Monday, February 28, 2011

The Healer

I keep getting asked how I feel.

Really, I feel like crap. (Hmm... I use that word often and hate it when my kids use it, so I guess I better rethink that particular part of my vocabulary. But for now, substandard just doesn't seem to deliver.) 

In all honesty, I do feel a little better after three days of steroid infusions than I have felt in the last six weeks. I still have two more infusions, so hopefully things will just get better. It all started with the annoying vertigo that just wouldn't and hasn't gone away.

Several symptoms have been added to the vertigo. It was getting to the point that I felt like I was declining everyday. I still feel like a crazy person, but the steroids are helping. The numbness on the left side of my lower face is gone. And while my vision is still often blurry and peripherally double, I can at least see peripherally out of my left eye now. No more big black block. My mouth still feels like I have been to the dentist on the right side, my cheek is still a little zingy and I am not remembering things as well, but at least I am walking a little more normal. I am not stumbling as much. At least not like the day I fell down the stairs with Eliza or when I went in for another MRI and the technician asked if I had taken something before I went. Oh brother! Did the thought not occur to him that I was coming in for another MRI on my brain only two weeks after the first one? In his defense, I did run into the wall!!

After four MRI's, three blood draws (for various tests), two appointments with specialists, a lumbar puncture, and the input of five of the Huntsman Cancer Institute's tumor board neurologists,  it is pretty certain that I have Multiple Sclerosis. (Here is a little information video for a quick MS 101) Fortunately, early treatment is the most successful. The treatment options are mind boggling in and of themselves, and there are so many alternative treatments to consider as well. There is help. I will be fine. I am anxious to feel a little more like myself again and not so pathetic and crazy. (Because that is really how I feel, aside from the symptoms being super annoying, I have been frustrated that I couldn't just make myself get up and live normal everyday life. I would think long and hard about whether is was worth it to get up and shower and fix my hair and then feel worse later in the day. Lame, I know. I wish I could explain it better, but really the best way I can explain it is that I have felt like, note the afore mentioned, crap.)

A huge part of my struggle has been that it feels like my kids deserve better. They deserve to have one healthy parent. One who isn't "neurologically diseased." I think the worst was after the day that the double vision in my eyes became more permanent. I had spent the majority of the day lying on the couch. Josh was putting the kids to bed and explaining that I was sick and didn't feel well. Kimball started to cry. He was really upset and worried that his dad was going to die and his mom was going to die and that there would be four kids living alone in our house and that he wasn't big enough to take care of Eliza. Not only is it sad to hear his concerns vocalized, but to know that such a heavy burden was weighing on his little seven-year-old shoulders. He shouldn't have to carry that. None of my children should.

Still, even in saying that, I am reminded of the distant feeling I had in the temple after learning about Josh's tumor. I was told that it would be hard, that it would hurt, but that ultimately... everything is in His hands and that it would be okay. Christ is the Healer. He is the one who can heal us from physical infirmity (if it is according to the Lord's will) and He can heal our aching hearts when life is hard. That is His purpose. To be our Savior.

I am going to post another song. "The Healer," was written by one of my close friend's twin sister. The CD is called, Praying for a Better Day by, Tari Van Tassell. I looked it up and you can buy a download here.

I know that I keep talking about songs and putting them up on my blog, but really... music is one of the best ways to feel the Spirit, and it has been healing to me in so many different ways. Please take the time to listen to this song. You will not be sorry. It strengthens my faith and testimony of Jesus Christ every time I hear it. In recent weeks, it has helped me to see that while a complete physical healing may not be possible, a spiritual and emotional healing is really what I need. (I spent the time to make the video myself, googly eyes and all, so... go easy on me! It was the only way I could figure out how to get the actual music on this post.)