My strange & bizarre story
My story is strange and bizarre and filled with unlikely series of events- but yet all of it happened and is true.
This story begins July 27, 2006. I was living in my friends house while she and her family were teaching abroad in Guatemala. I called the local cable company and scheduled for them to come install cable and internet that day.
The cable man was scheduled to arrive around 1 PM and was running a bit late. When he did arrive, he did a quick walk through to figure out how he was going to route the cable and internet through the house we were renting. The cable installer began to drill holes in the house. One hole that was supposed to go through the wall instead went from the wall through my bookcase- something that he insisted should NEVER happen- that “bad holes” were inexcusable.
He went to drill another hole in my sons bedroom, but was still upset about the “bad hole” so he asked if I would look through a small pin hole that went through the closet wall. So, with him on one side, I went into the closet on the other side of the wall, put my eye to the hole and told him the hole was covered with what I thought was his finger. It wasn’t. It was the drill.
I no sooner said “its covered” when he pushed the drill through. The bit grabbed ahold of my eyelashes, tearing my eyelid apart, grazed across my eye turning into what the eye doctor described later as “hamburger” and landed into the tear duct at the corner of my eye and nose.
That kind of injury causes one to bleed an awful lot. The fluids that come from an eye are not just blood- they are foreign- and the matter that came with the bit from the wall- the plaster, wood, paint, dust, mold and who knows what else- all went directly into the open wound. I was rushed to the hospital and received several stitches in my eyelid as well as my eye. Miraculously I was able to keep my eye, but understandably my vision has been altered forever.
With all the material that went into my eye its no surprise that I developed infections. The infections were severe- severe enough that I was told they were spreading into my brain. Six months after my first infection I woke up one morning with the feeling that I had gone to the dentist overnight. Half of my face was completely numb- so numb that it felt as though I was fully numbed with Novocain. The numbness was not located only to my outer face but the numbness was so perfectly halved that my right front teeth were numb while my left front teeth were not. My tongue was also numb and had no feeling at all on the right side. It was bizarre but I figured that I must have had a wisdom tooth coming in that was hitting a nerve or something so I dismissed it. But when the numbness didn’t go away for a week and a half, my husband insisted that I go to the doctor. I went to my family doctor who ordered scans. A week later I received a call from his office that I needed to come in. I didn’t have insurance at the time and didn’t want another visit charge so I asked for them to talk to me over the phone. “No” they insisted. “Come in. This visit will be free of charge.” Still in disbelief that any bad news could come from the numbness I was feeling, I walked by myself to the doctors office where they gave me my diagnosis- I had a brain tumor. The earth stopped spinning, my mind shut down and suddenly I developed deafness and blindness to my symptoms. I cannot remember the rest of the office visit and I cannot recall driving to the job site my husband was working at. But I will never forget the tears he cried when I told him what the doctor said.
We wanted a second opinion, so I met with a neurologist who told me that I did not have a tumor- what I had was a lesion- it was not a growth but rather a hole. Really? Was this better than a tumor? Because with a tumor there was at least something to remove, but a hole? Can you fill in a hole? I didn’t think so.
The doctor told me that she thought it was due to the infections and that she wasn’t going to worry about it unless I had another episode. Unfortunately I did. Again, I had a massive eye infection, and again six months later I woke up with numbness. This time however, the numbness was not only localized to my face- it went from under my eye to the tip of my right toe. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t stand. I couldn’t hold a toothbrush or a pencil or a fork. I had another scan- I had 14 new lesions. I had a spinal tap- I had oligoconal banding. Because of the second “flare up”, because of the new lesions and because of the banding I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I was put on an IV treatment and started a medicine that is supposed to slow down the progression of the MS via a daily injection. I’m no longer on the therapy medicine- I developed an allergy to it- and now am not on any medicine at all.
I was doing relatively well with my symptoms for about a year and a half when in September 2010 my husband had a massive heart attack. For nearly 8 minutes I did CPR while I waited for paramedics to arrive. He was given two stents, put in hypothermia for 24 hours and was in a coma on life support for almost a week. The two and a half weeks that he was in the hospital I never left his side- not once. I was running on emotion and adrenaline and prayer the entire time at the hospital but when he was released everything hit me once again.
My legs stopped working. Fatigue hit me like a ton of bricks. Confusion kept me from thinking straight or being able to finish a simple task- and the ones I nearly did complete the fatigue would prevent me from completing it. I went back to my neurologist who started me on an oral walking medicine to help me get around again. Within three months I went from not being able to walk to the end of my driveway to walking around the block.
Its now been 2 1/2 years since my husbands heart attack. He is still very sick but I seem to have balanced out. I still have bad days of course- those days that mobility and balance issues keep me on the floor, days where the confusion is so bad I can’t remember my address, or where the fatigue gets me so bad I can’t lift the corners of my mouth into a smile. But along with the bad days I also have good- I have done the MS Walk the past two years, have done a 5k and am able to walk around the 2 acres we live on.
This is my story- so far. Its is far from over and it is far from the end. I don’t know how my story will end but I am certain it will end with a lot of hope and support from those in my live that surround me with love!
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