Posted in Health, Home Life

The New Normal

The last few months have been an adventure. Good, bad, and everything in between.

It is honestly very hard for me to write nowadays. I started this blog with the intention of forcing myself to write on a regular basis just to create a habit. That was 4 months ago and here (finally) is my first post.

I have struggled nearly my entire life with poor health. Mononucleosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and just a shotty immune system in general that causes me to be bed-ridden if not taking care of myself. With all of that being said, I had adjusted to my “normal” life…before about 2 years ago.

I found the man I loved. He loved me too.

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We decided to get married.

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Have a wedding.

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And go on a honeymoon.

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Then…Boom.

Nausea, headaches, paleness, dizziness, lethargy, brain fog, and (later) cognitive issues.

It was exciting and nerve-wrecking for us at first. We had been married 3 weeks and so the assumed answer was…a baby. We weren’t ready for one, but hey, we could make it. Hubby got the video camera out for the first 3 pregnancy tests over the next few weeks, hoping to capture the exact moment that we knew our life would be changed forever. But, that moment never came. We took several more after that, just hoping that it would be the answer to my symptoms. A few months later we went to our doctor/deacon/Sunday school teacher Jeff to get some answers, but all blood work came back normal.

I gave up. I told myself that I needed to suck it up and that it was all in my head. If I pretended nothing was wrong, then it would be true, right?

I have not taken a pregnancy test in nearly 2 years, but the symptoms persist.

My husband finally convinced me in October to go back to our doctor/deacon/Sunday school teacher; that I could not go on pretending. And he was right (of course). My health affected my schooling, my working, and our relationship. I could not do the things I wanted to do, or even the things I needed to do. More blood tests were run and answers didn’t come then either. Jeff was just as frustrated as we were. A marker finally came back and we thought that maybe it was Epstein-Barr Virus, but it turns out that the marker was just leftover from my childhood episode of Mono acquired from a water fountain (thanks 1st grade).

It was after that appointment that I decided that my best choice was to temporarily withdraw from school for medical reasons. My cognitive issues were interfering with my ability to write papers for my regular Bible classes, not to mention my Master’s level Hebrew class. We were not getting answers and I knew something had to give. Hubby was very supportive and so were several of my teachers. I thank God for all of them and their understanding of my situation.

Without knowing what else to do, Jeff sent me to a neurologist. That was the worst appointment of my life thus far. Without hardly even looking at me, the neurologist told me that it was in my head (oh, the irony) and that I needed to learn how to control my anxiety. He did schedule me for an EEG and MRI though; probably only because I hopelessly broke down crying in the examining room. I cried all day. Hubby took me out for ice cream though, because that always helps.

EEG and MRI are done and I am clean of anything that may have been detected through them. And thankfully, I did not have to go back to “Dr. Poopy-head” as my husband and I have affectionately named my neurologist; we saw his physician’s assistant instead. The theory now is that all of my symptoms are a result of migraines. 2 medications and a month later and here I am.

I’m journaling my symptoms and my food to see if any correlations exist between the two. Sugar is the top suspect, which I confirmed over Christmas weekend thanks to an ungodly amount of peanut brittle and a pitiful amount of self control.

I am doing much better than I was 4 months ago, but I still have not decided whether or not to resume school in the Spring. I would like to, but I know going back before I’m ready could potentially be detrimental. So I’m here; waiting, praying, and trusting God to let me know what in the world to do next. I’m living life one good day at a time and adjusting to the new normal. Life is good, and God is greater.

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