Okay, friends, I am going really just let you know what is going on with me right now. There is a lot of mixed emotion all coursing through me these days, from worry and anxiety, to flat out fear, guilt, and anger. And although vague Facebook posts may satisfy some, I could use some specific prayer from those of you who love our family enough to follow this blog.
So last week, on Sunday or Monday, I started having pain behind my left eye, accompanied by some blurred vision. I have also been having extreme fatigue, which has caused me to not even be able to get out of bed some days. It got significantly worse on Tuesday, and I ended up taking the rest of the week off from work to get some medical help. I went on Wednesday to see my neurologist, and was diagnosed with optic neuritis, which is caused by my Multiple Sclerosis. It is the inflammation of my optic nerve, and if left untreated, it can cause all sorts of vision problems, including possible blindness. That is where the fear comes in, friends. Deep fear in my heart, that wants to trust my Heavenly Father to heal, protect, and carry me through, but that feels trapped by what could happen. What He could decide to allow me to walk through.
My doctor decided to put me on IV steroids for 5 days. Thankfully, they are able to do this as an outpatient procedure, so a nurse came out and put the port in for me and gave me my first infusion. I have given the last two to myself with a pressure ball and a tube. It is incredibly painful, and leaves my body feeling nauseous, tired, and all around yucky. It is helping the pain in my eye, but since I have started the infusions, I have lost feeling in my right middle finger, and also in some patches of my legs. Bummer. The unknown scares me, because this will either get better, or get much worse. Which leads me from fear, to anxiety and worry.
My doctor thinks that it would be prudent for me to take some sick leave, and file for disability. So many unpleasant feelings and questions rise up in me when I think about this. What will this mean for my class? How will this affect my team at school? How much harder will their jobs be if I do this? What will everyone at work think? What will my family and friends think? Will they be disappointed in me? Will they think I have failed, and that I am weak? Will they doubt my motives? Will they think I should tough it out, that I am giving up?
So much guilt. So much anxiety. So much fear. But none of those questions were the right ones. Most important question: Does this decision honor God?
To answer that question, I have had to really think and pray through this. I had to think of both options here, to stay home and give my body time to heal without the immense stress caused by work, or gather my strength, push my body, and risk losing more. What is better for me, for my family, and what honors God?
If I continue to work, the main issue is that my body is already showing progressive signs of MS attacks. The stress of work, especially a job as difficult as mine, is proving to be detrimental to my health. Continuing to work is taking a risk with my body, a risk that could include: blindness, paralysis of my limbs, including my legs, chronic and debilitating fatigue, loss of muscle control, lots and lots of pain, and many other possible symptoms.
On the other hand, if I take my leave, and go on disability, I will be able to spend that time going to therapy, resting my body and allowing it time to heal. Or at the very least, cease getting worse. The cons of this decision include all of the former questions I was asking. And my heart is troubled over the problems this might cause for others, and how it might affect my relationship with them.
Friends, pray fervently for me, if you can. I am scared. I am worried, and I am torn. Logically, I can see the right choice. But my emotions are clouding my reasoning. I feel genuinely bad about the idea of disability. I just do. But my family comes first. And risking not being able to take care of my son is not an option. It just isn't. My biggest responsibility is to him, because God has intrusted him to me. And I need His strength now, friends!