This month I couldn't afford to put even half my usual amount on my Metro Bus Card so the plan was to rely on my bike as much as possible.
Normally this would mean an 8 mile ride to work and an 8 mile ride home, 5 days a week, and anything else as the need came up.
Last week the need came up...and this 54 year old paid for it.
On Wednesday I had to ride my bike 5 miles to drop off papers for my SNAP Food Stamp Card renewal, then ride 20 miles to work from there.
I made it with 15 minutes to spare.
I felt OK and, after a 15 min. rest started my 5 1/2 hour shift (includes 1 break).
After my bike ride home I only got 6 hours sleep before riding my bike back to work the next morning.
I still felt fine but, during my first 15 min. break I did not go sit down; I went looking for something instead.
Around noon, as I began to ring up a sale for a customer, I felt light-headed; the next thing I knew I found myself on the floor chatting with a co-worker and soon a paramedic.
I was persuaded it was best to go to the emergency, at Ben Taub Hospital, as a precaution.
In the past I have blogged about experiencing a stress-related seizure at work, in 2010, and all the follow-up tests, and the smaller event, just before moving to Texas, in summer 2012.
I think this was simple exhaustion.
By 2pm, sitting in the waiting area, at Ben Taub, I was feeling almost back to normal. At 3pm and, again, at 6pm a check of my vitals showed a return to normal.
I ate my sack lunch, from work, watched TV news, and read a book, while waiting to see a doctor.
Finally, at 830pm, I asked when I might be seen and was told that with 20 people ahead of me (a number that could go up, based on conditions of in-coming), it could be another 7 hours.
Since I would not be charged unless seen by a doctor, I took the bus home, fed the cats and slept 8 hours.
My only concern is how much the ambulance trip will cost me and if my county Gold Card covers any of it.
My next regular doctor appointment is not until the end of May, when my anti-seizure med prescription will be renewed. I will try to get in earlier than that.
Friday was a day off, so since I got paid Thursday I paid various bills, went shopping for cat food and litter and rested, sleeping another 8 hours that night in prep for a 7 to 3 Saturday shift.
My next paychecks are the 24th and 8th. I can't see anyone for May Rental Assistance until the 1st, it seems and my rent is due the 3rd.
Taking the bus to work, Saturday morning, I arrived to see my bike still safely locked where I left it so thanked security for not letting anyone auction it off.
The return to work went fine.
I rested during my breaks and lunch.
I shared a few hugs with co-workers glad to see me and who said they had heard expressions of concern from customers who spent Friday asking about their fave cashier (guess word travels fast) and got a blow by blow account of how I went down.
Comments and emails came from friends and fellow bloggers, and a couple of donations to the pay pal on my cat blog were also part of the day.
I am going to put money on my bus card, next week, to last the rest of the month and allow for less bike riding. A test will come Monday (originally a day off but added a week ago to earn a bit more) as I get home around 1230am tonite and return to work by 9am.
I chatted with the gal who was first to come to my aid and she said I just slumped over the register and the customer told her I needed help.
When she saw what type of help she grabbed me and helped me to the floor as she was familiar with epileptic seizures and it looked like I had fainted. She and others were so concerned it brought them to tears she said.
I have shared how the last 4 years have been a struggle, what with seizures, a broken ankle, eye surgeries related to cancer and the loss of a beloved animal companion, but there have been the good things in my life, from new friends, guest posts, a convention, being paid to write, rescuing a kitten and adding her to my family, getting a poem in a prestigious newsletter and more.
I had planned to attend my new church, today, and next Sunday, but decided to rest today before heading to work. Due to bus schedules I would have to ride my bike a mile or so to and from the church, as the bus that goes to the church does not run on Sunday.
In other news, of a more positive note...
I downloaded a free 70 page e-book, from Authors Publish Magazine, that " guides you through the process of getting your writing published in literary journals, as an important step toward building a writing career.""
I still have faith in my decision to move here and trust God that positive things are coming my way.