I felt so much better. Still tired but a lot more calm. Relax. Chill. Still not 100% me but the most normal I’ve felt in a month. That night I got 4 hours of sleep.

I feel so much better now. I’m still having some muscle pain at night but it’s a lot better than before. I can actually fall asleep! But I’ve been having muscle pains throughout the day. But compared to what I was going through before, I feel sooo much better. I’m still not “well” but much improved. I feel like the old me again almost. Thank G-d. As each day goes by I’ve been able to get a little bit more rest. The longer I take the medicine, the better I should be able to get rest. Right now, my sleep is still interrupted, but I have an easier time falling back asleep. But I’ve been having some whack dreams! The medicine also makes you drowsy as a side effect, but in my case that’s a good thing. It helps! The only thing that sucks is sometimes during the day I’ll get extra drowsy. But again, I’m in a better situation than before.
Since taking the new medication, I haven’t had an attack. Here and there my heart will race slightly or I’ll have chest pains, but not an attack. And it’s mild. It’s nothing compared to before. I feel like I have so much more control over my life now.

The thing about this past month is that even though I’ve been sick, I’ve been the happiest I’ve been since I can remember. Just knowing why I’m sick and being able to get treatment and learning how to deal with it actually makes me feel like I have more control over my life in a weird way. It’s also made me realize how much I have. I have so many supportive people around me. From my friends, family, my bandmates, the fans, and my co-workers. There are a few people who don’t understand and don’t care. But that doesn’t matter. I am so lucky to be surrounded by some amazing people and it’s really made me realize who and what is important in life. And what really doesn’t matter. I realize how much I have and how great my life really is. I feel like I enjoy life and each day – even if I’m not doing anything special, exciting, or noteworthy. I love the band and it’s been going great. My new job is so awesome. I’m lucky to be living with a great friend who understands me and is just a great person. I couldn’t really ask for much more.

One thing I want to mention is that what I have is really complicated to explain. If you have what I have, you understand what I’m talking about here. If you don’t, it’s really hard. Not that I don’t want to explain it more, but it’s really hard to understand. Before I was going through all this and someone else I knew was having these problems, I just didn’t get it. Now I completely understand.

I’m going to have to see a doctor on a regular basis and be on the medications I’m on for a while. How long? I dunno. Could be months, could be years. Sucks to know you are depending on medications to get by but at least there is some kind of treatment as opposed to none. No cure, but treatment.

I want to point out that I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me! People say that to me and I’m like NO! Going through all this sucked. Especially the past couple weeks. But like I said before it’s made my life better in the weirdest way and it brought my family close together when I thought that would never happen. This whole thing was a blessing in disguise.

I have so much to look foward to – the band has some great shows coming up. And soon I’ll start going out again. This weekend we have out of town shows where we have to travel a few hours. I get to travel again! Go on a road trip without having to really worry about anything happening or if I physically would get dizzy or not be able to handle it. I’ll be able to do it.

I’m not gonna let this thing get to me. I’m gonna kick its ass. Things are only going to get better for me and my life is gonna get even better.


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