Thursday, November 26, 2009

Life: more tests and trials

Clearly I've been absent for awhile. So much has happened in the last few months. It feels surreal when I think about it all. In a nutshell, I got engaged, I bought a house, I was homeless for two weeks, I moved into the new house, I adopted two new puppies, I transferred jobs, I continued with school, and I got desperately ill, though not in that particular order.

At times I felt like I was being tested beyond my limits, but clearly my limits are more far-reaching that I had imagined, because here I am, still standing, still breathing, still living. I'm not sure what the purpose was for this journey, but I certainly was reminded that my faith and my family will get me through any and all trials.

The worst of these was the turn in my health. Almost overnight, I went from an active working, hiking, playdate-going, girls'-night-outter, road trip-taking, photographing, crafting, studying, reading mommy to barely being able to stand on my own two feet without tipping over.

At first I mistook my own symptoms for migraines and asthma attacks. I would have these weird episodes where I suddenly wouldn't feel well, and often my throat would get very tight, I'd get short of breath, and my head would hurt very badly. As time went on, the episodes got more frequent and more severe, and I became nauseous and dizzy. Then my hands and feet started to swell and I noticed my heart would race, but I would be extremely, ridiculously fatigued.

My first trip to the emergency room led to a diagnosis of migraines. My second, to asthma. My third, I was hospitalized, because they realized there was an issue going on with my heart. I was admitted to the heart floor of the local hospital. I was released on my fourth day, without a diagnosis or treatment, and had to be readmitted the next day. I was there for three more days, and again released without a diagnosis, but this time with a plan to try to find one.

I was ordered a holter monitor by my cardiologist and was supposed to wear it for 30 days. Two weeks in, my doctor did a "tilt test" and was able to positively diagnose me with vasodepressive syncope and sinus tachycardia. Whew. I was assured that this condition, while terribly uncomfortable and inconvenient, is not life threatening. I will have it for the rest of my life, and I have yet to find a successful treatment, but having a diagnosis is half the battle, and I am very grateful for that.

Now that I look at the clock and see that it is officially Thanksgiving Day, let me also tell you how terribly thankful I am that I have been blessed with my wonderful, loving family. My fiance, Kevin, has remained faithfully by my side through all of this. Our four boys continue to be the light of my life. My mom, my brothers, my grandparents, my best friends, my etsy family, my church family- all continue to be there for me, to love me, to support me, and to guide me. I can only hope that I fulfill as purposeful a role in their lives, as they do in mine.

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