I’ve not posted lately, because I haven’t had anything to say.
Maybe it’s more accurate that I have too much to say.
I don’t know.
I took this photo with my phone through the windshield of our car when my husband drove to another state to see a neurologist. The headaches have become very bad. Very debilitating. A migraine every day. For months. The evening was beautiful, and I tend to quiet my buzzy anxiety thoughts with looking for moments. Often we drive during full daylight, and the tinting on the windows makes everything interesting a rather odd green tint. The windshield is spattered with unfortunate bugs, so I don’t often look straight ahead. But this evening had been handing me spectacular sky, and I decided to look straight ahead to this tree coming towards us.
I can’t say it a prophetic moment in any real sense. It’s just, now, a photo that will symbolize for me what it feels like to be rushing into a vastness that I don’t understand. Wondering. Looking straight ahead. Feeling a bit alone.
I love sky photos. Dark and light, how was it going to go?
It went like this:
I was tired and overwhelmed, and was met by a lovely nurse practitioner who specializes in migraines. She practices with a neurologist who specializes in multiple sclerosis. She ran me through some tests — reflexes, gait, peered into my misbehaving eye, read my long list of allergies and issues, and then went to speak to the neurologist.
He looked at my original brain MRI that speculated that I might have MS.
She came back in and told me I have MS.
She knew exactly which brain lesion makes me walk like a drunk person.
There was a lot of crying.
She said that there were more tests they wanted to do to confirm, and that crying was allowed.
That made me cry more. And I asked if it was normal to feel grief? She said yes. And to feel anger? Yes, that, too. It’s all allowed.
It’s very weird to feel relief at bad news, but I don’t think it was the bad news part as much as it was this warm and kind medical professional treating me like a fully complex human being and telling me that I was ALLOWED.
Amazing. The second photo. Dark and light. Light in the darkness, it turns out.
She gave me appointments for two weeks later to have another MRI of my C-spine and a lumbar puncture. It would take four hours and I was to take a WHOLE Xanax. I don’t like Xanax, so I rarely take it — when I do, only a half. Nope. It was ALLOWED to be a full one. She also gave me a different medication to help with the headaches. It’s made an improvement, already.
My husband knows how to fix me. Take me someplace interesting and let me take photos. I cry less.
This is a bridge that people are allowed to jump off legally! We watched three of four people parachute down, and it felt appropriate — falling into potential disaster while looking straight ahead — or down, in their cases. They landed just fine and we walked under the bridge. We’ve visited it several times, but we’ve never walked beneath before. It was amazing — the sound of the cars and trucks echoing off of the rock and bouncing back against the metal — this primal pounding and buzzing. Rather like my unruly emotions.
We walked the rest of the way under the bridge and this is what we saw.
Beauty. And I told my husband if we ever conquered the world, we would need to build a castle here.
I went to my appointment for the MRI and the lumbar puncture, and it is confirmed. I have multiple sclerosis. I cried when I got the MRI results back — the send them to the patients through a secure portal as the tests are processed — because it showed a lesion on my spine. Done and done. My husband, wise man, did what? He took me to our plot of land where we hope to build a house and we staked out where it would go. It was windy and dusty and I tripped on rocks and he zipped me into his work sweatshirt and hung tools off of me and let me pound the stakes into the ground as HARD as I could (not very) with a mallet. And I felt better.
I confess, this photo is a bit of a cheat. I didn’t take it that day, but rather on a day when I had another special person with me. The feeling was the same, however. This is what I will get to watch happen from my front yard. With people I love. It makes me happy.
This is the view I will have from my studio windows WHEN I can get back to working in metal. It’s all in the when.
I started a course of intravenous steroids two days ago. I have one more day to go, and then it will be back to see the lovely migraine specialist and to meet my MS specialist. They will tell me how we are going to make my life better. I never thought I’d look forward to an appointment like that, but I have wonderful, wonderful friends who have rallied and supported and encouraged me through this process. It hadn’t occurred to me in recent months, particularly, but probably more like years, that I could expect to feel BETTER. I have been aiming for not getting worse.
Now I feel like better may happen.