4.05.2012

Scared back to Life.

What started out as a semi-regular day today turned out to be one of the scariest.  Monday night in my Chemistry lab I had an episode of blurry vision, and my peripheral vision cut out temporarily.  I got dizzy and light headed, and found it difficult to catch my bearings.  I made it a few steps outside the class to call my mom (she's a Registered Nurse) to ask her opinion.  We guessed it was low blood sugar since I had eaten only a few hundred calories in the past two days.  She met me in the parking lot with tons of food and juice, and I started to feel better.

The next night when I went to my parent's house to celebrate my brother's birthday my father (an intensive care physician) said I should meet with a neurologist to see what was going on.  We figured it was a weird migraine thing, but my father likes to pull out all the stops just to make sure.  He called the doctor and got me in for the next morning (having connections helps)!

I had every intention of chatting with the doctor and have him prescribe me some meds and I would be on my way.  After checking my eyes and doing some hand-eye coordination tests he checked my reflexes.  When he tapped my left leg, I kicked him very enthusiastically...with my right leg!  Not the reaction either of us were expecting.  He mentioned that was odd, but didn't seem very alarmed, so I didn't worry.  Then he dropped the bomb.

My doctor told me he was ordering 3 MRI scans, and he wanted them done today.  There were many things that could be causing my symptoms, but her wanted to rule out M.S. M.S.

I immediately looked to my father, who was sitting there calmly.  My father is always calm.  He deals with extremely sick people everyday, and specialized in multi-organ failure.  I've never seen him not calm.  Especially when it involves someone he loves, he checks out and you'd never know what he was thinking.  I went blank after that, and didn't hear a word the doctor said the rest of the exam. 

I went to work and waited for the MRI department to call and say they were ready for me.  I was numb.  And I was terrified.  They finally called me down at 9:30.  I got ear plugs and an emergency ball to squeeze in order to stop the exam in case I panicked during the 2 hour closed MRI.  Normally this would scare me, but I was already too scared to say anything.

A lot went through my mind during those 2 hours.  My family, my boyfriend, myself.  What if I never get married.  What if I am never a mother. What if my best years already happened?  I know many people live positive fulfilled lives with M.S., but I don't think I'm strong enough to be like them.  I have an amazing man I love and a great life planned, but I spend most of my time being depressed that I work 45 hour weeks and go to school for another 20.  I'm stressed and crabby and rarely wake up with a smile.  What if I'd wasted my only time being miserable?

I talked to God a lot during those two hours.  I needed to know everything would be okay, no matter what the diagnosis turned out to be.  I needed to have something to believe in if my world came shattering down.  I just needed something to hold on to.  This was to closest I had ever come to being literally scared to death.  However, instead of scaring me to death, it lit a spark in me to promise if everything turned out okay to never wake up without a smile.  I promised if I were blessed enough to have a clear scan that I would never ever take my life and health for granted.  I was so scared, I just wanted to get out of that machine and get back to living.  Somehow the phrase scared to death didn't sound right, this experience had scared me back to life.

Those 2 hours finally came to an end, and my doctor called with my results about 30 minutes later.  It wasn't clear, but it isn't M.S.  I have a cyst on my pituitary gland, it's not a big deal, just needs to be watched.  Sometimes they can develop into benign tumors, which can be easily removed.  I also have something called a Chiari Malformation.  Basically, my brain is also too big for my skull, so it's protruding through my foramen magnum and therefore opening my spinal canal more than normal to compensate.  It's weird, and can cause problems in severe cases, but for me it's something I have apparently had my whole life, and since I am done growing it's nothing to worry about. I'll just be hyper reflexive, and now have a reason behind my terrible hand-eye coordination! I will still have to go in for some more testing to check out my reflexes, but all I cared about was that my brain is a little weird, but I'm not dying!  I don't have a degenerative disease! Now it's time to start living!

First up? D.C. for a girls weekend with my mama! We're headed shopping and going to the National Cathedral for Easter service! I can't think of a better way to celebrate my new outlook on life.  I won't have a computer while I'm away, but feel free to follow my adventures on twitter and instagram! RobinJay17 :) Now I'm going to sleep so this roller coaster of a day can finally be over!

 Happy (almost) Friday!

4 comments:

  1. Girl! I'm so sorry to hear about the scare you had this week!

    But, I'm also glad that everything is okay. I'm also glad that you were brave enough to even write about all of this here.

    Your perspective on the situation is really great! Sometimes we take so much for granted and sometimes it takes a scare like that to remind us to live and be grateful!

    I'm glad all is good and I hope to hear more updates later on! Have a great Easter Weekend! :)

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  2. So scary! Glad everything turned out ok.

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  3. Just reading through your Special Posts section. How weird! My brain is too big for my skull too. The only reason we found it was because I was having severe neck pain from playing violin too much (supposedly). But, it can cause some terrible headaches and arm numbness. Those are the only 2 symptoms I've ever experienced.

    Hanna

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  4. Wow what a scary story! I loved your outlook on the whole thing though, and that before you even knew the outcome, you were already making plans to *live* rather than let it get you down. What an amazing attitude you had!

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