For about the past 7 weeks, Amanda has been unwell. No, back up: for about the past 8 months, Amanda's been feeling strange.
It began early last Fall with her hearing a curious whooshing sound whenever the house was quiet. She dealt with it for a while, then got irritated and did some research. We found some interesting candidates, like Eustachian Tube Disorder, all sorts of ear infections, and simple allergies. This last, being the easiest to "fix", became the subject of her great interest. She embarked on a thorough cleaning of the house. Grandma clean.
Things seemed to get better, but she occasionally would still complain that she could feel her pulse strongly.
Then in either January or February, she started having more "allergy" symptoms, so she started taking decongestants. Daily. For 3 weeks. I can't take 'em: they make me feel like I'm looking down at the world from about 5 feet above my head. They raise her mother's heart-rate. And she was starting to feel the same way. So she stopped.
A couple of days after coming off the decongestants, we got our first real clue that something was WRONG. The light palpitations and light-headedness continued. After a couple of weeks of this, Amanda was convinced that the 21-day fusillade of decongestants had permanently damaged her. Then came a reasonably warm day: warm enough to go for a nice outdoor run. 10 minutes after heading out the door, she was back, and looking horrible. She said that her heart felt like it was going to burst from her chest, and you could watch the veins pulse in her neck. When asked how far she'd run, she said "two blocks". Bear in mind that she'd been doing 30 - 45 minutes per night on the elliptical up to just a few days prior.
Then she started having more serious palpitations. She couldn't go up the stairs without getting them.
Finally she made an appointment to see a doctor. Her GP referred her to a cardiologist who performed a Nuclear Stress Test and made her wear a Holter Monitor. She then went back to her GP, who said the results showed nothing interesting. He then sent her back to the cardiologist, who scheduled her for an echocardiogram. During all this time (3 weeks of Dr. Tennis Match), nobody ever took any blood.
Last week, she had a fun list of bizarre symptoms: a toe-nail fell off. Just fell off. (Yuck!) We were watching BSG and she started complaining that she couldn't see the action all that well: made me turn down the lights in the room and told me that the show was strangely lighted. Then her left hand started tingling (I made her go take an aspirin immediately!). She got cold sweats. Shivers. Then a 3-day fever.
Finally she began to lose her vision. She'd had a floater for a few days, then a big gray haze settled in on her right eye.
On Friday night she went ghost-gray pale, and her ankles were badly swollen.
Saturday she nearly passed out in the shower, and throughout the day her haze-gray blindness engulfed more of her right eye.
Even so, it took much cajoling to get her to the hospital.