PINS & NEEDLES: A HEALTH SCARE.
On that Saturday, my mother and I went for our monthly pedicure. If I don't drag her to the nail shop, she will not get her talons clipped. She is not one for primping. She will buy every piece of jewelry on the market but her nails, nah.
On this day, I sat in the pedicure chair whiles my mother stood over me, chatting with me because there was no available seat. She was blocking the little walkway in the studio with her superhero stance and the owner had words with her. My usual passive self told my mother to not engage and simply get out of her way.
The owner, a Bangladeshi woman in her early 30s was cussing at my mother in Bangla. I know this because I have a couple Bangladeshi friends and their general demeanor when they are upset and cursing is very similar. Unfortunately, the only Bangla word I know is kuta. Dog. Quite useless in this case. My mother is not one to back down so she hurled insults right back. So the day was quite eventful.
Later in the evening, I had this prickling sensation in my feet. Intense tingling. It was like a pain that climbed. From the soles of my feet to my calves. I could feel my nerves almost pulsating. Was it a pedicure gone wrong?? My mother had declared the salon owner a witch. So for this to happen, her African mother conspiracy theory hat was on. I had to contact my emergency doctor: WebMD.
The common answer I kept getting from forums and web diagnosis where a possible symptom of diabetes. I have PCOS. No severe but bad enough to have had a procedure a couple years ago to take out a cyst. Could it be the devilish side effect of PCOS, insulin resistance acting up now?? It has been linked to my rapid weight gain so I was wondering if it could be contributing to this.
It was a Saturday so I couldn't do much. I had to wait till a weekday to see my doctor. The quickest relief according to Google was to soak my feet in warm water and salt. This was a suggestion I found after not sleeping and panicking for 2 days. At this time, the pain seemed to be coordinating with my heart strings. It came like a rush, touched my heart and pricked! Every few seconds. I got goosebumps each time. I cried. I was being tortured by my body. We have had all these years together and now, you choose to torture me? Why?
Let me say this: I do not wish this pain on anyone. Not even the most despicable person on earth. I do not wish this on the people who step on my feet and keep walking in New York City subway and I hate those people. It is horrible! Nothing matters. Not water. Not salt. Not family. You cannot even think. It is the most terrible pain I have ever felt. Lets put this into perspective: I have twisted my ankle and neck before and that pain can not compare to what I felt in my limbs and body.
The web concoction worked and I slept a while. As soon as i could, I was off to my doctor's office. My height and weight was checked. My pressure taken and surprisingly it was normal. My doctor is a Guinean reverend. I get along with him. An African religious man who is also highly educated, just like my dad. Somehow he fuses medicine and spirituality together. It just makes sense.
I told him about my symptoms and the PCOS history. Right away, he said he didn't think it was that but he'll be absolutely sure once the bloodwork came back. He ordered a full bloodwork. Thyroid, Glucose, Cholesterol, STDs, everything. At a point, the nurse who had warned me that she'll be drawing a lot of blood, asked me if I was comfortable with her drawing more. I could have given a pint to find out what the hell was going on with me.
2 more days of pins and needles. Day and night. 3 Advil tablets a day. Many foot soaks later, I was called in to the doctor's office. Panicking is a conservative way to put what I was feeling. He read the report and said, everything is fine. In fact, everything is pristine. Nothing to worry about.
I am okay? But I'm not. I remember asking him, "Do I need to see a neurologist?".
No, you don't.
Well then who?
"A psychiatrist, maybe.
This is an anxiety symptom. Take it easy for a while and if it doesn't go away, we'll explore the option."
I don't feel anxious. Or am I?
I looked it up like the millennial I am and yes, he was absolutely right. Feeling pins and needles, which feel like overactive nerves is a symptom of anxiety. And on the 21st of December, I ended up in the emergency room for labored breathing. Once again, the doctor mentioned it(anxiety) in passing and asked if my heart has been beating way too fast lately and yes indeed, it is.
So my friends, I have not purposely stopped writing. I love working on this blog and my YouTube. It is not only a hobby but a passion. Behind my comedic posts on the internet, is a lot of fear and physical pain. I am doing much better today and I am taking it easy. These days, the pricking happens once in a while and I treat it like an alarm clock. I take a pause, relax, regroup and carry on. So far, so good. Hope the new year brings us much needed happiness and zen.
I am here and will be here, every week. Don't feel sorry for me. I will be fine.