Daily Diagnostics

Ten years ago my life changed when I woke up one morning and half my face was numb. It felt as though I had gone to the dentist in my sleep and the Novocaine still hadn’t worn off. It was almost a year later when I had my first major flare up- again, I woke up to find that my body had overnight lost the ability to use my right side. My hand, arm, foot, leg were all completely useless and vertigo kept me unable to lift my head. Both times I woke up with symptoms. Both times there was no warning. Both times I woke up only to find my nightmare was actually happening while my eyes were open.

Ever since then I find myself each morning going through a personal diagnostic checklist. Both feet work? Check. How about my hands? Can I feel them? Check. Can I see? Check. Every morning I start at my toes and end at my head- evaluating each limb to make sure it is accounted for. Then, each morning I carefully get out of bed in case I was mistaken and my foot really DIDN’T work, and I carefully take my first steps of the day. Every day. It’s the same routine.

No one understands the fear I wake up with each morning as I go through each limb and make sure I can use it and feel it. It’s another invisible symptom I go through in addition to the constant pain, the vision loss, the balance issues, the numbness, the cognitive issues, the lack of coordination- it’s the fear. I begin every day in fear and end every day in the same fear that I will wake up the next day and something will be wrong. I guess all I can do is be grateful for the days I have where my diagnostic checklist passes, and hope that one day I won’t have to start each day in fear as I begin my test by wiggling my toes…

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