Words make up my life. Spoken, written, and read, they guide me through my day. I speak them all – words of love, happiness, sadness, sorrow, shock, defeat, triumph, and blessing.
They are my words to hide dear or give with abandon.
Until one day, my words were no longer my own.
Unfortunately it turned into one of those trauma in the ER episodes. I didn’t mean to make a scene. I never do. Scenes happen to me.
This past Monday, of course it had to be on a Monday, every circumstance in my little world aligned for a perfect storm. I had a headache on the right side of my head since Friday. My unfortunate family heard words of complaint scattered like sprinkles across ice-cream, only less sweet.
Pain relievers work on people without pain. That’s mostly true.
So when I awoke Monday to a clearer head, I thought the worst of the storm passed, but I’ve been known to be wrong. Monday afternoon at precisely 3:15 my son had an appointment with the allergist, our allergist. I didn’t have an appointment myself, until the scene that is. Because the doctor’s office is in a large complex, the center like the hub of an airport, I asked my husband to come home early and watch my daughter. The ‘hub’ is a giant waiting room with each doctor nestled in his own hanger. There are dermatologists, family physicians, allergists, eye specialists, and others I never intend to visit. The actual exam rooms are quite small and I don’t prefer to leave my daughter alone in the waiting room filled with strangers. Sick strangers.
Instead of staying home, my husband decided to come along and promised to entertain my daughter while we checkup’d.
The sun never shines when my hormones rage. It’s a fact of life. You can bet money on it. I’ll refrain.
Rainy days bring sinus problems, barometric pressure, and a general malaise. I should become a weather girl. On this Monday, I had an asthma attack in the car. A few puffs of albuterol and I was breathing again, but about ten minutes from landing in a parking space, my vision started to blur. Visual disturbances are my first sign of a migraine. Like many, my vision will blur, spot, and flash zig-zags of light for about twenty minutes. When my eyes clear, the headache comes. Only my eyesight didn’t continue to get worse. It settled on mildly blurry.
My husband and daughter stayed outside while my son and I entered the medical airport. I got a bit dizzy on the walk in, but focused on the long line of people queued up for the ‘check-in’ receptionist.
When I turned to say something like, “You can go ahead and grab a seat” to my son, my words came out in a jumble and slur. I looked at my son and he looked at me. I tried again.
I couldn’t speak. Not so anyone could understand me anyway. I concentrated really hard and said something again, only I heard my jumble and slur. Nothing made sense.
I wasn’t feeling so good and the line was quickly moving. I didn’t really know what to do, so I pulled out my cell phone, punched in a “2” (my husband’s speed dial number) and handed the phone to my very confused son.
He said something is wrong with mommy and you better come in.
When my husband got me and asked what was wrong, I once again opened my mouth and said something slurred and unintelligible. It was supposed to be “I can’t speak!”
He pushed me toward an empty chair, and said “I’m getting help.”
The one word that came clearly from my mouth was “No.”
Ever notice even babies are good at that word?
Well, the receptions must’ve called in some kind of emergency code, because doctors and nurses poured from every hanger. The nurses from Asthma, Allergy, and Immunology claimed me as their own. While people were pulling off my sweater, putting a blood pressure cuff on me and clipping my finger with an oxygen gauge, someone spattered me with questions I really didn’t do a good job answering.
Then they threw me in a wheelchair and raced away.
After a few minutes, my language skills returned, however, I remained a bit shaky. After a full neurological exam and a million more questions, they determined I had a migraine. It was in an area of the brain that affected my speech. To be honest, my son remembers the technical explanation of my headache more than I.
Sure enough the pain hit a little later. Then I had another migraine on Tuesday with the normal visual disturbances only. Today is a better. Much better than Monday, but I skipped homeschool group this morning. I planned on painting chickens with the kids, but my head still feels like it’s in a vice. Thirty children in one room with a flock of half-painted chickens may have pushed me over the edge. I’m not sure my brain would have recovered.
As I understand it, migraines can pretty much disable a brain for a short time. I’m praying I do not encounter the makings of another perfect storm…not anytime soon.
I am blessed. Blessed my husband came along. Blessed this happened while in the doctor’s office. Blessed it didn’t last. Blessed it wasn’t worse. Blessed God is in control even when I’ve lost control.