Things Fall Apart, Part I

The hardest part about coming back after a blogging hiatus is catching up one what has happened. Really, it’s emotionally exhausting. If I’m going to be genuine with you and myself, we need to recap the past 8 months. While I don’t typically share so much and in such a manner, I’ve been going through a lot of changes personally and with my health that I’m eager to share but they won’t carry much weight until you know what has happened.

I cannot even begin to cover most of these things at a length that does them justice. So I won’t try. But, being that they are Big Life Things, they need to be addressed. So, a super fun, bulleted list shall suffice.

Ready?

Our life, November to June – abbreviated:

  • We experienced a miscarriage.
  • We trudged our way through the holidays.
  • Josh’s grandfather died.
  • Josh accepted a position in Charlotte.
  • We spent weeks preparing to list our house. And finally listed it. 
  • Josh began working full-time in Charlotte, living in hotels, and driving back to Savannah on the weekends. During one trip home, the wheel fell off of his truck. While driving. On the highway. Traveling 75 mph. Thank you, Jesus, he was fine.
  • Blair’s hives, night terrors, GI issues and rashes return. Allergy testing shows that her milk allergy has returned. Who knew that could happen.
  • I kept the house constantly show-ready with two children and an anxiety-ridden dog.
  • I suffered through numerous showings, no shows, second showings, showings with no appointment, and offers with negotiations that couldn’t be met.
  • An unfathomable number of hours and miles spent driving back and forth between Savannah and Charlotte. Up and down 95. Over and over. With no Starbucks en route.
  • Realizing being apart was too hard on our family, we decided to lower the list price (therefore increasing the hit we were already taking on the house).
  • We went under contract with smooth negotiations.
  • We frantically searched for a new place to live in a place we could agree upon with a price we could afford. We considered renting, buying, living in our vehicles when God provided the exact house we needed.
  • We survived the week leading up to closing which included absolutely incompetent movers, several last minute inspections, a very sick child, one vehicle in the shop and uncertainty of when exactly our possessions would arrive to our new home.

Looking back on it all, I feel exhausted. How did we survive that? A mixture of pure adrenaline and faith. In the book of Joshua, God instructs him to build a pile of stones in the middle of the Jordan River to mark where He stopped the river so they could carry the Ark of the Covenant across. People like me don’t survive things like this on our own. It’s foolish of me to not stop and construct my own pile of rocks to remember how we made it through such an exhausting and stressful time.

::Break::

Congratulations if you made it this far! I know that was as engaging as the phone book so I’d like to reward you in some way. Unfortunately, all I have is a camera, so enjoy this complimentary selfie.

selfie810

Now, back to business.

Throughout all of this, I was dealing with some pretty significant health issues. I didn’t share it with many people because, really, I wasn’t dying and there wasn’t anything anyone could do. I’m fiercely private, probably to a fault. Which is weird, considering I’m putting all of this out into Internet-land.

After our miscarriage in November, my body went a bit crazy. I don’t think the miscarriage caused it, nor do I think my miscarriage was caused by these issues. But when something life changing occurs, it becomes a marker in time – before miscarriage / after miscarriage.  So as we settled into our routine AM, I started noticing these weird things happening with my vision and balance. As I drove down the road, things in my peripheral vision seemed to be moving too quickly. When I turned to look at something across the room, it felt like it took my vision a millisecond longer to see what my eyes were focused on. Grocery shopping became unbearable with the shelves stocked with innumerable items of all different colors and sizes and I felt like I couldn’t actually see any of them. It felt like visual overload and I was constantly on the verge of a panic attack.

I talked with my primary care who prescribed Prozac. It felt defeated when I took the first dose and even more neurotic as the weeks passed by. We realized I wasn’t, in fact, having anxiety and something else was happening. He ordered an MRI. It was normal. I had my vision checked, normal.

I sat on the exam table, frustrated and angry that after going through such a traumatic loss, my body was continuing to betray me with some unknown illness that was not only impairing my daily life but also making me think I was losing my ever loving mind. And that I’d feel that way forever. I told the doctor it just felt like the world was a little off balance.

Aha.

Vertigo.

He asked if I had ringing in my ears. Constantly. Fullness feeling behind my ears. Yes.

I’ve had vertigo attacks in the past with the classic room-spinning, nausea-inducing dizziness. But this felt different and nearly constant. He referred me to an ENT and I went in mid-January for a videonystagmography (VNG) to test my balance, eye movement, and the nerve function of my inner ear – where balance originates. Results showed I have a 30% decreased nerve function in my right ear, causing the attacks. Paired with the tinnitus, I left with the diagnosis of Meniere’s Syndrome. Mostly because I’m not sure they know what else to call it.

Because my symptoms were relatively new and seem to be triggered by stress (HA! HA! or something else unknown, the ENT suggested I follow up with an allergist for testing to see if something else is causing the inflammation in my inner ear. Which is when things became really fun.

Next: Things Fall Apart: Part II – What To Do When You’re Allergic To Everything.

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5 thoughts on “Things Fall Apart, Part I

  1. Gosh, Liz. That’s quite a list!

    I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through all this, especially your first bullet point. I know what it’s like to define things this way:

    “But when something life changing occurs, it becomes a marker in time – before miscarriage / after miscarriage.”

    I’m truly sorry you do too.

    With heart and healing,
    Dani

  2. Geez, Liz! Glad you’re staying relatively positive, sometimes it feels good just to get it off your chest. Sending oodles of positive vibes your way. And I love your selfie. =)

    It’s so strange that they diagnosed it as Meniere’s disease, my stepdad suffered (suffers?) from that. Small world. He made some changes to his diet that he swears helped. Is that why you’re cutting caffeine? Hope you’ve found some relief and things are settling down!

    • Thanks, Nicole! I’m don’t fit any of the classical traits of a meniere’s patient (female, young, no hearing loss) but I suppose they need to call it something. My mom has it also and there are suspicions of a genetic connection relating to the formation of the inner ear. Yes, over-caffeination seems to intensify the tinnitus and my allergies definitely play a role 😦

  3. Pingback: Things Fall Apart, Part II | The Lambent Life

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