Who doesn’t love surprises? I did, but at this point, living in an alternate little universe, I’d have to say I really hated them! I get it! Hate is a strong word, and yes, my sweet mama taught me better than to use such harsh language, but I had incredibly strong pain to match exactly how I felt about it. Hate is the perfect word here. (Sorry mama!)
As for the surprises, it seemed they were lurking around every corner. I couldn’t catch a break. I was navigating daily life as best I could, and something always tended to rear its ugly head. These surprises were never good.
What had I done? Was it something I ate? My husband and I had already discounted a scorpion sting or tarantula bite. I think I definitely would’ve known if a tarantula had been anywhere near me! Those things are huge!
Maybe I picked up an airborne bacteria or a strange virus somewhere across the country? I felt great on our entire western adventure. Why now? How do I possibly regain control of my life?
WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE?
Oh yes…I had to go there.
Of course, I had to ask myself if I had done something to make God angry. I mess up on a daily basis, but I know I am one of His children. He allowed me to enjoy an amazing road trip with my family a couple of months prior, yet suddenly upon our arrival home, He chose me for this unrelenting test?
How strong was I really? He already knew, but maybe He was trying to show ME the measure of my faith and trust. Was it enough? Maybe it wasn’t and He needed to help me grow. Could all this pain and suffering be helpful to me? To someone else?
Once I determined who was in charge, (and it certainly wasn’t me) business picked up a bit, but still in a downward spiral. Apparently I wasn’t at the end of my rope yet.
My surprise? A new symptom…
It was Monday afternoon on August 22, 2016. I was sitting at my desk at work. I was clarifying a statement written on a report for our underwriting department. My right hand suddenly went numb. The numbness slowly crept up my arm. I placed the pen on my desk. It felt like something was creeping inside my body. My eyes were as big as saucers, as my precious grandma used to say. It continued into my left arm and ended in my left hand.
“That was weird!” I thought to myself.
What was really strange? The numbness was a totally separate entity from my joint pain. My arms were “asleep” but the pain was still there. It happened for no apparent reason and it was a very prominent feeling. Was I having a heart attack? My heart and chest didn’t seem to be in duress so I did what Taylor Swift would’ve done. I shook it off.
I rubbed my arms with the palms of my hands because the twenty-eight little joints I counted in my hands hurt entirely too much for me to give myself a mini-massage. About an hour later, the numbness went away as quickly as it came. I didn’t say anything to anyone because I didn’t want them to think I had gone off the deep end.
The next day around lunchtime, it happened again, but in my legs instead. The tingling sensation started in my left foot and traveled up my leg. It continued down my right leg until it had nowhere else to travel. Again, the intense pain in my joints was still very prevalent, but equally prevalent was the the classic pins and needles feeling in my lower extremities. I gently stomped my feet on the floor to try and wake them up. It took a couple of hours before the numbness subsided.
Maybe I will call my family doctor. It had been a little more than a month since my first doctor visit to my OBGYN. He had suggested that I immediately see the next doc but I had no visible or concrete signs of an illness. All of my symptoms were invisible to everyone except for me.
To me, this unique pain was indeed real, and according to what I was feeling only two months into my journey, this pain was not only very real….it was slowly and methodically altering my melancholy personality.
My family doctor would probably think I was crazy. You know…all in my head. I already thought I was nuts but I had to keep it together. I had to portray a front to everyone else. You know! I had to “carry on, and smile along the way.”
On Wednesday, August 24, the numbness, and now very cold sensation in my hands and feet stayed with me on and off all day long so I finally did it! Since I was experiencing a new symptom, I called doctor #2.
The broken sound in my voice choking back tears made the scheduling nurse put me down for the following day. She told me if I would’ve called earlier, she could’ve worked me in on that day. What an idiot I am! Why didn’t I call earlier! Knowing I had the appointment set gave me a reason to say, “I’M GOOD, I’M GOOD!”
I’ve often heard that pain changes people. Now I was beginning to believe it! My demeanor and positive outlook on life had changed dramatically in such a short amount of time. Little did I know, my journey had barely gotten started. I felt as though I was slowly fading away in a blur. I liked more and more to be alone. Work and home is all I preferred, but I never missed a church service either. I felt like God had something more…
“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:45 KJV (always)