I've been putting off when and how to share some recent events in my life. Partially because I've been busy but mostly because I wasn't sure if I wanted to, should or could write about it.
Today as I lay on the couch, racked with guilt and trying to avoid tears I decided that perhaps writing about this would bring me some comfort and peace. Or at a minimum allow me to think through what I am feeling.
Tomorrow, Saturday, I go to the hospital for an MRI and MRA, procedures I am all too familiar with. Recent symptoms have caused me some concern, but during our trip to Minnesota I had episode which frankly shook me to my core.
I woke up the first morning at 3 am, with intense burning and itching in my feet, legs and hands. They were not hurting but achy and sort of numb. I soaked them, rubbed them and applied lotion with little relief. I had an extremely difficult time walking and couldn't use my hands a few hours later. I couldn't grip, snap or clasp things, and walking was hard and exhausting. This lasted 3 days, and I was in bed for the duration. The fourth and fifth days I managed with a wheelchair to gain a bit more mobility and my hands improved. The next week I was fine, or right as rain, as my mom would say. It was bizarre.
I avoided doing internet searches and attempting self diagnosis. One, I don't think it's usually a great idea because I know too many people who unconsciously develop symptoms after reading about possibilities online. And two, I needed to be positive and while my gut was telling me this was serious I didn't need to catastrophize it all by seeing page after page of doom and gloom. I didn't go to the ER because I knew from experience that this would call for a series of tests, and specialists and would take some time to work through. I never felt any symptom that was life threatening or I would have gone. I decided to get home to my support, and familiarity and go from there.
In addition to these symptoms I had been ignoring others as well. I have frequent numbness in my face, particularly my nose, mouth and chin. I have had diffiulty with vertigo and have fallen down and even up my stairs a couple times a week for some time. I have trouble getting my hands to do what I want as well and I was chalking it up to developing into a clutz in my mid-thirties. The itching is also frequent in my hands and feet. I even have a bit of cognitive difficulty sometimes making very little sense when I speak, without thoroughly thinking about what I want to say. I use the wrong words or can't come up with the words. More than just not getting my kids names right, which I do all the time!
I have had one similar episode a few years back and these other symptoms intermittently. Our concern is that I have MS, we'll see. I have some heart problems, allergies, surgeries and have had an aneuysm rupture in my brain too so I have, let's say a "colorful" medical history. A history I have chosen to ignore for some time now.
I move most days at top speed, running my home, organizing things and staying right in the thick of life. For a few months I have felt my energy slipping away. I tire easily, and take days to recover from a major exertion. This is not me.
Yesterday Steve and I scored some cheap tickets to a Jimmy Buffett concert in the Lou. After a full day in the life around the house we left about 4-ish and returned around 12:30 am. We walked a mile to the venue from the parking lot, waited online for the gates to open to get good seats in the lawn (which we did!) and then stood and danced for the concert. Today I feel like Wiley Coyote having been flattened by a boulder.
Feeling this way is bad enough. But what is worse, so much worse and paining to me is the overwhelming guilt and worthlessness I feel. I had a long heated discussion with God this morning. I cannot lose the one thing in my life that defines me, and makes me feel worthwhile, serving my family and others. What am I, who am I like this?
The answer is: I don't know. For Miss Control that is a tough pill to swallow. Very tough.
So today is a bad day, I feel bad, I feel upset, I am frustrated and sad. I am going to have to learn to embrace and enjoy the good days, relax and let the bad days be, accept all the help and support of my wonderful husband, children and friends and moreover allow God to redefine and reshape me.
I am so blessed to have this amazing husband, these kids, my mom and the best friends a girl could want seeing me through this time. My cup runneth over, really.