The Long Road Home

As we drove back to our daughter’s, I was now in wallering mode (my’medical’ term for rolling side to side while loudly moaning) and so sick at my stomach, I was running out of replacement bags for my Christmas sack! We still had to stop by the drugstore to drop off my new prescriptions, but I whined and wallered around enough, Mike was more than willing to drop me off and do it himself. I just fell onto the bed as soon as I got inside, I was absolutely exhausted! I lay there going over my day in disbelief. This was such a horrid way to spend a birthday (birthdays still meant something to me, I was young). My sweet daughter tried her best to make it special, surprising me with a cupcake and lit candle, singing ‘Happy Birthday’. When I heard the singing, oh the dread! Not so much the song, as what would come with it, and I did NOT want to see food! But she’s trying so hard so I mustered up a weak smile, then ran to the bathroom to throw up! Lovely, just lovely! I tried, but I dove for the bed as soon as I was through. Where was Mike, and why was he taking so long? Sarah reminded me, it had only been 30 minutes…are you serious? I wanted my new meds NOW! It was another 30 minutes before Mike came back and I grabbed the bag as if I were a drug addict getting their ‘fix’, but that’s how I felt at the end of a now 12 hour day. The new medicines were Gabapentin 300 mg 2x daily (for the Labyrinthitis) and Zofran 8 mg 2x daily (for nausea/vomiting). The Zofran would replace the Scopolamine Patches that had given me sores behind my ears.

The patches most common use is for sea or car sickness and meant for short-term use, not over one year! There were no generic Zofran, it was too new, yet even with insurance it was over three hundred dollars! It was mainly used for Chemo related nausea, I’d been dreaming for the ‘magic’ pills that would make all this just go away and the Zofran worked-finally!, I would have to get used to not being sick at my stomach, that would be something new in my life. After sleeping in until noon, I woke up for the first time in such a long time, it almost felt odd, ridiculous I know! Mike knew how much the testing took out of me, but he had to get back to work. Since the nausea was so much better, I had no issue with him making a bed for me in the back seat. I was chauffeured home by the most wonderful man in the world leaving me plenty of time to mull over my future. I was happy but scared to death, all at the same time.

By the end of our 6-hour trip, I was sitting in the front seat, I know cool huh? Well, I thought so, especially with it being dark. I hate driving in the dark, but I wasn’t driving! I have night blindness and plenty of fear to go with it, so truthfully I don’t drive in the dark. We were finally home and just dragged ourselves in, leaving our luggage in the car. We both needed sleep so badly, but my mind had so much to process. I lay there next to my sleeping husband, his rhymic breathing soothing my soul. I finally had answers, but how was this going to affect my life? It had already taken so much from me. Just to be rid of the nausea was amazing to me! Mike’s breathing in and out, in and out, in and out…I fell asleep feeling happy, something I hadn’t felt for the longest time! Tomorrow, it can all wait until tomorrow.

The first number of weeks following my wonderful birthday diagnosis were spent adjusting to the new medicine (side effects) and just moving around as much as possible (which wasn’t much I assure you). Without nausea and vomiting ruling me, I DID want to test myself but vertigo stepped up in its place. I fell a few more times, broke my tailbone before listening to Mike. Silly man! He thought I’d listen? I’m stubborn beyond belief but after the last tailbone break, I was both hurt and humbled! All broken bones hurt, but the tailbone has so many nerves going through it! I was feeling so frustrated, just laying around now. Thank God, I’d taken the Medical Leave of Absence, but I was missing my work. Most people aren’t blessed to have a job that they love, work that never felt like work, it was truly fun for me! I had to get well, so I could return, but as you’ll see, my life was going to be tested in a way I would never have imagined.

My body was adjusting to the medicines well after about one month, with nausea becoming a ‘faint memory’. I was ready for the next phase, VRT (VestibularRehabilitation Therapy) and that was still a few weeks away. I immersed myself in everything I could on the subject and came to the realization, I DID Vestibular Activities with children at work as part of Sensory Integration! I was curious if I’d be doing what I had asked of those children in therapy. Why don’t I just treat myself? This was so odd! Who was I anymore? Margaret the Therapist or Margaret the patient? I was so confused by the time my appointment came around, I did conclude that (for now), I was Margaret the patient. My life would change drastically after meeting my therapist…


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