Have you ever been on one of those amusement park rides that whips you all around and flips you upside down?
That happened to me exactly a year ago today. Only there was no admission price, no cotton candy, and no waiting in line for this ride I’ve sort of been stuck on.
On September 15,2015, I was driving. Little Bit and I were on our way to meet friends at the bowling alley.
We never made it.
About 15 miles from home, my health somersaulted resulting in an ambulance ride, 13 hours in ER, extensive testing, being scared silly, lots of tears, and a 4 day hospital stay.
It. Was. Hard.
And, not just on me.
The doctors were talking about the possibility of some terrible things being wrong. Cancer, Lyme Disease, MS, stroke…
We were devastated.
At one point I remember looking over at my husband and seeing tears on his cheeks.
I could barely see him through my own…
My parents drove 5 hours to be with me. My husband and Little Bit STAYED with me the entire time. Little Bit slept with me in my hospital bed.
Only I didn’t sleep.
I laid there looking at him, thinking I was dying of brain cancer and I’d never see him again.
If I could’ve reached into my gut and pulled out that knot of fear, I would’ve.
During the days, my friends showed up with their kids and gifts to cheer us.
The nights were excruciatingly long, worry packed, and nurse filled.
I was put on a really strong iv medicine those four days. It made my blood sugar spike and I had to get insulin injections.
I’ve never been on insulin. Ever.
I was sent home with a prescription of the same medication in oral form and a prescription for insulin.
Oh, and I was sent home with a “diagnosis” by the doctor who was treating me at the hospital.
He was absolutely positive he knew what I had and even yelled at me in front of my family when I questioned it.
His diagnosis was not a good one.
We prepared the best we could. Immediately after I got home, I started researching diets, alternative care, outcomes, and statistics.
Then, over the course of the next 3 months, we found out his diagnosis was wrong. You read that right.
We spent a total of 5 months in and out of doctor’s offices and on the phone with them when they called with more devastating news.
However, at the end of those 5 months, the best they had to offer was guesses.
With my life.
Guesses are great for gum balls in a jar for a prize, but man, guesses tied to health are difficult to carry around.
One even suggested doing a surgery and if I still had the symptoms afterwards, we’d know it was something else.
After that and a failed attempt to get into the Mayo clinic, I cried for 2 solid days, then declared “enough.”
Enough questions, enough doctors, enough worry, enough putting my friends and family through it, enough guesses, enough sleepless nights. Enough.
We took a medical break.
It was in the months that followed, that Clarity came skipping in, with a smile on her face, and flowers in her hand.
Soon Hope, Grace, and extreme Thankfulness barreled through the door and wrapped their arms around me.
Was this last year something I had in mind? Never in a gazillion years.
Do I know what’s wrong? Still working on it.
Did it end up being one of my most interesting years ever? Most definitely.
It’s been a beautifully rough year.
What I choose to carry around with me, is that life really is like those crazy amusement park rides.
It seems like once we’re buckled in, it’s up to us whether we close our eyes and duck our heads, or stick our arms above the bars.
Even after all I’ve been through in 12 months, my arms are stretched up high, there’s a smile plastered on my face, and I’m still trying to enjoy the ride.