Saturday, March 05, 2005

What A Day This Has Been

Today, March 4th, 2005 is the tenth anniversary of the day that my wife fell ill with an incurable neurologic disease.

She was making her rounds in her car working as a home health care nurse today, 10 years ago. She felt an intense stabbing pain in the right side of her face that went to the back of her head. It was so severe that she thought she had been hit by a random bullet. She pulled to the side of the road in hopes that the pain would go away. She felt her head for blood, but there was no blood. She called our family doctor on her cellphone and asked if she should go to the emergency room. He told her to come to his office as soon as possible.

After examing her, he was clearly puzzled. He wanted to get her to see a neurologist. The only one immediately available was a doctor that had treated her for headaches in the late 1970's. Under his care she inadvertantly suffered a stroke due to poor placement of a catheter during an angiography. So she was not going back to him. She had to wait several months before she was diagnosed as having Raeder's Paratrigeminal Neuralgia by a competent doctor. In the interim I took her from one doc to another in hopes that some test might shed some light. It was obvious to me that she had encephalitus, but what did I know. By the time she saw Dr. Kelly, the swelling in her brain had subsided, but not the after-effects.

Since then it's been tough times and a long road to regaining health. She had to give up her career as a registered nurse and a public relations specialist. She gave up much more than that. Her freedom. She has been essentially housebound and dependent on those around her to provide for her. She has been subjected to limited activity as well by this disease. She has been abandon by all of her old friends and acquaintances. People assume you are contagious. Besides it's really a bummer hanging with the sick. Her church has never done anything but send her envelopes for tithes. But we continue to hang in there and trust that God will provide for our every need.

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