Sunday, November 8, 2009

Health and other assorted absurdities..

I have had some unusual health issues this year.

In July one of my students was crying at nap time. She was upset because she thought that her Dad was going to pick her up early to go to Grandma's house. I kept reassuring her that he would be there later, but she was convinced that her family had gone to Grandma's without her. :-(

I finally sat down and told her to go get another gigantic pillow from the book corner. I held her and eventually she fell asleep. I closed my eyes too. When I opened them, my right eye felt funny. It hurt a bit. I assumed it was from the detergent we wash the pillow cases in, because I am allergic to it.

Then that evening I went to another student's house for dinner. They have a dog and I am allergic to dogs. My eye felt worse. I assumed it was the dog, so I took some Benadryl and went to bed.

The next day I had lost a chunk of my sight. My husband insisted that I go to the doctor. I went to the local drop in Urgent Care clinic. The nice doctor there did a really thorough exam. He was looking for debris or any irritation. After about a half hour he gave up. He found nothing. He suggested an eye doctor and told me that if it got worse to go to the ER ASAP.

Later that night it was worse. The pain was pretty bad. My husband took me to the ER. Because I was able to read the eye chart, they did not believe me. They did a CAT scan and did not find anything. They gave me some muscle relaxers, told me that the eye doctor would be calling me and sent me home.

Two days later I was blinde in that eye.

The next day I was called by the eye doctor at the local hospital. I did not go to work that day, and my husband came home to go with me to the appointment. The nice nurse there had me do a color blindness test. I failed with my good eye. I could not see a thing out of the right eye.

The eye doctor walked in. Looked at the result of one of the tests the nurse had done, and told me that I probably had MS.

He didn't even know my name. He just glanced at the result of one eye test and told me I had MS. I stopped listening at that point. I started to cry. I wanted my Mother. My husband called her. She was there 10 minutes later.

They had to do another test on me, this one required that I lean in to a view finder and push a button when I saw flashes of light. It was hard to do with the tears streaming down my face. I failed. I think maybe I got one of them out of one hundred or something.

They called the neurologist upstairs. He was the one who had done the testing on my arms when I was being referred for carpal tunnel surgery. He got me in right then and there. I was a mess. I was crying. I was seriously irritable. He basically told me that the other doctor could not possible diagnose me with MS without any actual MRIs or testing. He admitted me to the hospital for heavy doses of steroids.

I did not enjoy that. I hated being there. They would not give me my medicine for my blood pressure. Then they put a sleeping aid in my IV without my permission. So I was up all night- I am one of "those" people who have the opposite reaction to sleep aids. I think I am like, the 5% or something. I was soooooooooooooo hot. The steroids make you feel like your insides are on fire. I figured my insurance was pretty bad so I knew I would be out the next day. They needed to do four MRIs though. I was too fluffy- for lack of a better word- for the hospital's MRI machine. This nurse came in and kept saying that I was too fat for the machine. She said it over and over again. Finally I said "Yes, I am too fat for it, I heard you the first 4 times." and she stopped.

My Mother drove me to another hospital with a bigger machine. That nurse had humiliated me. The new people were very kind. They did not use the word "fat" or make me feel bad at all. I was in the MRI machine for about an hour. It was very loud. They were worried that I would have an anxiety attack because it was pressing down on my stomach. I closed my eyes and started running the names of my students through my head. They make me happy. My marriage wasn't making me happy. That was all I could think about to keep me from freaking out. That I wanted to live to see my students again.

I missed a week of work. My Dad drove me to the hospital every day for 4 hours of steroid treatments. I was in the chemotherapy ward. They are very nice there. They probably have to be. Anyway, I was in a nice recliner, I had a TV, some magazines, they brought me lunch. I sat there and had the treatments for a few days. I remember one day I got back on the elevator to meet my Dad downstairs and a very surprised woman said "Oh, you are leaving?" I said: "Yes, I am only blinde in one eye, I do not have Cancer." and that made me laugh to myself. I was thankful for being blinde in one eye because I know that other people have it much worse.

I went home and I waited for my sight to come back. About a month later I asked my husband if I could borrow his flash drive for the computer. For some reason I wasn't able to get it to work. He called me names, like stupid, idiot, etc. Then he threw two candles at me. They made dents in the wall. Then he ripped a wire out of the computer and it stopped working. I wanted to print my lesson plans so I could leave. I don't know why it was so important to me to get those lesson plans, I mean, like, my boss would not have minded, especially if leaving right away would have prevented what happened to me next. I could not see out of my right eye at all. He came up on my right side. I did not see it coming. I did not see him punch me in the side of the head. But he did. I fell out of the chair.

I don't know how I got up, but I did. I think I knew that I had to stay alive. I was disoriented. I ran to the bedroom and grabbed the portable phone. I dialed 911 and he ran in after me and yanked the main unit from the wall. My cell phone had fallen out of my purse and I noticed it on the bed. I grabbed it and the call went through before he could take it from me. The police came. They arrested him. That was on August 2nd, 2009.

I have never fully regained my sight in that eye.

The police filed a restraining order on my behalf. When he finally got out of jail he went to live with his brother. I would have taken him back that night. I really would have. That is the sickness that is domestic violence. The next day I had an appointment with my therapist. He had been working with me for a year to leave this relationship. He told me that he had only ever given a direct opinion a few times in his career- they are not supposed to tell you what to do, that is not their job. But he looked at me and he told me: "I believe that he will kill you if you do not get out."

That was enough. I knew I had to leave.

Unfortunately I had to have surgery first on my right hand. Have you ever tried moving after carpal tunnel surgery? It is not possible. My Mother did most of it for me. If not for her, I just have no idea what I would have done. She is an angel. I swear she has wings. She packed me and moved me herself.

In September I moved back in with them.

Not exactly how I pictured my life. But, speed bumps, right? Not mountains.

Anyway, when I went for a follow up for the eye thing with my neurologist, he mentioned my other symptoms, my nasty morning headaches, etc. He suggested a sleep study. I went, and it turns out that I don't actually sleep. My oxygen levels were 49%. I stopped breathing 72 times an hour. And on a scale of 1 to 100, 25 is considered to be severe. I was at a 97. They told me that I must have really good moral character to be able to function in society, and that it was a miracle I hadn't been in a car accident. That was so scary for me. I almost died from sleeping. I laughed then too. I mean, who almost dies just going to sleep? Absurd. I have to laugh at these things, or else I would just cry or go insane.

I got my BiPap machine. I can't pay for it, but I have it LOL. I was dropped from my husband's insurance. I was able to get on at my work but it isn't as good and doesn't pay as much. I am looking for a second job and literally don't have two dimes to rub together at the moment. But I am alive. I am no longer living in fear of my husband. I am sure he could come here and try to hurt me, but if he can get past my Dad, more power to him. I am also not really afraid of him, I was more afraid when I was in his house than I am outside of it.

God is going to take care of me. And what is going to happen is going to happen. No use stressing over it. I get up, go to work, come home, go to bed and repeat. I find joy every day at work. Sure, there are times that I feel sorry for myself. And I have locked myself in the bathroom at work to cry a time or too. But overall, I am blessed. And I am walking to the chair.


  1. Welcome back to blog land, Jaime! I'm happy you're blogging again--it's a good way to get feelings out! I've been praying for you, and will continue to do so.

  2. What a season you have been through Jamie. Some people may be looking at you during this time and only see pain in your eyes, the change in your countenance or emptiness in your life.... But I hear....Courage in your heart, determination in your spirit and calmness in your soul. God is so very faithful! Especially as your walking to the chair.
    Hugs & Prayers, GG