In March of 2018, the flu took down four of our five family members. I was the last to fall sick. Because I had “a head’s up” that I was probably going to get sick, I called my primary for a prescription of Tamiflu. (The first family members who got sick were tested for flu– and Strain A was the diagnosis) . I started taking the antiviral medication soon after the fever and aches hit. I believe the meds helped a lot: I felt bad and stayed in bed for a few days, but I seemed to recover fairly quickly. (Oh, by the way– I did get the flu shot 4-5 months earlier.)
But I didn’t really recover. I felt woozy, dizzy and cognitively out of it. . . as well as extremely fatigued and emotionally agitated. However, because of a previously planned college-tour trip with my middle daughter, I decided to press on as best as I could. I assumed that the symptoms I had were simply post-flu residuals that would resolve on their own in a few days.
As soon as we returned home from the college tour, I scheduled an appointment with my primary care physician. On the trip, symptoms of numbness and tingling in the right side of my body emerged. My regular doctor, I’ll call her Dr. Hashi*, was not available. Her assistant (Nurse Practitioner) saw me in the clinic and performed a thorough neurological exam. He noticed that my smile was uneven. He ordered an MRI and referred me to a neurologist.
It dawned on me that a stroke or tumor needed to be ruled out. I didn’t freak out about that possibility. I was an emotional and mental mess anyway: I was having terrible dark, unwanted thoughts and despair over desiring everything in my house to be perfectly organized and clean. I remember laying down in my bed because of feeling dizzy and worrying about all the unorganized photos in boxes under my bed.
The pictures are not in order! Should they be chronological or categorical? How should I divide the pictures for our three children (for the future)? Should I go make multiple copies of certain pictures? I can’t do this. It would be a full time job. But it must be done. What about the possibility of photo damage from humidity? I should scan all of them into digital files instead. But I’d really like to make sure the actual photos are organized and safe in case something happens to all the digital files. . .
I can’t begin to tell you how terribly painful and real this threat was to me— not the threat of a stroke or tumor, but the threat of unorganized pictures.
*Dr. Hashi has treated me for five years. I give her the moniker, “Hashi” because we both have Hashimoto’s Disease, an autoimmune thyroid condition. Every time I mention my Hashimoto’s, she reminds me that she has it, too, and waxes poetic, without fail, about how the disease isn’t a big deal.
Categories: The Background Info