Thursday, April 15, 2010

journal entry.

I was thinking tonight of how I have felt restless today, and frequently lately. A yearning for something, but what? Why? As I was thinking of this it occured to me that perhaps it is simply a longing for peace and normalcy again. See, I had reached this state and feeling of contentment and happiness with pretty much all the aspects of my life. I had things figured out. I should clarify- I AM happy with my life. However, I would be fooling myself if I did not admit that these past six months have been HARD. Not in any way that ever seemed too difficult to handle. Not in any way that has left me feeling a low of lows (though, admittedly, things were pretty bad after the miscarriage when this all began). I have always felt greatly blessed and very grateful. No, this is different. It is a feelign of weariness. Like it has been a long, drawn-out process of wearying myself. I am not complaining. I am simply remembering what was once so liberating to myself after all this began... That no one can nurture me better than myself (except my Heavenly Father of course). I'm not sure if nurture is the right word. Let me see if I can explain. After my fall and concussion, as soon as I stopped bleeding from the miscarriage, I treated myself to a massage. I believe very strongly in the healing benefits of massage. After my massage I felt, almost overwhelmingly, as though my soul had been hugged. Like I had allowed myself to soothe some inner broken spirit by saying 'it's okay- it's been really hard and you've been through hard thing' and doing something nice and healing for myself by getting the massage. It was a wonderful and freeing experience after having been in bed for weeks becasue of the pain (both physical and emotional) of a miscarriage and then the physical trauma of a concussion and other injuries. 

Well, as we all inevitably do, I got caught up in the business of life. I lost myself in the service of others. It didn't hurt that this occured just before November and the holiday season. As my body tried to heal and I sought answers to help it, I failed to remember to renew and uplift my soul. Since October my life has seemed an endless stream of doctor's appointments and ailments for myself. Of pain, frustration, and more questions than answers. It is one thing to always be taking your children to doctors or to fight to find answers for a loved one's medical condition. I find it so much more draining to have to do it for yourself. No wonder I have suddenly missed my mom more in the last month than I have in a long time! No wonder I have not just longed for, but truly YEARNED to travel, to get away, to immerse myself in art and nature and new things. No wonder I find myself suddenly wanting to move far away even though I love my home, my neighbors, my ward, my location. It's as if I think that doing something big and drastic will suddenly make me all better again. It won't. 

I realized that the only way I am going to return to a state of 'normalcy' and vibrancy admidst the medical issues at hand is to acknowledge my own self and say 'hey, it's okay.' What a self-empowering thing that is. To say to yourself that you can be content and happy and satisfied and yet weary. To say that weekly appointments (at a minimum) would be draining on any person who did not take care of themselves, even some who did. To say that perhaps it isn't your fault that your body appears to be falling to pieces...and that if it is then that's okay too so long as you don't let your soul do the same. To acknowledge that you can just keep keepin on and forging forward but that even a long journey wearies the seasoned traveler. No wonder there are days when every fiber of my being just yearns for a break. But how do you take a break from yourself? From a body that isn't allowing you to do the things you really want to? You don't. Instead you must turn to confront it, to embrace it, to nurture it. Only then can you begin to heal, even if your body does not (or does not for a longer period of time). 

I am going to try and remember these things especially as I go to my physical therapy tommorow. I left my last appointment in tears after having a setback so soon into treatment and being able to perform so few of the tasks. I expressed frustration to the therapist at the cause not being singled the inability STILL to rule out a problem within the brain. I am sure that was my own (well founded) fears talking. I told them of how I didn't have time for this, for not being able to function normally. I needed my life back. Other people needed me fully back. The poor physical therapist was so kind and patient as I expressed my frustration at feeling like so much of my body was just one big mess that seemed beyond repair. He just tried to reassure me that I will get better. I will. But I don't believe it will be as quick as I want it to be. 

I can't control a lot of what's been going on. I can control how I take care of myself and my broken soul that just needs a little TLC (which is why the surprise overnighter with DH was so nice). I can't make doctor's schedules open up so they can see me sooner instead of making me wait forever between tests and diagnoses. I can't control that they can't see all of my brain adequately because of my braces. I can't control the fact that I have to have the braces on because of a fall that occured in October, that wasn't my fault. Try as I might, I can't control the dizziness or the fact that I may not get a definitive answer or prognosis. And in case you wondered, the current possible culprits include (as in any, a combo of any, or none of the above): the concussion (of course), dental work, excessive Ibuprofen use, something in my brain (which could also have been caused by the concussion), my thyroid, my thyroid medication, something else altogether, or excessive illness all at once (think my sinus infection on top of wisdom teeth removal and multiple dry sockets). I can't control the floaters in my vision these days and the endless aggravation it gives me (ok, maybe that part is up to me). However, I can acknowledge that it has been going on and wearing me out. I have never, and never will, ceased to be grateful for those good doctors who are so hard to get in to. I have done my best to not make my life all about this stuff or complaining. I must admit though that it is hard to pretend that something that takes up so much time is not there. 

The morning before my mom passed away she and I had been having a long conversation. She told me, "I'm tired. I'm just so tired of it all." I sensed it. She had fought the good fight and was tired of fighting it. I can't tell you how many times these past months I have echoed those sentiments. But I haven't been ready to throw in the towel yet. No, instead I am recommitting myself to ME. Not in a selfish way. No. I am giving my soul a hug and a little bit of nurturing. This is my reminder to myself (and request for future reminders from you). It starts now and with a massage on Saturday. :)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


These days it seems I can hardly think straight.  Sure, life of a mom right?  Well, yah.  That and this craziness going on with my head.  No sarcastic comments necessary.  I got blindsided by a bizarre attack of vertigo back on Feb 23rd.  The kind of room spinning that left me unable to stand and throwing up.  Lying down didn't help either and it kept me up through the night.  I saw a doctor the next day who told me it was probably a virus and then medicated me with a heavy dose of meclizine and promethazine.  I literally slept for 24 hours solid and nearly another 24 hours after that.  Anyway, long story short… Here we are at the beginning of April and I’m still seeing multiple doctors with no clear answers.  I had a full 2 weeks where I truly was stuck in bed.  I couldn't even take care of my kids and I’m so grateful to all the many people who stepped in to fill those shoes.  Here’s a big bonus to marrying a return missionary too– DH really didn’t mind cooking for the family in the meantime (I could barely eat anyway) and was quite capable of doling out spaghetti, chili, quesadillas, mac and cheese, and more.  

What have we determined?  Well, meclizine doesn’t work.  Benadryl plus Lorazepam makes you feel like you’ve had anesthesia.  I was given an i.v. at one point because I was apparently dehydrated.  Ummm… Oh, braces make it so you can’t see the frontal lobe on an MRI (but otherwise things look fine).  My thyroid was bizarrely too high (weird since I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis)- still waiting on the results of the thyroid ultrasound.  I suddenly have heart palpitations (waiting on the echo results as well).  My period decided to go MIA for a month— which was really fabulous since I already was feeling like my body was freaking out.  No, I’m not pregnant but apparently doctors are quick to jump to that conclusion when you tell them you are dizzy.  I have a constant black spot in my vision, like someone just put a little tiny sharpie dot onto my eye.  My vestibular nerve is too inflamed to tell whether the cause of the problem is in the brain or the ear canals…. however chances are that all this dizzy business can be traced to that fateful day.  Yep.  Even now.  One speculation is that when I hit my head it dislodged some of the crystals that are deep in your inner ear and help you maintain balance.  Over time they've migrated to the other side and started hitting the vestibular nerve…causing severe neuritis and all these fun problems.
So what does this mean?  Well, I've had balance testing done and this thing called the Epiley Omniax.  If you want a ride that will make you want to hurl, just try this thing out.  I've had a couple of treatments.  Now I have to go to physical therapy a couple times a week for 1-2 months to retrain my brain to recognize proper balance cues because I’m improperly compensating now– which can explain my constant fatigue.  I’m still waiting to see the opthaneurologist about my eye spots and waiting for a return appointment for the results of the echo and ultrasound as well as some other bloodwork.  Bonus?  I have new glasses now.  Forgot to mention that- I went to an eye doctor as well because my vision was being weird and it turned out my glasses were suddenly randomly overcorrecting my vision.
Anyway, I’m glad we have health insurance.
I’m just tired of visiting doctor’s offices and having to find sitters.  At this rate I could’ve had a baby.
DH (and his mom) surprised me with a wonderful overnighter a couple of weeks ago.  It was fantastic because I really needed it.  I already need another.  ;)   It’s been a long while since he and I were able to get away together overnight sans children.  I am just so at my limit these days.  I mean, it’s not really my limit because I know I can be pushed further and probably will be.  I’m just saying that I’ve just been weary.  For several months.  Just plain weary.  Not depressed, no.  Weary.  There’s a difference.  So it was wonderful to have something nice done for me as a surprise.