Well, sports fans..it's been a heck of a week.
I pulled off another week of three back to back 12 hr shifts.
I was exhausted, but still decided to pick up an extra 4 hr. shift on Thursday morning.
Which seemed like a great idea until about 3 a.m. Thursday morning.
I felt something, I'm not sure what but something jolted me awake.
In the dimness of my bedroom, I opened my eyes.
Something was very wrong.
Something was not right.
I had no vision from my left eye.
I covered my right eye, nothing.
I covered my left eye..I could see everything.
I closed both eyes, whispered a prayer..and waited.
Slowly, vision returned, by noon, it still looked as though my left eye were seeing through a tinted window. Dimmed vision, dull pain, mixed with intermittent ice pick headaches.
If you've never had an ice pick headache..it's exactly what it sounds like and it stops you in your tracks. Nothing else in the world matters until the ice pick goes away.
This sent me to bed immediately after lunch, around 1:30 pm.
I managed to rally for dinner with my husband..whom I did my best to hide this from.
I guess we all know that feeling.
You're so damned sick and tired of complaining, whining, being the "sick" person...So you are just embarrassed to even say the words out loud.
Eventually, it all spilled out..but that made it no better.
I spent all day Friday in bed...this was the day I had earmarked for getting my homework done...a total waste.
I finally took enough narcotics to knock it out, and knocked myself out in the process.
I did call the doctor who said the usual.."You should probably go to the emergency room--if it get's worse, please go".
I, of course, ignored this warning.
I have had a month without insurance..and honestly, just didn't want to go.
It's like being a science project to people.
If they've heard of Chiari (which is rare), they pull up a chair and pick your brain...If they haven't, you are in for the time of your life, either being treated like you have a glorified migraine OR like you are having a stroke OR like you are insane.
So, anyway, I woke up yesterday feeling good, conquered a little schoolwork then went to the grocery store with my sweet husband..Of course, like an unwanted friend..Chiari smacks me right there in the cheese section.
Jab! Jab! Jab! Ice pick headache.. vision loss..blurred vision.
I steady myself against Bob, we finish our shopping and head home.
Every minute task becomes a major chore-putting away the groceries, washing the few dishes that were in the sink..by the time I finish, I have tears on my cheeks.
I go to the shower, climb in and turn it on as hot as possible.
I stand there and wail loudly, hoping my sobs are drowned out by the sounds of the shower.
I'm sick of this.
Sick sick sick!
Why does it have to be like this?
I'm broken, my tough exterior cracked, the Wonder Woman persona I try to evoke and project shatters to the shower floor. I sit there in the corner of the shower, like a child..all of the possibilities going through my head.."Maybe my surgery has failed, maybe my arachnoid cyst is back, maybe I am having a stroke, maybe I should go to the hospital, my left foot HAS been numb for over a week-that CAN"T be a good sign, maybe my ex husband was right, I'm damaged, I'm broken, I CAN"T BE FIXED"... I finally pull myself out of the shower, crawl into bed, sobbed some more.
I text my friend Kelly, she's always there to encourage..
I'm pretty sure she was text yelling at me..
Telling me I'm strong and tough and blah blah blah...
She even threw in the "You is smaaart, you is kind..." You know the line, right?
I was not hearing it.
I was knee deep in self-loathing, tears falling so fast, my hair was wet and sticky..My head throbbed even worse, but I couldn't stop. This isn't fair, this isn't MY life.. I'M tired of being THIS person!
At some point, I fell asleep, alone in my dark room. No television, no Bob..just me and my freaking constricted cranium.
Bob eventually came to bed. I woke up, but couldn't move. My left hand and fingers were asleep, and no, I wasn't laying on them..they were just numb and tingly..my right fingers were tingling, my left foot was mostly numb, my head throbbed and I just wanted, for a brief moment, to disappear. To be painless, to not have the weight of the world on my shoulders..to not wonder what surprises await me next or if I'll be able to handle full time work and/or school.
I just wanted to be someone different. Someone whole. Someone worthy of being loved.
Then, God very kindly allowed me to sleep.
This morning, I woke up pain free. Snuggled beside me was my sweet husband, still loving me in spite of it all. The headache has waxed and waned all day, ice picks have poked me a few times..but all in all it's been a good day. School work completed and I'm preparing for work tomorrow...3 more 12 hour shifts to tackle.
Yes, I still have the possibilities running through my head, tomorrow I will make Dr. appts and take a real look at the problems that could be lurking deep in my skull.
But for now, I'm better..and I keep singing this song I learned as a kid in children's choir,
"I am a promise..I am a possibility..I am a promise.."
Well, here..I found a clip of it.. And no, I don't know these little kiddos..BUT yes, I cried listening to it..I don't know why God wants me to walk this path..But..I'll buck up and keep walking.
September is Chiari Awareness Month..Talk to people about Chiari.
If you are a Chiarian..Welcome, Friend-You are not alone.