I hadn't seen Brad in 3 weeks ... And I hadn't traveled out of state for SO long.
(photo from Alaska Marine Highway System)
To leave Sitka one must either ferry or fly ... It's pricey, so was an exciting, major event for our family for any of us to leave. So the night before I left, my kids all had a blast picking out clothes for me. I remember being so happy that they found something to be excited about, but so incredibly fatigued that if I had to try on even one more thing I thought I might just collapse. Really, truly. Brad and I met up at baggage claim in Seattle and went directly to the Neurology Offices adjoining the hospital.
(photo from Virginia Mason Medical Center)
The verbal assessment was similar to what occurred in Sitka - I found it funny that they asked, at both places, "are you tired?" ... My response: "of course I'm tired, I'm a mother of 5".
(picture from google images)
I honestly thought that every mother experienced fatigue the way I had. When I look back on that now and remember that very unique tiredness, I am surprised that in itself didn't send me to the doctor. It is an indescribable fatigue. Anyway, even in the amount of time I was sitting in the doctor's office, my symptoms increased. He admitted me to the hospital with plans for further testing the next day. I felt such relief when I climbed into the hospital bed and could at last rest!
I don't know how Brad slept that night, but I was too tired to be scared. When the doc came in for a morning visit and to let us know of the schedule for the day, we quizzed him about what the possibilities were. A tumor on my spine, MS, some other nerve disorder ... I don't know why, but I suspected it was a tumor and all I would need was a day of surgery. Blood tests, neurological tests, strength tests - then finally an MRI. If you've never had an MRI, but find yourself needing one, don't be fooled when they say "it might be a little noisy". OH MY WORD ... I'm not easily frightened, but the noise scared the tar out of me! One moment it sounds like you're in a war zone, the next it sounds like you're at the wrong end of a jack hammer ... It is AWFUL. So when they offer you head phones with your choice of music, take it - but don't expect to really hear the music.
(photo from threepeb.com)
That afternoon the doctor came in, sat down, and said "you have lesions on your brain and on your spine consistent with Multiple Sclerosis" ... And thus our journey began.
(part 4 coming tomorrow)
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