Wednesday, March 17, 2010

How it Began...

This may be a somewhat long post. I am going to attemt to tell the story of how our blessings began.

I have had a lot of medical issues in the past, so it's not unusual for strange things to happen to me. Mark, however, is always healthy and just never has any medical complications. He does not even have a primary doctor because he never needs to go. As a matter of fact, he is terrified of doctors. Just thinking about having to go see a doctor makes his blood pressure sky rocket because he gets so nervous.

On Tuesday morning a couple of weeks ago, we were just about to leave for school and work. I was taking Colin to Kindergarten and Carter and I were going to CLC (Christian Learning Center), which is the Mother's Day Out program at our church. Carter attends there and I work there on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Mark was leaving for work at the same time. As he was about to put on his shoes, he said that his leg felt weird. When I looked at him, I saw that his right foot was turned in torward his leg and he was scratching his face over and over again. I could tell that he didn't have any control over his hands touching his face. I was very worried and I called 911. The paramedics came and they said everything looked fine. He was able to stop touching his face and settle down once he sat down while I was on the phone with the dispatcher. The paramedics said that his EKG looked fine, and since he was not in any pain, they didn't need to take him to the hospital. They said he should make an appointment with a neurologist. Since I have had a couple of seizures in the past, I already had a neurologist, so I called her and I got an appointment for the next day for Mark. He was very nervous going in, so his blood pressure was very high again, but we knew the cause was just nerves. The doctor orderd an MRI and EEG, which we went to do that Friday. Mark was nervous about doing thoses tests, but was relieved when they were over. We got a call Friday night from the doctor saying that they found a spot on Mark's brain on the MRI. She was certain that the episode he had on Tuesday was a seizure. She needed him to start on some anti-seizure medications right away, so she called some in for him. I had to call her back later and ask for her to call in some medicine to help him calm down because he was just a nervous wreck. Once he took that medicine, he was able to calm down some. The weekend was pretty crazy as we waited for his appointment with the neurologist on Monday. She explained that the spot looked like a tumor and that is what caused his seizure. She wanted him to see a neurosurgeon and talk to him about surgery. We found one that we felt would be really good for Mark. He is a Christian man and a very experienced surgeon. He sent Mark for a CT scan of his body to make sure there were no other tumors that needed to be dealt with. Thankfully, that came back clean, so we only have to worry about the brain tumor. At that point, we scheduled the surgery for March 29th. Mark has had several seizures since the first one, and his medication has been adjusted many times. He had 4 days of no episodes, so we were feeling like he was in the clear. But, yesterday he had another seizure and it was more intense and much longer than the past ones. The doctor wants to keep him on the same dose of meds right now. She said it will be hard to treat the seizures as long as the tumor is still there. She feels that it will be much easier to treat him with medication after the surgery. Then, he will hopefully only have to be on one medication and only be on it for a short while. That is something that we will just have to wait and see though.

During all of this, I have been having a lot of trouble with my sciatic nerve. I had an epidural injection yesterday, and I am hoping to get some relief by the end of the week. Again, we will have to wait and see what happens with that and we will just deal with it whatever the outcome.

As soon as we found out about Mark's tumor, the blessings started pouring down on us. Friends offered to take care of our boys, Colin and Carter, for us when we needed it.- WHAT A BLESSING! A friend from our neighborhood organized meals for us. - WHAT A BLESSING! A friend from CLC organized a Care Calendar with more meals. - WHAT A BLESSING! We received cards, emails, and phonecalls from an amazing number of people telling us they were praying for our family. We were put on many prayer lists. We know there were well over a thousand people lifting us up in prayer! -WHAT A BLESSING! I have not had to worry about missing CLC days, and I have been allowed to still take Carter there even though I am not there. The director of CLC, Michelle, has been in this situation with her husband, so it has been great to have her to lean on during this time. She understands what I am going through and even what I am about to go through. She knows what Mark is feeling and how he will feel during recovery. She held our hands and prayed with us when we were in her office. - WHAT A BLESSING! Mark's work has been wonderful about his time off as well. They have been understanding and encouraging. His managers check on him often and told me to take away his laptop and not let him worry about any work stuff. :) We received baskets from the Charlotte location and the location here. A couple of his co-workers from India came to visit him at our home. They are so nice! Another co-worker of Mark's calls often to check on him. He is such a good friend! -WHAT A BLESSING! It has been wonderful to have family close by to come anytime we need them. Mark's parents rush over anytime I need them to help me after Mark has a seizure. - WHAT A BLESSING! I have not had to cook a meal since we found out about Mark's tumor. We have been covered in love. My wonderful friend took the boys all day today so that Mark and I could have some peaceful time. Another friend is taking care of them tomorrow. And I found out today that there will be a group of people coming for a "garden party" the day before Mark's surgery and they are going to do some planting for us so that when Mark gets back from the hospital, he will be able to enjoy some beautiful color in our yard. Can you believe it? BLESSINGS, BLESSINGS, BLESSINGS! So, although this has been a crazy time for us and it is not what we ever would have wanted, we cannot deny the love and blessings we have been shown through this.

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