Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why Am I So Unfocused?

Since I was little I've always enjoyed reading. I know this will come across as being boastful and I'm sorry about that, but I was very proud of my spelling and grammar. I wouldn't correct others, but I expected perfection from myself. Math was at the bottom of my list. Sports, History and anything having to do with reading was my favorite in school.

So why does my writing come across so unfocused? Why do I skip from topic to topic? Why is my grammar and spelling so bad? Well, here's why...

When I was about 14 years old, I started to have bad headaches. In 1982, at the age of 19, I was diagnosed with migraines. I was given a shot of demerol and phenergan, when ever I had the "migraine". I never thought to question my doctors. After all, they've gone to medical school and they are were the experts. No x-rays were taken. No MRI's were done.

Early in 1993, I started to have some numbing sensations in my fingers and hands. I was told I had carpal tunnel syndrome. Was given some braces and sent on my way. It sounded logical. I was working more with computers and was writing more.

During my 4th pregnancy (1993) my symptoms began to increase and get more frequent. I wasn't the "typical" case, so I went on for a couple of years with different symptoms before being officially diagnosed and treated in 1999. At that time I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, also known as SLE.

In September of 2003, I was diagnosed with chiari malformation 2 w/ 12mm herniation and hydrocephalus. To tell you the truth I was relieved. One might think, "What are you talking about? What is that?! How can you be relieved?!" Well, at least now I know what I have. Now, I know it wasn't all in my head, well it was, but not really..... LOL! My brain is herniating 12mm down into my spinal cord. No wonder I'm so smart. My head can't contain all my brain! :o) Hydrocephalus is cerebrospinal fluid build up in the brain. By this time I had had 5 MRI's. The surgeon said that the chiari malformation was evident in ALL of my MRI's. It had been overlooked.

In the winter of 2003, I had my first brain surgery. I had a shunt installed in my brain. It helps to relieve the fluid build up and drains it into my abdomen. I know this sounds "Frankensteinish" but to look at me, you couldn't tell there is anything wrong with me. I was in the hospital for about one week,due to having a chemical unbalance. Recovery from this surgery took about 4 months.

In the summer of 2004, I had my second brain surgery. I had a procedure called, Decompression with duraplasty and laminectomy of C1. I know, it's sounds "Midevelish". Recovery from this surgery took over a year. But I am now able to cheer, holler and scream without passing out. :o)

I share all this because it might help some one else that also has chiari malformation or lupus. I use to be very active. I enjoyed horseback riding and doing aerobics. I played on a women's softball team, played volleyball, snow skied, and spent lots of times in the outdoors. Due to the lupus, I can't be out in the sun long. Having chiari, I can't do activities that cause my head to shake or bobble. So I am not allowed to run, ride horses or any of the other activities I use to do. If my brain continues to herniate, it would cause paralysis. Stress causes my lupus to flare up. Once I'm in a flare up, it takes me anywhere from 2 days to weeks to recover.

I have had to change my lifestyle. I've had to "de-stress" my life. It hasn't been easy, because I really enjoyed playing sports, but it was necessary. I was in denial for a long time. Then I realized that if I didn't change, not only would I suffer, but my beloved family would suffer too. Now, I don't over commit. My life is simpler now.

I just noticed that I shared the "why" I come across so unfocused. Well, I have trouble processing my thoughts. When I write my thoughts, it looks exactly like what I think I'm writing. Yet, not all the words get written (or typed). As for my spelling, I know how to spell it, but when I type, I type the letters in the wrong order. Even though I "know" that "their" means it belongs to someone and "there" means a place, I'll type it wrong. I "know" how to spell my, but I type "mi". Oh, and it's not because I'm Spanish. LOL! I'm also getting more forgetful. It's not that I'm not focusing. It's the chiari.

There is no cure for chiari malformation. The decompression only helps alleviate, the pressure. Once the brain herniates, it can't go back up. A whiplash can cause my brain to herniate further into my spinal cord. A trip to the dentist could cause more herniation. That's because they hyper extend your neck to clean your teeth or do work on them. Oh, just in case you are wondering, I do see my dentist twice a year. :o) He's know about my health and he's careful not to hyper extend my neck. So I do have nice, clean healthy teeth. LOL!

I have to honestly say that I'm thankful. Yes... thankful. I'm thankful that it's me that has it and not my Knight. Not my children. Not my family. It has helped to slow down and enjoy life. I have time to spend with my children instead of running around doing "stuff". Since I'm not "stressed" from a chaotic life, I'm happier. If mama is happy, then everyone else is happy too. ;o) But most of all, it has brought me closer to my Lord and Savior. I know that He is in control.

And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
-2 Corinthians 12:9

5 comments:

Beverly said...

I came over from CTG to meet this lady who questioned his naming the town DLDT. I find your diagnosis very interesting. On the cystic fibrosis forum, there is a mother with a son who is around six who has cf, and who also has this malformation.

Your verse at the end of your post is a wonderful one, isn't it.

CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Lady G: I've left a message for you on my blog. Come on over and read it sometime!

Justin said...

"No wonder I'm so smart. My head can't contain all my brain!"

This is now going into my all-time favorite quotes list. I think it's great that you keep looking at the positive side of everything.

The Atavist said...

I love your positive attitude and am impressed with your spirit. You are an inspiration to us all, and I'm sure to your husband and children as well.

Bellezza said...

I find your point of 'de=stressing' critical for all of us, with a diagnosis or not. Isn't it wonderful His Grace is sufficient for us? Or else, I'd be sunk! Plus, I don't think your blog/writing wanders...