Sorry I haven’t written in a few days. A lot has happened, well, one major thing. On Tuesday I spend 10 hours of quality time with my husband—lying on a gurney in an ER room, hooked up to an IV and blood pressure machine. Oh, the fun! Years ago I rented a room from and lived with a former steadicam cameraman for the TV show ER in Los Angeles; I was hoping that would be as close as I would get to an ER in my life. After a CT scan and an MRI, I was told I didn’t have a stroke and they could also rule out Multiple Sclerosis, but they noted two bony lesions on my skull and “abnormal bone marrow signals in the cervical spine.”
Landon and I had gone to a playdate at his friend Abby’s house in the morning. The kids were having a great time playing, and it was nice to catch up with my friends Beth and Kate. We were all sitting down enjoying pizza for lunch when I started feeling faint. I know that feeling all too well from when I was younger, I used to faint every time I got stuck with a needle and sometimes for no reason. My left hand was feeling a bit weak, and when I finally told Kate and Beth about this, I noticed that I was slurring my speech and that my tongue felt heavy. By that time I was feeling really cold and shivering uncontrollably. We decided to call 911.
I was brought to the hospital by ambulance after Don picked up Landon at Beth’s house. I didn’t want him to see me leave on the gurney. The scariest part of all of this was that I was aware of my speech being off and that I could not quite connect my thought process with what was coming out of my mouth. All I was thinking was, what if this is a stroke, will I get the care I need in time? What will happen to Landon? At the hospital they ruled out a stroke after the CT scan, but they now wanted an MRI to get a closer look of what was going on. By then Don had arrived after dropping off Landon at my sister-in-law’s house.
We had to wait for me to get the MRI, then the MRI took half an hour (man, that machine is loud and confining!), and after that we must have waited another three hours. It’s weird what you think about when you have that much time on your hand. I noticed how very overweight many of the people working in the ER were and thought to myself: “How can you not take better care of your body when you see sick people all day long? If I get out of here, I will do all the things I know I haven’t been doing right—drink more water, exercise, get more sleep…” Regardless of the outcome, this experience was a wake-up call for me to not take my health, and life, for granted. No more blogging until 2 in the morning for me.
The next shift of doctors came in and we got a great new doctor, Dr. Lawrence, who made us laugh but also told me that he would have admitted me right away after hearing what has been going on with me for the last five weeks or so (I have seen three different doctors for a sore throat; enlarged lymph nodes; an inflamed, very painful neck muscle; the skin of my hands and feet peeling…). He finally explained the results of the MRI to us. After the shivering had stopped by itself, and I felt like my speech had gotten better during the time there, I really thought he would just hand me my discharge papers. But he didn’t. They had picked up on the two bony bumps I have had on my head since I can remember and also on the fact that there was something going on in my neck. Basically, the results didn’t tell us anything, though, so Dr. Lawrence said I need to follow up and find a doctor who is going to connect all these dots.
Since then I have seen my regular doctor again, who send me to a skin doctor (“I don’t know what it is, probably a result of a viral infection, we’ll never know.” Great). In a few days I will see a neurologist who hopefully has some answers. Meanwhile, I have been watching myself more closely. My thinking and talking was definitely still off on Wednesday. It’s scary when you can’t trust your body to do what you want it to do all of a sudden or when you don’t know if something else concerning your brain will happen. I could have another of these episodes at any time. Mostly I worry about Landon. We have a whole lifetime together in front of us, I just can’t be sick. I am very good about not driving myself crazy—this could all be nothing, I guess—but obviously I wonder what is wrong with me.
Give your children an extra hug today and tell them how much you love them.