Sincere Thanksgiving

Life is great.  Really.

I haven’t been able to write in about 10 days because my current multiple sclerosis relapse took a serious turn for the worse.  I woke up one morning a few weeks ago, with a loss of vision in one eye, blurred and double vision in both eyes, and I was having serious balance problems–that’s code for “falling on my butt with every other step.”

After waiting it out for a few days (I was told I had to just be patient through this relapse, which actually started on January 13), we called my neurologist.  He is sending me to a specialist, which we have anxiously been awaiting–just 2 more weeks now!–and has been hesitant to treat me until I’m seen by said specialist.

Well, because my symptoms escalated so quickly, the neurologist decided to treat the relapse.  Unbeknownst to me, treatment included 5 days of high-powered IV corticosteroid infusions.  Whatever.  I need to see.  This disease can affect so many different parts of the body, all at once, that it is hard to diagnose.  For me personally, I can handle pain much better than what I call “head stuff.”  I can ignore physical pain.  I can’t ignore mental confusion, loss of vision, light sensitivity.  Those things impair my quality of life.  The things I love need some sort of mental capability (however little I may have), such as reading, writing, movies, theatre, etc.  So, even though I wasn’t sure what IV treatment would be like, I was up for it.

The next day (last Thursday to be exact), I began IV treatment.  (I’ll share more on this experience later, when I was blessed with the gift of perspective.)  Almost immediately, I saw results.  Friday morning, just after one treatment, my vision cleared up.  I still could not read well, but I no longer had blurry or double vision.  And the blind spot was gone!  Saturday morning, vision was completely clear, I no longer had balance problems, physical pain, and no fatigue or fever.  This morning, just after 3 treatments, I felt no sting of the MS symptoms that have plagued me for 2 months.

Nothing.

No pain.  No vision problems.  No fatigue.  No balance issues.  No numbness.  No confusion.  Absolutely nothing.  All MS symptoms are gone.

I don’t know if I’ve ever woken up so happy before in my entire life.  How could I not be elated?  I could actually walk to the bathroom without holding on to the wall.  I wasn’t exhausted after getting dressed.  Even better, I could get dressed by myself!

According to The Husband, this image best fits me this morning.  Seriously couldn't stop smiling.  :)

According to The Husband, this image best fits me this morning. Seriously couldn’t stop smiling.   :)

Like I said, Life is great!

Even though I went to Mass yesterday afternoon with my mom, I decided to join The Husband and my boys again this morning.  I felt such an immense amount of peace and calm, that I just knew I had to give credit where it is due.  What better way is there to pay homage to our Lord than adoring Him in the most Holy Mass?

We usually arrive at church pretty early to have personal prayer time in the quiet.  Today was no different.  Now, I’m usually extremely private when it comes to my personal prayer, but I feel called to share this with you.  So, rather than paraphrasing how I’m feeling today, I’ll just share my personal conversation with God.  Here goes: Continue reading

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Fear and Loathing in an MRI Machine

***To clear up any confusion, please note that this entry was written before I received my diagnosis.***

“Hi, this is Random-Chick-Name calling from Random-Medical-Violation-Facility.  I just wanted to remind you of your MRI of the brain and MRV tomorrow afternoon.  Do you have any questions about your procedures?”  –Perky Receptionist

“Yes.  I’m claustrophobic, but I have a prescription for Valium.  Is it ok to take one before the procedure?”

“Sure, that’s fine!”  (Perky Receptionist was definitely NOT on Valium.)

“Ok, how far am I going to be in the machine?  Is it just my head?”

“Yes, and maybe your shoulders.”

“And, how long will the tests take?”

“You’ll be in the machine a total of 45 minutes for both tests.  We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!”  (Seriously, why was she so happy?!?)

As eager as Perky Receptionist was, I just could not share her enthusiasm.  I was extremely nervous.  I had never had an MRI before, but I knew it would be a tight space, and I knew I hated tight spaces.  Trying to be optimistic, I planned on taking my Calm-Your-Butt-Down drug (luckily, I never take these, so one prescription can last me years), and I planned on saying the rosary.  I figure God gave us ten fingers for this reason, I keep track of the decades on one hand, my Hail Marys on the other.

Fast forward to the big day.  The Husband drove me to the MRI, telling me that if “you’re a good girl for your test, I’ll get you a cookie after.”  (Is he confusing me with the children???)  After waiting a short while, I was ushered to the back (technically called “The Medically Necessary Torture Chamber”), where I got to strip down, then put on a lovely hospital gown.  Continue reading

Mystery Solved

“I know God won’t give me anything I can’t handle.  I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”  –Blessed Mother Teresa

It’s been a rough two years for me.  I’ve had some health problems, and no one has really been able to help.  My doctors have all shuffled me from one to the other, all claiming that my problems were not their problems (professionally speaking).  I went from never feeling bad, to feeling bad every couple of months.  I’ve been diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), Epstein Barr Virus, severe vitamin deficiency, and–my personal favorite–depression.  All were treated (I even had a surgical procedure for the PCOS), yet I never felt better.  I would be healthy and energetic for a few months, then I would get sick for a few months.

Then, shortly after my grandfather’s death, I woke up one morning extremely dizzy, with blurred vision, a pounding in my head, muffled hearing, and left-sided numbness.  I got out of bed, then fell against a wall.  As scary as that episode was, it was the best thing that could have happened.  It sent me to the ER–which found nothing.  I was told that I had an anxiety attack.  (I don’t know how one wakes up with anxiety–apparently that was one hell of a nightmare.)  But, the ER doctor had me follow-up with a neurologist a few days later, who ran a battery of testing, including MRIs, CT scans, a VEP, and a lumbar puncture.

After one month of testing and waiting, I finally got an answer last week.  The neurologist came into the examination room, looked at my husband and myself, and proceeded to show us numbers and test results that I didn’t understand.  But, even though I didn’t understand his medical terminology, I did understand his facial expressions.  His face betrayed his professionalism; he had bad news.  What was his “bad news?” Continue reading

God, Angels, and Seat Belts…A Conversation with Philip

The Younger Boy and I have some of our best conversations in the car.  We live in the country, so it takes us a little longer than others to get to our final destinations.  Since his mind is always running, we talk about all sorts of things, ranging from superheroes to schoolwork to ice cream.  But, more than anything, we talk about God.  Here is a conversation from the other day:

“I’m so glad God made cars.” –Philip

“Well, God didn’t really make cars.  People did.  But,” –Me, until the kid interrupted

“But, God made people.”

“Right.  He blessed us with intelligence to create technology.”

“And we use tech-whatever to make cool stuff.”

“Right.”

“But, sometimes bad people Continue reading

In Mourning…

Today is Good Friday, the day that we solemnly reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for us.  Let us pray:

O Jesus, Who by reason of Thy burning love for us
hast willed to be crucified
and to shed Thy Most Precious Blood
for the redemption and salvation of our souls,
look down upon us here gathered together
in remembrance of Thy most sorrowful Passion and Death,
fully trusting in Thy mercy;
cleanse us from sin by Thy grace,
sanctify our toil,
give unto us and unto all those who are dear to us our
daily bread,
sweeten our sufferings,
bless our families,
and to the nations so sorely afflicted,
grant Thy peace,
which is the only true peace,
so that by obeying Thy commandments,
we may come at last to the glory of Heaven.
Amen.

But I Don’t Wanna!

“Jesus shows us that there is one area where no compromise should be accepted: God’s will.  No matter what the cost, no matter what we may have to lose or give up, nothing should stand in the way of what the Father asks of us.”  –from ‘The Sacred Heart for Lent’

Since starting my spiritual journey, I’ve prayed for God’s will to be done in my life, for me to be open to whatever His will may be, and for me to follow that will wholeheartedly. But, I didn’t mean it.  Not really.  I’ve wanted to serve God, but I wanted to do it my way.  Because, after all, I know better.  Excuse me, miss…your arrogance is showing.  Yes, I know.  I’m afraid pride will be the downfall of me.

About a year ago, I started to have a strong feeling that God was indeed calling me.  I had an anxiousness that just would not go away.  I was restless. Continue reading