I do not like to share personal information about my life (especially on social media) but I feel that I should at least let those of you whom I’ve never met in person, but feel a certain connection to and honestly hope that you are as sincere in what you share as I am about to share with you. Maybe I am naive in thinking this way but sometimes you really need to say some things out loud just to hear it….
When my mother was a senior in high school, her mother became pregnant with twins while going through menopause. My mother married right after her senior year and had me. I am a year and a few months younger than my aunt and uncle; we grew up together more like brother and sister. We were close as can be until we moved from East TN only to never live there again. We left our family behind….We very seldom visited and as I became older and settled in Chattanooga, I found that I didn’t take the time to visit either. I have been back to East TN maybe 3 times in almost 30 years.
My aunt has lived a life of nothing but total pain. She damaged her back many, many years ago and has had uncountable back surgeries, been through some tragic physical/health events and a car wreck which should have at that time taken her life, yet she remained here on earth. This past weekend, we get a call that she is in multi-system organ failure, sepsis and on life support. Sunday morning my mother, middle sister, brother, nieces and nephew head out on a long and mournful trip to East TN.
I had every intention of taking mom to East TN until I get a phone call very early Sunday morning from my oldest daughter (she will be 32 in a few days) telling me she is going to the ER with a migraine and asked if I would keep her girls. My daughter has never had a migraine and this was going on day three of severe head pain. She gets to an ER where they did a “stroke evaluation”, gave her an injection for pain and sent her home. Forty-five minutes later my daughter breaks down in tears with excruciating pain from headache and was taken to another hospital ER – a Level 1 Trauma Center. She was scanned for a brain bleed, had several tests done only to learn that her WBC was dangerously high. They gave her additional medication a “migraine cocktail” and discharged her. She was so heavily medicated when they got to our house to pick up the girls that she didn’t know anything.
Monday morning I get a call from her, the headache is worse and she asks if she can she stay the day with me? We spend the day together while her headache began to ease. After she left for home, I began packing my things to head to East TN with my youngest sister. I call my daughter to check on her, she then informed me that she would be either going back to the ER or a walk in clinic today, Tuesday for her migraine (this is day 5). I cancel plans for East TN and she and I went to a DOCTORS office only to learn several probabilities.
Her White Blood Count (WBC) is high due to infection in the body. She has been scheduled to see a hematologist for a bone marrow biopsy, looking for possible bone marrow cancer and/or Leukemia and has been scheduled with her OB/GYN for tests for possible cervical cancer (all of which she was suppose to do 6 years ago but was terrified and never followed up), she is symptomatic for a stroke and is being tested for diabetes and other deficiencies in the body. She was prescribed 3 medications one of which is anti-inflammatory for swelling in the temporal arteries. If the headache which was not a migraine stops then other tests will be ordered for measuring pressure somewhere in the head that is causing the pain and stroke symptoms. She has been given another medication for pain if there is no improvement that is used for treating closed head injury patients. I have a history of severe migraines and have used this medication for such patients and know it is very effective and works. However, the doctor didn’t seem too hopeful about that particular medication due to her not having classic migraine symptoms. But he did not want her to be in any more pain. It will heavily, very heavily sedate her.
I have been in a whirlwind of sorrow, stress, worry, doubt, uncertainty and fear for the past few weeks, days and now hours. I have had other critical situations to arise that are now under control.
I am dealing with an aunt who is fighting for her life and a mother who is fighting for her youngest sisters life and a daughter who I am fighting for her life. Just being hit in the face with something of this magnitude is beyond words and feelings (for me). I guess I am writing this to hear me say the words out loud and come to some realization that I need help, courage, strength, belief and prayer. I believe in God and in his healing power. I believe He has everything under control and will take care of my family. I just need reassurance.
So please forgive me and understand why I have no cutesy morning greetings, funny family stories, exciting decoration pictures or fall recipes. I just ask that you keep my family in your thoughts and prayers and I will try to keep you updated when I can.
I pray for many blessings to you and yours.