I try not to be an alarmist. It's not in my nature to call an ambulance or rush to the hospital. It's more like me to google or WebMD my questions...and then make my own deductions.
But sometimes even Dr. Courtney needs a second opinion.
(And I hope you heard the sarcasm in that last sentence.)
Friday was Dream Day. I'd planned to paint and journal and dream. I had everything set out. After I finished my blog, I was going to read my Bible and then spend the day doing things I hadn't done in months...but my day went quite a bit differently than I'd planned.
But as I started the morning, I realized that the dull headache I'd woken up with had gotten worse. Like, quite a bit worse. But it was Dream Day, darn it. And I had stuff to do... starting with Ecclesiastes...where, incidentally, I found this verse:
Ecc. 5:3: "For a dream comes through much activity..."
It confirms some things Adam and I have been talking about a lot lately. The fact that God often moves when WE are moving. We take a step of faith, he intervenes. In our case, twice now, he's steered us in a different direction...but only AFTER we stepped out and said "I think this is what you want me to do...so that's what I'm doing..." Sometimes we're so afraid of making a wrong move, but over and again, God shows us that when we're seeking his will, he meets us there...he even helps us stay on course.
Even when it's scary.
Anyway, I jotted these verses down and then I realized I couldn't really see out of my right eye. Black spots along the edges. I tried to read the verse out loud and it made no sense. It was like I was struggling to figure out what words were and mis-reading them, and I could hear that it was wrong, but I couldn't get it right. At the same time, the pressure in my head worsened and I felt nauseous.
I went and laid down and Adam called me on his way home to bring me some Excedrin...in those few minutes my right hand went completely numb. By this point, I was pretty scared. I know numbness isn't a good thing and I couldn't feel my finger tips or my hand. The sensation kind of passed through it but by the time Adam got home, the whole right side of my face went numb and I felt like I had a fat lip.
I admit. I was terrified.
Adam...calm, level-headed, sensible Adam...called an ambulance (and yes, I was protesting. I know how much an ambulance costs.) He shushed me and told the paramedic what was happening. They arrived literally a few minutes later.
Long story short, the thing that concerned the paramedic (Steve) was that my symptoms were all on the right side, but my pain was on the left side. He said we could go to the ER but recommended we come with them...because if we came with them, they could get blood right away and if I'd had a mini stroke (he called it something fancy) they'd know about it and there would be medicine for me.
He also mentioned that this happened to Ellen DeGeneres when she was about my age, which made me feel, you know, cool somehow.
Off we went, in the ambulance...then into the hospital where they wheeled me in and hooked me up to a bunch of equipment. They monitored my heart rate and blood pressure and dumped a heated blanket on top of me which was the most comforting part of the whole day. A bit later, the doctor (and his Jeremy Renner looking sidekick) showed up and I considered asking them if working there was like being on Grey's Anatomy but they had their serious faces on so I refrained.
He said "Well, the brain is a funny thing. I could've been a migraine but since you have no history of them, I want you to have an MRI to rule out tumors."
Just saying the word out loud hit me with the fear of God. I mean, I'm the chick who regularly peruses WebMD to see if there are symptoms I didn't know were symptoms and decides on a consistent basis that I've got lupus or at least shingles.
The MRI was oddly peaceful. I sat in there and prayed the entire thirty minutes, laying, as "Rick" instructed me, completely still. The heated blankets kept me mostly warm and I used that time to imagine my days...the way I spend them...the stress I'm under...the attention I don't pay to my health. In those thirty short minutes, I started to realize that old cliche...
Life is precious.
And is this how I want to spend mine?
It was supposed to be 30-45 minutes before we got the results so Adam ran to get my older kids from school, but while he was gone the doctor reappeared. I did not want results without Adam, but he didn't even wait to make eye contact before he said "Well, I'm so happy your scans are all clear..."
And so was I.
They think it was a complex migraine, but I have to follow up this week with a neurologist who I expect is going to use big words and not look anything like Derek Shepherd.
I'm still not 100% over here, and I keep finding random stickers with plastic snaps on them stuck to my body, but I'm better...and I have a feeling that once I get quiet and process all of this I'm going to make some interesting discoveries...and some big changes.
For now, I'm going to rest and pretend I've got nothing to do today but watch Cupcake Wars and drink ginger ale.
I hope the next Dream Day I schedule doesn't land me in the hospital...