Spaghetti Legs

My legs are spaghetti! There hasn’t been any explanation a lot of debilitating physical trials that I am dealing with lately . In February I had dizziness, and spells of not breathing.  On March 17th I had the symptoms of a heart attack and then started having severe problems walking, thinking and severe fatigue. The weakness is overwhelming and very frustrating.

During a follow up appointment the doctor was performing some routine neurological tests when I realized I had a bad problem. I was not able to balance when standing unsupported and my legs close together–could NOT do it! As soon as I lifted my hands from the support of the exam table and the countertop to stand unsupported; my right leg automatically widened its stance. “No. Put your feet close together,” the doctor repeated, “Now, lift your hands”. Immediately, it happened again! But this time when I forced my right foot closer to my left one, my right leg felt very wobbly and started to shake. On the third try my right leg shook violently and then folded like a ladder. “Oh, oh”… I began to cry as I realized this was not good. I was okay if  I took a wider stance, locked my right knee or had my hand on the counter or a piece of solid furniture, but I was unable to stand independently with my feet close together?

Since I was having super bad fatigue and that makes my Foreign Accent speech much worse, the doctor continued the questions and observations with my husband. They drew a little blood and said to watch for signs of stroke.

The next few days brought increased functioning challenges to the point where I went into the hospital ER and overnight stay. MRI, CT and other tests didn’t show a stroke or tumor, but the medical professionals did not have an explanation for what is happening.

On March 18th I started “wall-walking” (my hand lightly resting along the wall as I walk unless I start to lose balance). Within two days it had gotten much worse; I would “cruise” with “furniture walking” just like a toddler I needed the security of a solid piece of support to grab or catch me if the leg whimped out.

Within four days, I went from unsteady walking to super weak, unreliable right leg and extreme weakness that would not pass even when non-weightbearing. I began to feel as though I was actually losing muscle. I especially became fearful when I would wake up in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning and feel weak/paralyzed in my legs.

Just trying to extend out my leg for five seconds from a seated position was causing a shake and took incredible effort. I was way too weak!! So the neurologist that I saw about a year ago in regard to FAS and headaches saw me for this new problem. She also, did not have an explanation, but ruled out the severe diagnoses of cancer or stroke. The doctor referred me to Physical Therapy treatment and then to follow up with a Psychologist that deals with neurological patients. The latter of which can’t even see me for the first time until eight more weeks!

In the meantime… I am going to PT (physical therapy) and trying to work on my gate. I will talk about that in another post.

It has been a challenge to try to do things by using a walker and getting so extremely tired after doing the smallest little thing. Have you ever thought about how a person prepares their dinner, carries their plate, or vacuums their home?

As difficult as it is to walk, the challenge of keeping my spirit from being sucked down by the sinkhole of no energy and weakness is even harder. The focus of my prayers has been on God . . .  WHAT is going on? WHY is this happening? WHAT am I supposed to do? When symptoms seem to be worsening and not improving, I find it more difficult to “take every thought captive” and aligning it to what God says is TRUE!

I know that depression is a natural reaction to chronic medical conditions, but I am determined to avoid the medical world’s tendency to automatically take an antidepressant pill to deal with the effects. Rather, I am thinking SUPERnaturally; by God’s grace I will remain grounded in God’s Word and in prayer so that I can endure the trial and grow through it rather than be taken down by it.

When the twinges of sorrow and pain grasp me, I  remember that I am held even closer and tighter by our Almighty God who is my strength.

These verses in the Scriptures are very encouraging — James 1:2-4 “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

This promises that the very reason I am going through this trial is because I was already lacking in something that I will be rewarded with as I continue to run the race . . . even if on spaghetti legs.  TGBG

Foreign Accent: Say What?!

Once again the Twitter monitoring is showing me that there is another surge in interest in Foreign Accent Syndrome. Today I read this article dated 12/20/2009 in The Examiner.com by Charlene Collins
Once again, many people doubt that such athuds could happen and say some cruel things in response or make jokes about how they wish they could suddenly have an accent of their choice. However, it does seem to me that the tide is turning. There seem to be a growing number of people who are genuinely interested, who actually show empathy by stating that they couldn’t imagine what it would be to live with such a disruption to their daily life.

I feel sorry for those who simply can’t accept it. I think that the people who respond with cruel remarks such as “she’s just doing it for attention”, “she sounds like a retard”, or “he’s obviously faking it” are really scared to admit that it could happen… So suddenly and unexpectedly…and no one knows why… and it could happen to anyone! This isn’t a regional, racial, sexual, or economic malady. It’s an equal opportunity shocker that affects not only the person afflicted, but everyone in their family and social circle!!
In order to help get the word out and misperceptions addressed a few of us FAS endurers are working together to gather facts about our individual cases, encourage scientific and medical study and research and then document and disseminate truthful, 1st-hand information. With that in mind, I wrote the following comment in response to the article I mentioned earlier:

I know that Foreign Accent Syndrome is real because I am living proof! This is really a pretty good introduction of what it is. However, I would disagree with the number of cases medically documented. You state 20 ever in the world and I know of 13 right now and I believe there are more. However it is commonly accepted that it is extremely rare and more like 60-100 cases ever since the original case was documented.
As a former pre-med student I am constantly amazed at the lack of understanding that we have of the human brain! Truly, we are fearfully and wonderfully made!
My own case started May 12,2009 after an exceptionally severe migraine and spreading facial numbness on one side. CT and MRI did not show a stroke yet something profound DID happen for although the facial numbness and headache were gone in days, I now speak like an eastern European, Swedish/French person speaking English depending on what words I am saying and interpretation of the listener.

Look around on my site (search fas) for lots of postings about living with this when not even many medical specialists have even
heard of it before.

MerryChristmas everyone! Http://ellen5e.com

A Hearts Prayer

Dear Friends reading this blog,

Carefully Crafted

Please PLEASE join me in fervent prayer on behalf of Baby Jonah and his sweet family who are missionaries in New York right now. Here is a letter explaining:

 
  Special Prayer Request 11/24/2010
 
The following email was sent to us from Marty Silverburg. He and his wife Val are missionaries in New York City. They received difficult news regarding their unborn baby and are asking us to pray.

“We are asking for prayer from our mission family.
Here is an update on our situation, and it is not good news. Tuesdays echo cardiogram revealed a segmented aorta, which is a serious problem. With the right ventricle not formed, this is not unexpected. There also may be serious problems with 2 important veins which go to the heart. This is in addition to the transposed major arteries an unformed right ventricle, and leaking left ventricle. There is now also a buildup of fluid around the babies ( Jonah ) heart.

Val was told she will be monitored weekly and may have to have emergency C- section at any moment. Today she received a steroid shot to help the babies lungs, and will receive another tomorrow. Our lives are in total disruption right now. We have no one to help out w/ the children. We are also not prepared for what might occur, as we thought we had more time to make arrangements.

Thank you all very much for your prayers. We do trust that our Lord is in control.”
In Christ’s Love,
Marty

So please let us keep Marty, Val and tiny Jonah (as well as his siblings) in prayer. For little Jonah’s broken heart can be a source of brokenheartedness or a point of rallying together in Christian love. Let us send that love heavenward in prayer and horizontally among the people of God as we come to show the love and hope that only comes from our reliance on God.

As we assemble for Thanksgiving family gatherings to celebrate the innumerable blessings that God has bestowed upon each of us, our family will have an additional time of special prayer for this sweet family. For there are few greater blessings than our family.

If you would be kind enough to add your comments of encouragement to this blog post, I will make sure they get them.