We left for the states (what feels like a week ago) but was really just Thursday. We flew stand-by to Miami and landed around 9pm. My arm shook most of the trip and my head was pounding. The kids were good though. We got to the hotel around 10:30 and was planning on leaving at 4am to catch our 6am flight to Dallas and then onto Lexington. We were told late that night that we wouldn’t make that flight because it was over-sold. Instead we were going to go on a non-stop to Louisville which left around 11am. That actually was pretty fine for us. We were so tired having landed so late and we were able to get a good nights sleep.
So we flew to Louisville and landed around 2pm. Gabriel cried nearly all morning. I have to admit that God sure knew what He was doing when He gave me Jose. I was in so much pain and so out of it – Jose basically was stuck with 4 kids and me – which is a lot for even Superman. Jose did it with such patience and love. I’m so lucky.
We drove from Louisville and got to my parent’s home around 3:30. My sister was waiting for me and my parents and Jose took me onto the ER at Saint Joseph Hospital. As soon as I came into the ER I saw at least 30 people there infront of me. I just knew we would be there all night. In fact, while I was checking in a lady came up to the desk and said she’d been there for 2 hours and everyone else seems to be going ahead of her. The nurse explained that they see people based off severity and so the worst were seen first.
I gave my mom one of those – “Oh Great, we’re going to be waiting here all night” looks and then got nervous when they took me back as soon as I signed in. I was given my own room and had a nurse hooking me up to machines within about 10 minutes of arriving.
All my doctors and nurses were Christians. When I told them I came from Haiti they asked me if I knew Lindsay Nation (an intern with our mission). He is a doctor in her father’s church. My nurse asked me if I knew a few people from Southland who sure enough had gone to Haiti with us. It was God reminding me that He was here. How random to have so many people with a Haiti connection in the ER or was it?
I was hooked up to an EKG machine so they could monitor my heart. I had bradycardia and a few irregular beats. I have to say the most painful part of the whole experience was them trying to get blood work and hook me up to an IV. Now that everyone knew I was a missionary to Haiti……. it made it impossible to curse when they began to stick me! I am not exaggerating…..the first lady stuck me 4 times and never got a vein. She called for another tech who stuck me 2 times – – nothing. They sent for “specialists” who came in and stuck me 4 times. I was crying. My arms are all blue and bruised from their sticks. Their final stick was a small vein in my wrist which they told me would be painful. I couldn’t hold back the tears when they stuck me there. I mean I’m still sore.
After they took the blood work and gave me IV’s, they sent me immediately back for an MRI. Now I have to tell you that I’ve seen those done with both Rosie, Gigi, and Malaya. But they were so small they fit right through the tunnel of that machine with no problem. I thought there was no way I was going to fit in that machine and I was just sure I was going to be clausterphobic.
The machine is really noisy. The tech told me to close my eyes and try to keep them closed just so I wouldn’t have anxiety in the machine. I was in there for 45 minutes. The random thing was – it was actually an okay experience. The machine has so many noises and random beats that I was able to sing songs in my head to match their beats. I started off with Power In The Blood as the sounds just beeped so fast. I got through two choruses of Blessed Be Your Name and a new song I learned with the last group – I am a Temple. After that I fell asleep. They took me out of the machine and injected some dye and then put me back in for another 15 minutes.
It took about 90 minutes before we got back the results. My blood work looked okay to our surprise. My right side is still weaker than the left side and my head still pounded and I was dizzy. They were sure that I was going to show that I had a mini-stroke. The doctor was even preparing me for that. So we were all anxious when he came in with the results.
I’ve attached a picture below of the spinal cord. He told me that the MRI showed that I had arthritis along my neck and I have a herniated disc between the C2-C3 vertebre. This is basically the bones that connect right to your skull – high in the neck. It’s pinching nerves that run from the brain down. It’s making me dizzy, making the right-side of my body weaker, and giving me the horrible head-ache. It’s mimicking the effects of a stroke but it is NOT a stroke. There is no evidence of anything like that in my MRI. They said that I do have some swelling in my Pituitary Gland but they didn’t see any tumors or anything to explain that so they weren’t too concerned about it right now.
So the good news/bad news. The good news is – there isn’t anything really happening in my brain to cause these problems. The bad news is – he told me that this won’t really go away. He said years from now I”ll have to have surgery. This can be aggravated by stress. He asked me if I had any stress? I just smiled.
So the prescription: REST AND REDUCED STRESS!!! HA! He gave me some great pain pills too 🙂 He also gave me muscle relaxers and I have follow-up appointments with a therapist and neurologist on Monday. My symptoms aren’t any better yet. My headache is only controlled by the pills and relaxers. But without them – the pain is pretty bad. My arm still shakes and it’s difficult to do much with my right hand.
In Haiti my glucose levels (sugar) never raised above 59. We normally like for the levels to be from 80-100. We thought those levels might have been the reason for the dizziness and shakiness. Well when they took my levels here it was 73. So an answer to prayer for sure.
We applied for government aid so we’ll see what happens with the bills. My sister took Malaya and Gabriel today to Columbus. My brother, Bud, took Mikayla and Rosie to Lebanon, KY. We left Gigi in Haiti because her passport is in the process of being renewed. So my parents’ house is quiet….perfect for resting.
Thank you for your emails and your prayers. I’ve had a lot of strange things happen with my health, but this by far was one of the scariest. I think my pills are kicking in….time to lay down for a while. Love you all so much and thank you for making us feel apart of your family!