When is the last time your life was interrupted? Big or small, we’ve all had moments of interruption. In my current bible study, we are being pushed to consider these interruptions from the perspective of divine intervention. More often than not, this is easier said than done. Especially for the small interruptions. Big interruptions like the opportunity to move to Colorado from Georgia tend to have clear marks of divine control, and for me it required totally trusting God’s plan for my family. Sometimes smaller interruptions are hard to discern at all, and maybe feel like more of an inconvenience at the time instead of a divine intervention. And then there are the tragic, wonderful or frightening interruptions. What to do with those…
I was hanging out at home with William on Thursday morning, when all of a sudden I lost about 70% of the vision in my left eye. To try and describe it, when I held my hand up in front of my face and it was like a couple of my fingers had disappeared, but the rest of my hand was still there. So, I drank some water and sat down to rest. I had experienced this vision loss a couple of times over the last few weeks, and had assumed it was a result of dehydration, not eating my breakfast, having a head cold at the time, just not taking care of myself. After about 30 minutes my vision returned, but then I began to experience numbness moving from my left hand to my nose and my face around the left side of my mouth to my gums and tongue and then down my throat. It was a pretty terrifying sensation. I tried calling Richard and he didn’t answer, and then a friend of mine who lives in Georgia called me. I was having a difficult time speaking because it felt like the left side of my mouth had been shot up with a double dose of novacaine. I described my symptoms to her best I could, and she told me to hang up immediately and get in touch with my husband, which I did. He called the doctor’s office, they told us to go to the hospital, and that’s what we did. By the time we got to the emergency room, my symptoms were gone and I had regained all my normal sensations, but I was scared to death. Aneurysm, stroke, tumor, what was going on? Between the admitting doctor and the neurologist (as well as a CT scan, EKG, MRI with contrast, and EEG) they ruled out the possibility of Multiple Sclerosis or Transient Ischemic Attacks (mini strokes). By this point I felt like I was living through an episode of House. After my brain waves didn’t show any abnormal spikes, which lowered the possibility that this was a seizure, the neurologist came to the conclusion that this was most likely a Complex or Complicated Migraine, which does not manifest itself in a “headache” form but instead in these other bizarre symptoms. The neurologist gave me the option of treating the migraines with medication or the choice of deferring that treatment for the time being and monitoring myself to see if these neurological “events” will continue, get worse, better, the same…also, perhaps I can recognize possible triggers and conditions that contribute to their occurence. I chose the latter, and I go back in for a consult with him in a couple of weeks unless I have another “event” before then.
I puzzled the doctors as a healthy woman in her mid-30’s presenting with very unusual neurological symptoms that didn’t automatically point to a diagnosis. As a result I experienced almost every medical test I have heard of. I still can’t believe that after this frightening interruption we were blessed to leave the hospital Friday afternoon with a diagnosis of what I am deeming a Very Confused Headache. (not an official medical term…yet) I am so thankful. Life is so frail. While waiting for the diagnosis, my thoughts were racing to conclusions of what this might be, and I experienced the peace of having my life in God’s hands, but I also knew how much I want to be a wife to Richard and mom to Caroline, Marfy and Will, here on earth. I know that I might be overdramatizing it, but when you’re scared, you’re scared. I’m a girl. I’m a wife. I’m a mom. I’m a daughter and a sister. I can get a little crazy about this stuff. I considered how much my life would change if I had a brain tumor, a heart condition, needed major invasive surgery. Yet, in this world, wives and husbands, moms and dads, daughters and sons are experiencing those major interruptions every day. I am so blessed. I have so much to be thankful for. God is so good. Even if these unknown things occur, here is what I do know: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6
What can I take away from this week’s “interruption”? Relief that I have Very Confused Headaches and not a hole in my heart or a life altering condition. Resolution to take better care of myself, not skip my breakfast and limit my caffeine intake in the morning. Conviction to take advantage of my time with my family and friends. Recognition that each day I wake up and get to live life completely unrestricted physically is a wonderful gift. Gratitude to my amazing husband, family, friends and precious prayer warriors who took such good care of us during this time. Acknowledgement that God is in control, our loving God is in control. Joy and hope, because whatever the day brings, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)