Sunday, December 4, 2011

Mystery and Relief

Some of you may have heard rumors regarding my (Sara) health. So I thought an update was in order. On Wednesday, November 16th I noticed a raised, red splotch on my left breast. It was originally diagnosed as mastitis and I was given antibiotics. A few days later my left arm went completely numb. It was extremely heavy, fatigued even when at rest, and very painful. I was experiencing shooting pain from my left breast through my shoulder and down my arm to my fingers.

The next two weeks were a blur of antibiotics, pain killers, extreme pain, extreme fatigue, vertigo, confusion and nausea. I went through a myriad of tests. Blood draw after blood draw, a trip to the ER, spine X-ray, mammogram, ultrasound, breast tissue biopsy, and a brain and shoulder MRI. The MRI was actually a pleasant experience - I even fell asleep. I felt like an astronaut. Anyway, what did I learn from all this testing? That I am an extremely healthy woman free of any life threatening or long-term disease. I was glad to learn that I do in fact have a brain and it works correctly.

I also learned that my immediate and extended family love me very very well. My cousin, Krista, became my hero - driving me from appointment to appointment and checking in on me often. My hubby, as always, showed extreme calm through the storm and picked up the slack around the house with apparent ease (at least he wasn't complaining). My sister-in-law, Angie, became my on-call doctor, helping me know what tests to ask for next and reassuring me that I am not insane. My mother, Barb, saved the day - the week actually. She came up the week after Thanksgiving to take over all the many tasks of a mother. Eloise asked her, "so you are sort of like our maid?!" My mother-in-law and her whole family showed great concern and wanted updated frequently.

What I didn't learn is the exact cause for my mysterious illness. My fatigue, vertigo, confusion, and nausea have lifted. The shooting nerve pain has ceased. I have been able to resume work and some household tasks. My left hand remains very sore and unable to perform fine motor skills for any significant amount of time. Being left-handed this makes writing, eating, and brushing my teeth quite difficult. But I am surprising myself at how quickly I am becoming ambidextrous.

I am trying my best to reduce stress in my life, rest, and recuperate. This means that any of you can feel free to scold me if I try to take on another "project". I may follow up with a neurologist in a few weeks. But now that I know it is nothing extremely serious I need a break from all the tests.

Thanks for all your love, concern, and prayers!