Okay, so I’m really struggling to get started on this Blog post this morning, although I can’t exactly put my finger on why…..any thoughts? Oliver is not helping my productivity, but he is stinking cute <3
It has been a long, but beautiful summer, I’m so sad to see it go. Autumn in New England is here, with the leaves turning, warm days and cold, frosty nights. I’m a little behind in my posts, so I just wanted to drop a quick hello and give everyone some life updates.
This summer has been tough and fraught with issues overshadowing the gorgeous weather. I woke up one morning, with my vision so blurry, it was difficult to see. I have never worn glasses and while I initially chocked it up to just being morning fuzziness, after over an hour, it began to get pretty scary. It wasn’t only up close, but also far away. After a few harried phone calls to Bri, he once again left work to take me to a couple of emergency Doctor visits. Long story short, the eye Doc said I needed glasses, but wasn’t real clear on how or why the issue presented itself so abruptly. After doing a Neuro screening with Primary Care, we half-heartedly accepted what vision said and got the $300 glasses. One month later and the same thing has happened one more time and lasted many hours once again. Of interesting note, aside from these episodes, I can see perfectly fine without those glasses. Chock up another inconclusive episode and more wasted money. Do you like them?
As we moved past this, we were getting super excited for vacation. We rented a house on the Maine coast for the entire family! So all six of us, plus our fuzzy loves. It was something the whole family was looking greatly forward to!! Until of course, it hits. Why does it always seem to do that? As we tried to pack and prepare for our week away, I initially ended up at the Doctor for what we thought was yet another UTI. So with antibiotics in hand, we continued our packing until I was hit with tremendous abdominal pain two days later. I was doubled over for hours and none of the meds I have were doing anything to alleviate the extreme pain. Of course, my Primary Care was on vacation-could I wait until tomorrow? We weighed out our options and then, I felt it. There was a lump in my abdomen. All things considered and after four hours of horrendous pain, we went to the emergency room. For the first time ever, they didn’t even triage me-we were immediately whisked into a room. (still wearing those glasses). In intense pain, that was all new and totally unfamiliar to me, my Husband and I really struggled to not allow our minds to wander where they kept wandering. Lumps are never, ever good.
After an emergency CTScan and several hours, I was diagnosed with Colitis and an ovarian cyst-the lump, he said, was my swollen colon. We were given some new meds and sent on our way with instructions to see my regular Doc in a couple days, but grateful to at least know what was wrong. Since we were going on vacation, we ensured we did that prior to going. The Friday before leaving, we had the absolute privilege of meeting the covering Doc in the office, who started out by asking me why I went to the ER, before quickly upending the ER diagnosis and saying it was impossible for me to have Colitis. Yay. I’m not sure which was better; his appalling bedside manner or upending the diagnosis. His take? It was only a cyst and somehow I had an incredibly rare tear in my muscle. So rare, he’d only ever seen it once before. I think I was more comfortable with supposedly feeling my swollen colon. We went on vacation and put my health aside for the week. Which was glorious!!!
Who else gets huge relief from their symptoms while at the ocean? Anyone? Aside from loving our family time, the absolute best thing about being at the ocean is that I get tremendous relief from my symptoms. Not one, but nearly all my symptoms improve. It is just the best thing! After asking other people with conditions similar to my own, it seems that this also happens to alot of other people……and yes, we are desperately trying to relocate to the coast. It’s pretty cost prohibitive. So eventually, we’ll move to Maine.
After a really awesome and glorious vacation, we came back home. No surprise that I was pretty much immediately couch bound for a week. While it’s always a bummer to come back from vacation, it’s really horrible to come home to feeling awful again. It’s so freeing to feel better.
After finally settling back in, I had my Botox shots for migraines. I had been super, super anxious about the 31 needles to my head and face. So much so, I actually had canceled twice before. I pretty much go to bed with a headache or the start of a migraine every night, so we knew it was time. The procedure was actually not that bad at all; far better than I feared. The Neurologist had described it as only feeling like a bee sting. Ahm, I hate bees and typically run from them in the totally girly fashion of screaming and waving my arms like a lunatic. But…..that really was how it felt. He moved so quickly with each shot that there was really no time to react. I didn’t really have any after affects from the shots, but the following day I was so tired I felt drunk. Since I have alot of issues with medication sensitivity, he did not do the maximum dose. One week on and I’ve had one headache and one migraine, which is certainly an improvement. The biggest tell was when I cried this week. Typically as soon as the tears start, I get a migraine. I had a good, ugly cry this week and no migraine!!! The Botox shots are repeated every three months, so next time I have them, I’m sure he will do the maximum dose. Of considerable note, my eyelids didn’t droop; which is one of the major side effects.
Are you still with me?
While all this has been going on, I had a follow up Mammogram, which of course, I got a call back on. It needs to be repeated. Having already had one biopsy, it’s hard to ignore the impending doom a questionable mammogram puts over your head.
Moving on, my one year re-evaluation of my brain lesion was yesterday. As I laid there in the MRI tube, last night, pervasive thoughts of my own vulnerability and fragility came. Any changes, the tech asked? Ahm, blurry vision and episodes of shaking, nausea and dizziness. Do those count as changes? The symptoms, episodes and tests seem never ending. I suppose I should be grateful, I laid there trying to reason with myself. But with each test, unknown episode or new symptom comes the fear that my life remains truly in the hands of the Doc reading the results or the machine scanning my body. Time and again, Doctor visit after Doctor visit, my Husband and I are faced with my fragility and the pending doom that could lie behind this latest episode or symptom. While thus far, we have been super lucky, it doesn’t change the innate fear while you go through it all. The emotional upheaval has been truly scarring.
As we move on into October and the turning of the leaves, I have a month fraught with appointments and follow up testing. Maybe the Cardiologist can get to the bottom of the shaking episodes, which have been ruled out as being Hypoglycemia.
With so much turmoil, of late, I have been struggling emotionally and have been dealing with an uptick in the levels of fatigue. Are they connected? I’m sure. I wish I could just ignore what’s happening and cancel all the upcoming appointments and tests. I wish I could say that the lump that can’t be properly diagnosed, the questionable mammogram, blurry vision and shaking episodes weren’t throwing me over the edge. I wish someone, just once, could conclusively determine the root causes of all that I live with. And yet, this is life. It’s messy, it’s scary, it’s vulnerable.
So forgive me and my loss of productivity as of late. As I struggle to move through countless appointments and tests, I am trying to keep up on my writing. I hope to do a better job and do have some great ideas for upcoming posts. Thank you for bearing with me and as always, for reading. As I tell you all about what’s been happening in my life, I know that you all live with much of the same. Know that I am thinking of you and sending you my strength and well wishes. The path we are all on is often terrifying and certainly trying. As I struggle, I try to still look for the Blessings in my life and to take pause for the beauty that exists despite those struggles. I wish you all the same.
In the midst of all the darkness, fear and struggles, the beauty of life still shines through.
Cause look what also happened on vacation: