Here we are...marching on. We've made it through the winter months, and now have thoughts of Spring, with real hope in our hearts. As I type this, the daffodils are blooming, the tulips greens are up a good way out of the ground, the red bud trees are in blossom. We're looking forward to warmer weather and colorful gardens.
But for a moment, for this blog entry at least, I'll look back and fill you in on the events of the winter months. It's been somewhat of a challenge this year. The month of November found me in some ridiculous disagreement with a family member, which I hated, but due to us both being made of stubborness and strong opinions, we were at an impossible impass. I was informed in no uncertain terms that the other person would not be attending the holiday meals here at our house as is normally the case. I was hurt, but no matter what I said or did, things didn't change for the better, so I gave up and moved on.
Shortly after, my mother began to show some strange symptoms of numbness. Knowing that they could be associated with strokes or TIAs, I took her to the emergency room at one of our hospitals. It was flu season and the waiting rooms were backed up for hours with patients wearing masks, or not, slumped in chairs with expressions of misery on their faces. The first visit was an 11 hour wait until they determined from the CT scan that there was no stroke, no blockage, no TIA. No diagnosis at all.
Three days later, we were back in the emergency room for a 6 hour stay. Again, they told us that because the numbness was in face and hand, they would think it was a TIA, but because it was only seconds long, and they could find nothing on tests, she should take a baby aspirin and go back home, following up with her family doctor. Thus began an onslaught of blood tests, echo cardiogram, heart monitor, MRI, and anything else they could think of to find or rule out a condition. So far, we still don't have a diagnosis. However, one blood test showed very low levels of B12 vitamin, so Mom was put on a daily supplement.
Within a week or so, Mom was sleeping better, her mood was cheerful again, she'd lost the confusion I'd noticed in weeks before, and her color had returned. Apparently, she had been anemic, which had caused the gray complexion, the irrational attitudes and moods that were normally so unlike her. She was, in her words, 'worn out' but she couldn't sleep well. I had noticed the symptoms and knew 'something' was wrong, but hadn't put things together until the B12 was added. At that point, I googled 'B12 deficiency' and read several reports of symptoms. BINGO! I think I found the problem, and yet, when I asked the doctor if he thought that could have been the cause of it all, his answer was that he thought it was 'stress.' Siiiiiigh.
Mom is very strong,but for arthritic knees. Her heart is, apparently, strong and her blood chemicals are good. She's fairly easy-going, normally, lives a quiet...almost lonely....life. There is little to stress her out, but I do think that she was worrying about what was happening to her body and why no one had answers for her. Even the neurologist couldn't find anything wrong, except some imbalance in her gait, due to the knees. The very last thing was just the other day, when there was a stress test done with another echocardiogram. A good strong, healthy looking heart beats in that chest.
So, we've wound up the winter with no diagnosis, and Mom marches on toward the middle of this month when she will celebrate another year of life. I am so grateful for her and her presence with us. It is a real blessing to know that she is healthy, even if we have to visit every doctor in the area to find that out!