Hyponatremia and Central Pontine Myelinolysis

What is hyponatremia? Information regarding CPM and EPM.

Archive for the tag “abdominal pain”


I have had very vivid dream since I was a kid. I don’t know why, or why I dream about some things. I don’t believe that dreams hold secret meanings or prophecies. Generally, I believe that dreams are our psyche’s way of relating encounters and memories or even possibly dealing with feelings that we can’t necessarily handle in our daily lives, but last night, I had a dream that was so overwhelming that I woke up with a bittersweet hope, and it faded to bittersweet despair within a minute. It was dream that made me want to close my eyes and hope that it would continue. I wished that I could just transport myself back into that dream and stay there. It stayed with me, and I’ve spent the past day just absorbing it over and over again as it starts to fade from my memory.

So, I’ve been sharing it with my friends, with Tom, etc. And now, I’ve decided to write about it because I hope that I can keep it in the moment of forever, and I hope that maybe I’ll dream about it again. For once, I wish that I did believe that dreams can be prophecies, that they can become reality.

I dreamt that I was a doctor, actually a resident, and we (a group of other residents and an older doctor) were making rounds. We were new, and we were excited to be on the floor. We stopped first in the ER, and a patient was having severe abdominal pain. The older doctor asked, “what do we do in a case of severe abdominal pain? Anyone?”  I responded, “Run a full blood panel, a pregnancy test due to the woman’s age, and I would suggest doing an immediate CT scan to check for possible appendicitis or ectopic pregnancy, assuming that they’ve already done a physical of course.”

The doctor in charge was impressed and ordered the testing. In my dream, a patient across the room started to become aggravated. He was waking up from a surgery that repaired a aneurysm in his throat. (I did not even know if that could actually occur, but it turns out it can). He had been intubated, and he did not realize what had happened. He suddenly was waking up in a strange place, in severe pain, and he couldn’t speak. He was trying to get out of bed and go across the room. The nurses were trying to restrain him before he did significant damage. My group was already moving to the next floor, but I stepped in to try to assist the nurses.

Because, I knew what it meant to be sick and afraid, I was able to step in and help this man, Joe, and ease his fears. I was able to lead him back to his bed, explain the situation, and calm him.

I told him that I would take care of him. I would help him. I got him a couple of warm blankets, as they moved him to his actual room, and I gave him my name on a piece of paper. If he needed anything, at any time, he could contact me, just give a note to a nurse. I would do anything that I could to help him.

In that dream, I felt such a huge surge of contentment that it woke me up. It was like I knew this was where I was supposed to be and knew this was what I was supposed to do, and it felt so real. The warmth of the blankets, the color of the florescent lights, every wrinkle of Joe’s face, and his dark brown eyes full of appreciation. It was as if I was really there doing those things, talking to those people. Everything seemed so real, but most importantly the sense of contentment and belonging. Within seconds of waking up, it was like being doused with the cold water of reality. I almost started to cry.

Why did I have that dream? What was the purpose of experiencing that moment in my life, to feel that moment of contentment and then face the reality of what my life is?

There is no greater heartbreak then to see what could have been and face the reality of what is. It is even more bitter to know that this shouldn’t have happened. There were ways to prevent it. There were ways to fix it, and for whatever reason, this happened despite them.

I don’t know what is going to happen in the future. I don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, but if I can stop CPM/EPM from robbing you of your dreams, I will.

March 19, 2012

Today has been one crazy day. I woke up in the middle of the night last night with an unbelievable sense that I needed to vomit, but I was extremely tired, so I rolled back over and went to sleep.

I swear that is what happened, but I can’t remember for certain because it feels like it might have been a dream.

I’m just not sure.

I woke up this morning with this nagging abdominal pain, and I contemplated going to the ER for it. I literally thought, “Wow, I haven’t been to the hospital in awhile. Maybe I should go.”

Now to be fair to myself, this abdominal pain has been coming and going for the past several weeks, probably a month or longer. I truly can’t remember for certain, but it’s been a long time and it’s just gotten to be horrible. Not because it’s excruciating, but because it’s continuous and random.

It’s so freaking frustrating to the point of where you would love to cut your abdomen open with a butter knife and dig around in that spot to take whatever it is that’s causing it out.

I’ve never had a toothache, but I’m really certain it would be like that. This deep throbbing, aching pain.

SO to have that continuously happen and then to awaken from a dead sleep with extreme nausea, well, I thought maybe today would be a good day to spend at the ER….but I didn’t go.

No, I couldn’t bring myself to spend at least 3 hours or more sitting in an uncomfortable, being prodded with needles to only be told, “we can’t figure out the problem. You aren’t dying, so here’s some pain meds. Follow up with your doctor tomorrow and come back if it gets worse.”

Instead, I decided to WALK to a nearby park with my 6 month old puppy and 3 year old daughter. The park is only a mile away or just over, but it seemed to be 3 or 4 miles at least. My daughter loved it. The puppy actually loved it, and I felt proud of myself for doing it. And then I made it back home and crashed for an hour before I had to leave for work.

Here’s the thing..this was a really crazy thing to do. I mean I didn’t feel well, and my poor puppy literally plopped on to the ground and refused to walk further about a block into the walk, so I had to start carrying her. She’s pretty small, maybe 6 pounds. I carried her for about a block but then my hand and arm started cramping.

It started as a dull ache and it built to this fairly excruciating pain. My arm became stiff and sore. The cramping became intense to the point that I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to extend my arm. The same type of feeling was moving through my hips and right leg as well.

I wondered if it is all related. Is the abdominal pain, the nausea, the cramping all being caused by the same problem? I’ve had the cramping in my hands and feet for months now, but this is becoming a daily problem, and it’s becoming so severe that I wonder what I’m going to do in the future. How am I going to get past this?

So if you add this to the abdominal pain, the ER sounded like the right call this morning, but I didn’t go.

I’m certain that none of the doctors in that are in the local hospitals will be able to figure this out. I don’t know if it’s related to EPM. I don’t know if it’s related to one of my autoimmune issues. I don’t know if it’s purely random.

The only thing I do know is that this these issues are not getting better. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I don’t know how I’m going to live past it.

I guess it’s like everything else. You do it one step at a time.

It’s just like the walk I went on this afternoon. I was very much like my poor puppy. By the time we got to the end of the parking lot, my hips were cramping. By the time we got a block away, I felt like I could join the puppy, sprawled on the sidewalk, four legs to four corners and wait for someone to come and pick us up. I actually contemplated calling a friend to come and get us, but I kept saying to myself, “we’re almost there. we can do this.”

We didn’t make record time, but that’s okay. It wasn’t a race. Eventually, we’ll get to where we’re going. It’s all a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, and when things suddenly start to get more difficult, we keep on going because we can.

Don’t worry if you start to lag behind a little. I’ll walk beside you.


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