A New Normal

Peace and light, friends,

My family and I have been busy over the past few months – busy with work during the winter and now that Spring has arrived, busy with traveling. We were so excited to finally go on our cruise to Belize, Honduras and Cozumel, Mexico. We try to take one cruise every year, if we can. It is such a nice way to get out, visit different parts of the world, and just get out of your everyday routine. Sometimes, you get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing the same way, and this is a nice way to change things up a little.

This vacation was a little unusual for me, though. Before I left, I had just visited my neurologist after reporting some strange symptoms. I have known for a while that something was not right, and had experienced unfamiliar symptoms off-and-on for a few years. This, however, was quite different. My right side of my face and my left leg were numb at the same time, intermittently for the course of a few weeks. I called my GP, who reported it and advised me to contact my neurologist right away. I called my neurologist as soon as I could, and they scheduled me to come in within the next 48 hours.

Once there, they asked questions, made a report, and felt that I needed to be tested right away with an EEG exam. Within a few minutes, my head was swiped and soon covered with a couple dozen electrical cords, which would then record brainwave activity as they occurred during the exam. It didn’t hurt, but I got the sense that the symptoms that I was feeling sent off a huge “red flag” which needed to be investigated ASAP. After the test, I was told I would be contacted as to what the results were. I explained that I was leaving for a cruise the very next day.

About an hour later, the results were in; the test came back abnormal, and they need to do an MRI, stat. I reminded them that I was packing for for a cruise and I would be traveling before dawn the very next morning. Of course, they had to get approval to delay the MRI. Another call came in with doctor’s orders that if I could not do the MRI that night, that I needed to pick up and take my prescription that evening and twice a day thereafter or I could not travel.

WHAT???

What’s going on? What did they find? What does the test show? Clearly, I’m nervous, as they would not give any other information, but I’m determined that after waiting an entire year for this cruise, I was going no matter what. So, I filled the prescription and took it.

I had a great time on the cruise and tried not to think about the test results. While in Mexico, however, I had another episode of symptoms. As I lounged on the beach chair under a tree, I got extremely over heated. My head and neck felt like it was boiling over, despite wearing a big floppy hat. If I didn’t cool off super quick I thought I would pass out. I started to panic, as I clearly getting hotter by the minute, but needed to calm down and act fast. I’m not a swimmer, so I put my feet in the pool. Not enough. I needed to get a towel and cool off my head and neck, which helped some. I was miles away from the ship, and I didn’t want to alert my family and spoil their fun. Dumb, I know, but I thought the feeling would soon pass, as long as I stayed calm.Eventually, we got onboard ship, I took my medication, rested and felt better after a while.

Arriving back in the US, I immediately took my MRI exam. A few days later, the results came back abnormal. So, now I have two abnormal tests? What’s up, doc? After meeting again with the neurologist, I am informed of my new normal – generalized epilepsy. Wow, really? I have no family history of epilepsy, I’ve never had it as a child, and no previous head trauma. Where did this come from at 49 years of age? How does this just show up in mid-life? Apparently, the doctor said it does happen to some adults. But now the questions come: where do I go from here? What’s next? How will I know when to expect the next seizure? So is my bend in the road, new life’s journey. I’ll find out as I go along.

As you can see in the picture, it’s raining in beautiful Belize. But, the scenery if stunning – the trees are a beautiful shade of green (the picture does not do them justice) and despite the rain, life goes on. So, i take this bend in my life journey, I get a little rain. But despite the rain, beauty still shows up, still is present. It’s God’s reminder to me to be present in my life, no matter what comes. I’m equipped to handle it, learn from it and move on.