Tuesday, September 13, 2011

stretch of time

this is definitely a two post day, since i have been neglecting my blog in favor of paying attention to my health and wallowing somewhat in misery. but now that i'm at least more back-to-normal than i have been of late, i feel okay about updating the little corner of the world that cares what i am up to.
i was already feeling rather unmotivated about this semester, but once i started feeling sick/gross, most of my productivity went out the window. it's hard, because when you are sick you want to just lay around, but i had/have to deal with everything that accompanies the beginning of a new semester.
anyway, maybe i should just record the haps for posterity, since i've also been neglecting my journal. the day before school started, i felt like my ears were plugged and i had a headache. at school, i felt even worse. i felt dizzy when i touched my face and added a feverishness to my symptoms.
tuesday i mustered up the courage to go to the student health center, worried all the time that something was seriously wrong with me. everybody was telling me not to freak out, but it was hard to stay calm when i felt so bad. the nurse practitioner at the health center told me that a tube behind my eardrum was inflamed and prescribed me mucinex, which would hopefully cause the swelling to go down and gie me some relief.
i gave it about four days before i pretty much gave up on the mucinex. i was still in almost constant pain and discomfort, and i still had to go to class and teach my two classes. i would have periods of time where i felt okay and could manage everything, but it always came back.
on sunday, i felt okay to go to church, so i got ready and drove to campus where i would meet meredith, who was already up there. almost as soon as i walked in the building all of my symptoms resurfaced. i made it through relief society, but i would have been crying all through church after that. meredith and i went home after church and i received a blessing, which made me feel a lot better, at least emotionally, and we went to see dr. kelly, an ear, nose, and throat doctor who was also one of dad's companions. i was pretty convinced by then that my problems did not originate with my ears, but i wanted to keep making sure all of my bases were covered. he told me one of the most frustrating things, though:
well, it's nothing obvious.
i was hoing that he could just give me something to make it go away and let me get on with my life. but, he said that if things didn't get better, i should get a brain scan just to make sure nothing was wrong there, which is basically my biggest fear, because i know how brain tumors are. in the meantime, though, i realized that i was getting spots in my vision that made it especially hard to read. and...i have a lot of reading to do in my life. it's kind of the definition of an english major. and i just like to read anyway. so that made me freak out even more than i had already. it's one thing to have to go to school and work through some pain and discomfort; it's another thing to have to do it when i can barely see and read.
after one scheduled mri fell through on tuesday, i finally made it to the hospital and the dreaded test on thursday. i was super nervous, because the mri is associated with scary things for me. and, since i wasn't feeling a lot better, i knew there was a chance something serious was going on with me. the scan itself was very weird. i knew if i opened my eyes at all i would have some kind of panic attack, so i kept my eyes shut tight no matter how much the crazy noises were bugging me. when the exam was over, the technician told me that the results would be sent to my doctor in one to wo business days. i was pretty devastated in that moment, because i felt like i kept getting held up by things and still not getting any real relief. luckily, the doctor got the results really quick and called mom: my brain looked totally normal. no brain tumor!! yay! that was good news, but it meant that i still didn't know what was going on wirh me, and i had to wait until tuesday (today) to meet with the opthamologist to see if this really was a problem with my eyes.
on friday and saturday i was wearing my sunglasses most of the day because it just felt better. i wore them in walmart and felt like a dork, one of those ridiculous people who wears sgs indoors. but i realized that i shouldn't mock those people anymore, because maybe they have eye conditions haha.
today i finally met with dr. davis, who is another of dad's mission companions and the opthamologist who first thought 'brain tumor', so i was nervous once again. it was pretty clear that there is a problem with my vision. when the assistant asked me to read the euye chart, there was a dark spot over half of it in my right eye. when dr. davis looked at my eyes, he found that my optic nerves are swollen, which would usually indicate some kind of growth. since i already had a clean brain scan, though, the doctor thinks that maybe i have a pseudo-tumor caused by who knows what. so the next step is seeing a neurologist and having a lumbar puncture aka spinal tap. it's still frustrating, because there's nothing i can do right now to feel better and be able to see clearly, so i'm in the same place, though the rest of my pain and discomfort is gone, for the most part.
though the past two and a half weeks have been fairly miserable, i am grateful to have my family close and parents who are willing to ferry me around so we can get to the bottom of this. i'm also grateful for the knowledge i have of the gospel and of my heavenly father. i know that, no matter what's going on and what's happening with me, everything's going to be okay. hopefully all of this gets sorted out soon, but i'm going to be okay. and maybe that's what i am supposed to be learning.
so, onward.

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