Get a Move On…


As soon as we realized that David would need to drive to Ft. Worth for school, we moved to downtown Dallas.  Although my legs did not care to work properly and I spent many evenings driving the few blocks back home hoping that I would continue to push through the cramping in my feet & calves to get my car back to the parking garage of our apartment, I have fond memories of that part of life.  I was working at the BMT unit at Baylor and I loved my coworkers!  We were still able to continue meeting with our church group that we loved.  And, My brother rented an apartment across the street from us, so we spent many evenings together.

It was a young urban lifestyle that I had never experienced before.  We would walk to restaurants and throughout downtown Dallas.  However, I moved at a grandma pace.  Although the meds had the demylination under control where more damage was not being done to my spinal cord, it was just the start of the recovery.  I remember worrying if I could make it across the street before the light would change because I could not walk any faster.  Coming from my past in running long distance track and doing drill team, this was extremely difficult for me to experience & for David to watch.  Every evening I would cry myself to sleep through the never ending spasms of my muscles.  My doctors tried medicines to control the pain, but I don’t recall that they worked very well except to put me into a brain foggy trance-like state.  I felt like I was dreaming everything, that nothing was “real” and I didn’t really “care” about anything.  So, I became very selfish in my attitude and didn’t care if or who I upset.  This was definitely a low in my spiritual life.  However, I always knew that God was there with me.  He was the only “real” thing in my trance.  He was there listening to every cry I would make, but He laid low with any answers at the time.

I remember my friends at work seeing the change in my behavior and lovingly asking me if I was depressed.  I fought that thought!  How could I be depressed if I had God in my life??? Would going on an antidepressant mean I was going mental?  I had my professionalism & reputation to uphold and depression just didn’t fit in that model.  So, no, I wouldn’t accept that thought.  Not me.  Never.

I wonder if I had listened, what would life have been like?  Yes, I was depressed, but I wouldn’t admit it for several years.


In the fall of 2000, David & I packed up & moved to California for David’s residency.  Thankfully, David’s dad packed his motorcycle and came with us to help us unload everything & get settled in.  Then, he drove back to Texas to leave us to David’s learning.


We rented a house in Riverside, CA and started the next phase of our life.  The area was gorgeous & we loved the weather, the ability to go to the beach, and the ability to go to the mountains to ski.  California was very crowded & the traffic drove us crazy!  Also, it was not uncommon to wait in the grocery store line for an hour before checking out.  So, there were things we loved and things we hated.  We were constantly in the state of “we will stay after graduation”, vs “we will go back home after graduation.”


What would this new life bring?  Happiness? Sorrow?  Healing?  Enjoyment?

Kneading me deeper still

Still 1999.

I would love to say that everything started to turn around at that point in life and that the miscarriage was just another hiccup in a perfectly normal life, but that is just not the case.  Truth is, I had fervently prayed the praise song, “Holiness, Holiness is what I long for…”  I was begging for God to wash me and make me Holy so that I might be a bright light for Him.  His kneading me as clay into the vessel He wanted to make of me started with the double vision and then miscarriage and is still going on today.  When the troubles first began, they were extremely difficult to bear, now I just tell myself that I am honored to have the God of the universe softening me, working me, molding me into what He will be able to use as a servant.  Don’t get me wrong…  I still cry, scream, stomp my feet and ask “WHY!”, but nonetheless, I have a peace now through hardships that guides my every step.  The hopeless “why does everything bad happen to me” feeling melts into my recognition of God’s work in my life.

Two months after the miscarriage, I had gone to the Rodeo with our church group.  I remember thinking that the seat seemed excessively hard that evening and that my rear didn’t feel right after sitting on such a hard bench for so long.  It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized that something was wrong.  Regardless of how hard that bench was to sit on, my rear should not still be numb after a full night’s sleep.  For the next day, I walked around with numbness & tingling hoping that it would just go away on its own.  But, as time progressed, the numbness and tingling spread down both legs.  Sigh…  Do I really have to go to a doctor because my buttocks is numb???  Seriously???

As I started to see doctors, test after test came back normal.  Normal bloodwork, normal brain MRI, normal everything…  The doctors began to ask David & I if we thought it could be just stress from the miscarriage.  They started asking if I had any family history of psychological illnesses.  However, while they were doubting the reality of my symptoms, the numbness & tingling continued to spread.  Within a couple more days, the numbness and tingling traveled up my back, through my arms, and across my nose.  At the point that I told the neurologist that I felt like it was too strong of a sensation to be my imagination or stress related, he ordered a spine MRI.  The MRI showed an 8mm demyelinating lesion on my spine with enhancement.  To look at the MRI, my spinal cord was lit up like a strand of Christmas lights.  Apparently, that is the “enhancement” that meant I had an active case of demyelination going on.  The myelin sheath on the nerves acts as a kind of insulation for the nerve.  Something was attacking the myelin sheath and leaving my nerves naked and sensitive.  Impulses do not move as quickly through these damaged nerve fibers and can cause numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, decreased muscle control, etc.

They immediately called me in to stop the active breakdown of the myelin so my symptoms wouldn’t progress any further.  I took Solumedrol 1000mg/day x 3 days through an IV.  That probably doesn’t mean much to most of you, but the only time that I have given that much Solumedrol to a patient was to my Bone Marrow Transplant patients with severe rejection symptoms.  The Solumedrol stopped the myelin breakdown, but was just the beginning of a long recovery from the event.

What was causing the strange symptoms?  Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks its own myelin.  But, I had a second opinion with a MS specialist and he really didn’t think that is what I had because I only had the one lesion.  Was the double vision that had occured 2 years prior related?  Nobody had an answer…  only time could tell.