As most of our friends and family know, we aren’t good at asking for help.
In fall 2012, after the miscarriages, I got very sick. I ended up getting shingles in my inner ear which triggered a vestibular disorder called labyrinthitis. It happened completely out of nowhere; loud ringing in my ears, loss of balance to the point I couldn’t walk, dizziness, excessive vomiting, lost hearing in one ear, loss of head control (basically a bobble-head effect), etc. It was one of the scariest moments I have ever experienced. How you can be perfectly fine one moment, and then bam, this hits. Through the tears and throwing up, I was questioning Jason as to what we should do. Something was obviously not right. We decided on calling 911 to have an ambulance come and get me. Once we got to the hospital, they ran a bunch of tests on me and couldn’t quite figure out what was wrong. An Ears, Nose, Throat (ENT) doctor was called, and he kind of took thinks lightly, almost as if I was faking this. I was sent home with a bunch of medications, a walker, and scripts for in-home occupational therapist and physical therapist. Mind you, I was only newly 27 years old at the time. After about a week, there was still no change. I then had to see my primary doctor and was sent back to the ENT. Once the ENT doctor saw me, his tone changed and he even said “Wow, this is much more serious than I thought.” I did some research before I saw this doctor and saw that shingles could bring on labyrinthitis, so I mentioned that I had a rash on my hand after the miscarriage and that I have had shingles in the past. He realized I was not given the right medicine and gave me a new one. Some things started to slowly clear up, but still ringing of one ear, hearing loss in that ear, loss of balance and dizziness, which meant I was still stuck using that walker. I did more extensive physical therapy and eventually saw a speech therapist because I was experiencing cognitive delay. As you can imagine, this was a horribly difficult time. Not only did I miscarry our twins, but my whole body was basically falling apart. I was beyond depressed, and was at a loss of what to do. I called our pastor and basically sobbed on the phone to him. He was incredible. He listened and he gave me wonderful words of comfort. I decided, it’s not about “me” fixing things, it’s about me handing everything over to God. I couldn’t do things on my own anymore; I needed God to “take the wheel”. I stopped saying, “I can’t do this”, and focused on “I can”. After 8 months of using the walker and teaching myself how to walk again, I finally walked without the walker. Such an amazingly, proud moment. Unfortunately, the tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and loss of hearing in that ear is permanent, but I am so thankful that I can walk and function again. My labyrinthitis is considered “cleared”, but since it was so severe, it basically changed to a new vestibular disorder called Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD). What I experience is far from severe; sometimes I will have random moments where I feel dizzy for a few minutes and my anxiety picks up. I just need to sit back, breathe slowly, and relax and then everything kind of goes back to normal. This disorder is very much treatable with medicine and would cause no issues with being a mother and raising a family. I am not on medicine for this right now; mainly because my situation isn’t bad enough. I have come to know what triggers my dizziness and try to avoid these triggers.
Now, as you can imagine, everything I went through was far from easy. I had to get out of my comfort zone and accept the help from the occupational therapist, the physical therapists, speech therapist, doctors, and family. My parents were awesome during all of this; my parents made us meals and my mom came over to do our cleaning. My mom drove me to all my appointments and hung out with me during the day before she went to work (2nd shift). I had to get out of my comfort zone and Type A personality, and accept this help. My husband…I cannot thank him enough for everything he did for me. He was my rock and strength. These eight, hard months, brought us much closer together. I learned, more than ever, that I can depend on him during hard times. His encouragement and love was everything I could ask for, and more. Not only was this scary for me, but I’m sure it was very scary for him, too, to watch his wife basically fall apart and knowing he couldn’t fix me. He sat there, day after day, listening to my cry and yell and scream about how life wasn’t fair. When I began to question God, he was there to help me through that, too. I seriously could not thank Jason enough.
With our adopting, we may need help. We may not be good at asking for this help, but if you see us struggling, offer to help (if you can). We are not parents yet, so the whole adjustment to having kids will be rough for us. All we ask is for patience and a kind hand.