And I'm finally going to at least try and figure out what it is. Here is some backgound...
After I had my daughter in 2006 I immediately began having a series of neurological problems that I had never previously experienced in my life. It began literally two days after the birth- the first symptom was a case of bells palsy, which causes temporary partial paralysis of the face. Thankfully that went away after about a week and a half. Some say that pregnancy can be a cause, so we never looked into it that much as it went away on its own.
A few months later I started noticing little sensations...it first began with my back. I'd always notice, especially in the morning, that it felt like a little piece of tape was stuck to my back when I'd lean over. It would go away in a few minutes. Then, I noticed that my toes would start to tingle (both feet) at random times of the day. Eventually this tingling would make its way to my hands, legs, arms, sometimes even the top of my head. It would last for a few minutes, max. This was occurring on both sides of my body. I also began to notice what felt like raindrops hitting my leg- or the sensation of wetness on my legs when there was nothing there. I went to my family doctor and they did a series of bloodwork tests but all of it came up normal. He didn't feel the need to refer me to a neurologist and told me it was probably all just hormonal and related to the birth (even though at this point I'd given birth almost a year ago). Finally, sometime after a year, my symptoms started to slow down and almost completely go away. But, then I noticed a new symptom. Suddenly I had a huge amount of eye floaters. I mean, I went from having absolutely no floaters to a TON in both eyes within a week. I also noticed that in a dark room, when I moved my eyes I'd see flashes of light. I wasn't convinced that these new symptoms were related to all the tingling, so I just went to the eye doctor. All tests were normal. Optic nerve looked good. Which was what I was worried about because at this point, after hours of searching online, I had already diagnosed myself with multiple sclerosis. Because my eye doc couldn't find a reason for these flashes, he referred me to a retinal specialist. I went, and, as always, tests came back normal. So I was left to believe that this was all in my head. Well, eventually I started seeing just random flashes of light even without eye movement. And my other symptoms just hadn't gone away- so I booked myself an appointment with a local neurologist. I really did just look one up in a phonebook out of desperation. So I went and he did a few tests on me but basically told me he didn't think it was multiple sclerosis or a brain tumor (great) but he thought he'd order up an MRI just in case. Well, after leaving his office I felt a lot better so I went ahead and canceled the MRI- I just felt like we couldn't afford it and after his reassurance I figured it would all just go away.
Well, the floaters never went away and I got used to the occasional flashes. My tingling had almost completely stopped. I figured it was all hormonal, especially after looking up all these other people online with almost identical symptoms. They had all gotten MRI's and all of those MRI's had come up clear and they were just on a rabbit trail, desperate to find a diagnosis. Well, I hate doctors and tests, etc. I wasn't that desperate for a diagnosis. Plus my symptoms seemed to be fading...I figured that everything was fine.
So I got pregnant again when my daughter was 21 months. I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy and a natural birth. My tingling got a little worse when pregnant so I figured it was definitely hormonal and didn't give it much thought. After he was born , I didn't get bells palsy. Everything went beautifully.
The past 10 months I've often worried and thought maybe I should have gotten that MRI. But I prayed to God and said, God, if you want me to get further testing done you are going to have to give me a symptom that I just cannot ignore.
Well, a few days ago, that symptom came. On Saturday, I noticed that when I blinked I saw a perfect little oval shaped ball of light. It was like what you see after looking at a lightbulb for too long. So I figured that must be what it was. So I just waited for it to go away.
Well, it never did. I eventually noticed that this little flash happened mainly when I blinked or sometimes on upgaze. But the thing that really bothered me was- I couldn't see through it. It's like a blindspot in my vision. Thankfully, it is only in one eye. I can never focus on it directly.
I praise God that he was kind enough to give me a symptom that I cannot ignore- but it's a symptom that I can handle. So I made up my mind - I was going to go back to the doctors and try to figure out what I'm dealing with. But where in the world would I go? I knew nothing about neurologists and I had a sneaking suspicion that the last one I had gone to was a bit of a quack.
So we went to church yesterday. I sang, hoping for a healing. It was hard to get my heart into worship. I felt alone and scared. I didn't understand why it was all happening to me. I have two beautiful kids that need me. What if this blind spot gets bigger?? What if I get more of them? I couldn't stop crying. At the end of worship someone got up and said they felt like there were people in the church that were finding it hard to worship God- but God wanted us to know that a time would come where we would truly be able to worship and with our whole heart believe and confess that God is great and he DOES work for the good of those who love him. Obviously, that person he was speaking to was me. I could just feel it.
After the service was over I was desperate to get prayed over. Me, my husband and my two little kids stalked the pastor until I finally just shouted "Pastor Bill!" and got his attention. I told him I desperately needed prayer. He immediately got his wife over to me. She took me aside and I broke down in tears.
I told her I was afraid I had something like multiple sclerosis and I was so scared. She looked at me and said, "I know exactly how you feel." She went on to tell me that she'd had very similar symptoms to mine for years and she'd been to neurologist after neurologist and they diagnosed her with everything under the sun because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with her. She was diagnosed with everything from clinical depression to Multiple Sclerosis. Finally, she went to a new neurologist at UNC. She was diagnosed with B-12 deficiency and she now takes shots and her symptoms went away completely. She was able to refer me to that neurologist and pray for me.
When I'm done writing this blog post, I am calling that doctor and scheduling an appointment. I am scared to death. I don't know if anyone reads this, but if you do, please pray for me. Thank you.