On Going Numb

September 10, 2006 at 7:32 pm Leave a comment

Two days ago, I found myself staring at a trio of harsh fluorescent ceiling lights.  Two of which, were covered with whimsical gels of clouds and hot air balloons, presumably to elicit a calming effect in those of us unfortunates who found ourselves trapped under their glare.  The tactic was hardly effective.  Anyone who is told by their doctor to have someone else immediately drive them to the emergency room, is not likely to be long distracted or pacified by quirky ceiling tiles.  I thought of my one year old nephew and decided, even he would probably bore of the spectacle after a few seconds time, and decided instead to hate them.Of course it wasn’t really the lights I hated, it was being stuck in an uncomfortable bed, half naked, being poked and prodded and tested and endlessly bored while waiting for what could be either good or devastating news.  In my case, the news, turned out to be neither.  My news fell into the realm confusing.  It was of the category of “I’m sorry, we don’t know what is wrong with you, don’t drive, see a neurologist on Monday and come back if you get worse.” Not exactly helpful, but at least my doctor’s worst fears were allayed.  I wasn’t in the midst of a stroke. 

On Wednesday of last week, I found that my left arm and hand were numb and tingling.  I wasn’t too concerned because I’ve had the sensation before for up to half a day, and it has always resolved itself of its own accord.  I had been tested by a neurologist before who found no problems.  But this time it continued for two, then three days.  On the morning of the third day, I stopped by my doctors office and was told to come back the next day.  By that night, my condition had evolved to include my left feet, toes, leg, lips, ears, and face.  In short the entire left side of my body had gone numb. 

When I saw my doctor the next day he immediately sent me to the ER, ruling out a slipped disk and saying it was either a stroke or a side effect of my medications.  I began to worry at that point, knowing that since I had been on my medications for around 8 months, the likelihood of new side-effects showing up now was miniscule.  However, my CAT Scan showed no sign of stroke and my blood tests ruled out Anemia and Low Blood Count.  The ER doctor said it was possibly MS or some other auto-immune disorder, but I would need a full battery of neurological tests to know for sure. 

So here I sit, back at home, feeling drained and depressed, not sure whether to worry or feel relief.  The numbness has now for the most part relocated to where it began, my left arm and hand, with only occasional glimmers of tingling in my face and leg.  But, my hand and arm seem to grow weaker by the hour.  I can’t lift my thesaurus, I dropped the milk as I was trying to put it back in the fridge earlier this afternoon, and even typing is becoming almost impossible as I can hardly feel the keys through the fingers of my left hand. 

If it weren’t for the weekend, I might almost relish the mystery of seeking out the cause of my problem and finding the right solution.  Not that my mind is twisted enough to enjoy the thought of a serious illness, but my curiosity has always been my defining characteristic.  But, being the weekend….all I can do is look up articles online and try and self diagnose, which is only mildly entertaining, because I know I will likely be proven wrong.

So I sit here, going numb, gazing off into space and wishing, just a bit that my lights had a touch of whimsy to take my mind off my body for at least a second or two.

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