Sunday, January 8, 2012

Health Scare and A Cancelled Vacation

For months, A and I had planned to travel oversees to visit Adam's sister and her family.  Kellie and her family (we have THE cutest/sweetest nephews on the planet) have lived oversees for several years and we have not seen them in over a year when they last traveled to the states. Because Adam has only traveled to see them once and I had never been we purchased tickets this fall and made the decision to travel the day after Christmas to see them. The plan was to meet my in-laws there and all celebrate Christmas together. Because it takes a full 2 days to travel there and another 2 days back, we had planned to take 2 weeks total.  The cost of plane tickets alone was the price of more than double our yearly vacation budget and leaving work for that long was almost unthinkable for both of us. After we purchased the tickets and had made the decision to go- I cannot describe the joy that overcame us of spending 2 weeks with our family in one of the most beautiful places in the world!
Adam and I with our nephews- Jack and Max

That feeling of elation lasted until about 1 month before we were scheduled to leave.  Almost 3 weeks to the day we were scheduled to leave I had the worst headache of my life. It was a different kind of headache than I had ever had.  The pain was bearable and I continued with life as usual except I went to bed earlier and was more lethargic than usual. 2 weeks later, the headaches had not subsided one bit and the pain had migrated into my neck a little. I finally got into a doctor and he seemed to think it was an atypical migraine. He prescibed some meds, did some lab work, and sent me on my way. Because we were due to leave the country in a week, he wanted to monitor me closely over the weekend. When he called to check on me a couple of days later the Migraine meds had't even touched the headache. He ordered an MRI of my head just to rule out some things.  Because I had been involved in a rear- end crash a couple of months before that totaled my car, he definitely had some concerns.

When he called the next morning to tell me the results of the MRI I couldn't believe he was telling me that something had shown up "to cause concern." He called it a Chiari Malformation and gave me what little information he knew about the condition. I actually knew more about it than he expected because Amy, the girl I used to work with had called me 3 months earlier telling me her husband was battling the same condition. I had never heard of it then- but did extensive research to help and support my friend.  Because Shawn had since had several complications that have now resulting in brain surgery- panic set in. I remember calling Adam and being really calm. I told him and he immediately began to sob into the phone. His bosses were nice enough to let him work from home that day and he came home and we just prayed together throughout the day. Because we were supposed to leave the country in a few days- we diligently worked to get into the specialists that we had to get medical clearance from. 

I finally started getting SOME relief the day before Christmas Eve- the same day that Adam contracted The Great Acumen Stomach Virus of 2011.  Just as I started to feel better, poor Adam was feeling REALLY sick. We barely made it to Benton for Christmas, and after a lot of praying- decided that it was best NOT to leave the country since we both weren't even close to 100%. The thought of putting either of us on a plane for 30 hours was unbearable- but cancelling our vacation was TERRIBLE. I cried for 2 days. What made things worse was waking up the day we were supposed to leave feeling significantly better. By that point it was too late to get a flight out and airfare had more than TRIPLED! We took it all as God's sign that we made the right decision- though I can't explain the sadness we had!  We ended up taking the rest of the week off work as planned, then returned to work January 2. We saved a week of vacation and spent several days at home together just relaxing. We got massages, celebrated our 3rd anniversary, then attended our friend's New Year's Party. It was wonderful to relax and get healthy.  I also was able to get into the Chiari Specialist in Little Rock who gave me a perfectly clean bill of health. By the time I saw him on Jan 3, the headaches had gone away completely! Because I lack several of the other symptoms that go along with Chiari Malformation, he didn't seem to think that is what was causing the headaches. We were so thankful for this news and thankful for God's provision and peace during such a scary time.

We are currently trying to re- plan travel to see Kellie, Joel, Jack and Max... but we're also considering waiting until our precious NIECE to be born in May before we travel. Either way- traveling to see the Turners is something that is definitely on our 2012 list of things to do!

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