Welcome back! At the end of Episode Two of my medical saga, I left you at a bit of a cliff-hanger. And why not? Heh, I myself was left at a cliff-hanger, thanks to my awful neurologist at the time, whom I will call Dr. X. I would like to call him something else, but this is a family blog.
Well it so happens that between 1994 and the start of 1997, I experienced a honeymoon phase, blissfully symptom-free, speeding along in my newly established freelance career as a script coordinator for “Hollywood North” films and TV shows. (I feel another blog series bubbling up. Maybe a book! Yay!)
And then in February ’97, this odd thing: My left upper arm starts feeling weird… sensitive… tingly. Suddenly, the “MS-?” notation of the MRI technician in ’94 rushed into my mind. Oh, it had been haunting me, but only as background ‘wallpaper’ so to speak. So now I was concerned; this was not a feeling I ever had before in my life. I bit the bullet and called Dr. X.
Well, don’t you know, his gatekeeper-secretary sloughs me off to a different neurologist, let’s call him Dr. Y. But by the time I get an appointment to see him, it’s in JUNE. Let’s see: March, April… four months after the tingly arm. Of course it’s no longer tingly by then. Dr. Y. is stymied, and orders another MRI for me.
While waiting for the scan, I’m okay now, not too perturbed, the arm’s fine, summer’s here, and I’m goin’ to visit my lovely son who moved last year to Vancouver, B.C.! Yeah! Off I go for a ten-day trip, my first to that beautiful city.
My main memories of Vancouver, August 1997, aside from getting to see my lovely son and a couple of my fave cousins, are: 1) the blistering heat; and 2) my crippling exhaustion. Apparently it was a record-breaking-hot August. I remember visiting my cousin’s apartment, melting from the heat and humidity, and asking if she had A/C. She said no, most Vancouverites don’t, since it’s virtually never hot enough to need it. Just my luck! The heat exacerbated my exhaustion, and I could barely keep up with my cousins on our two-day excursion to Vancouver Island. (Jeremy had to work most days.) There was a lot of walking and I often had to sit on a bench and wait for them to do their walkabout and come back to me. Kind of embarrassing, but what could I do? I also recall it being incredibly hot in Jeremy’s apartment. (Later I discover that heat can be a trigger…)
So it’s now the end of August and I get home, totally depleted… and with a new baffling symptom. One day while dressing, I notice that a patch of skin on the left side of my midriff, around 5 inches in diameter, is numb. Numb, as in Novacaine. Huh??? The very next day, the numbness has spread down to my hip. The day after that, pins and needles around my middle, on my left side. The plot thickens!!!
Join me for What’s Wrong With Me! Episode Four: Hell and Back, coming soon to a blog near you!