Why I have been quiet

Friday, March 14, 2014

The past few weeks have been quite crazy for me.  You can always tell when my life gets hectic in that the frequency of my posts takes a complete nosedive.  Here is a little update as to why I have been more quite than normal lately.

A few weeks back I think I mentioned that one of my sisters found a lump in her breast and had to have a biopsy.  She also got back results from a PAP that pointed out potentially cancerous cells.  She had a biopsy on her breast lump and it turned out to be benign (YAY!).  She ended up having a LEEP done on her cervix and has to now go back for monitoring every 6 months.  That same sister, poor thing, has had such a rough go of it lately that you would think that the universe would give her a break.  Not so much.  WTF, universe?!

She called me early last week and mentioned that she was having some numbness under her right rib cage.  That had turned into her whole right leg going numb and a feeling of weakness when she walked around.  She was concerned so she went to the doctor and they given her an MRI of her spine.  She didn't have the results back yet, but she seemed really worried and told me to pray for her.

Last Friday she called me in a panic and told me that they had found a "growth" on her spine and needed her to go directly to the ER.  She was pretty scared.  They told her that they were not sure whether she had an infection, a virus, cancer, or worse, but that she needed steroids right away to reduce the inflammation of the "growth" so that she would not have permanent nerve damage and loss of feeling on her right side.

In somewhat of an organized panic, I made plans along with two of my other sisters to rescue our sister who was in serious need of some sisterly support.  What we found out when we got there was quite different than what we had imagined.  There was my younger sister, laid up in a hospital bed on the neurology floor with old ladies dying of complications from Alzheimer's and dementia. She just didn't seem to belong there because she was young and healthy.  It was sad and depressing.  She looked so bewildered, but also relieved to see us.

She explained to us that she had another MRI of her brain the previous night because they were trying to figure out what she had by ruling out what she didn't have.  Apparently the "growth" on her spine was actually a lesion and a condition called Transverse Myelitis.  They had also found two more lesions on her brain during the brain scan.  She calmly, but shakily explained to us that the most probable diagnosis was the auto-immune disease called Multiple Sclerosis and that this was probably an "MS" attack.

In that moment, my heart sunk to the floor.  Why her?  She had already been through quite a few other health related issues in the past few months.  How unfair.  She is young, eats healthy, and exercises.  She is getting married in a few months to a great guy who we all love like a brother, already.  She should be into serious wedding/honeymoon planning mode.  So incredibly awful.

In the day that my sisters and I were there, we got to hear from doctors and nurses regarding her condition.  Some were more pessimistic than optimistic and vice-versa.  Regardless of her diagnosis, it was determined that she would have to stay in the hospital for several days due to the IV steroids that she was receiving which, luckily, were helping to bring the feeling back to her leg.  She also had to have a lumbar puncture (or "spinal tap") to rule out all other possible diagnoses, but would not receive those results for at least a week.

I wish that I could have stayed with her longer, but I am glad that my husband was able to watch the baby so that I could go and give her some support when she really needed it.  So now we just wait for a more "official" diagnosis.  For now, my sister is feeling tired and frustrated, but at least she is home and continuing to recover from whatever she may have (or have had).

Me being the person that I am did some research on MS and I learned quite a few things about it.  I figured that it was a death sentence and a condition that, at the least, would lead a person to not be able to use their limbs, eventually.  What I found was that that is simply not true.  The National MS Society has a ton of great information and in my 15 minutes of reading on their site, I learned quite a bit.

I am still hopeful that maybe this was a one time thing and that the conclusive medical results will NOT point to MS.  If it turns out that it is, I am sure that my sister will be ok.  She is a very strong girl.  She may have to change a few things up, but she'll be fine.  I know it.

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One Response to “Why I have been quiet”

  1. Praying for your family and your sister. She sounds like such a strong resilient young woman.