I held onto my blanket in the car as Dustin drove to Grady Memorial Hospital. I was sweating and having a hard time concentrating on the road. In less than an hour I would have a foot long needle inserted into my spine for a lumbar puncture to determine what was causing my debilitating headaches.

It was terrifying. For someone who hated needles I could only imagine the feeling of having one jammed into my spinal column and drawing out spinal fluid.

Although the procedure went well and the pain was minimal, there was great discomfort. After numbing the area the needle was inserted and I could feel when the syringe hit a nerve because my leg involuntarily jerked. The total time took about an hour and recovery was two. The nurses were amazing and I was excited to hear that caffeine was highly suggested to help with the post spinal tap headache (Dustin went and got me Starbucks).

A Turn For the Worst

Being wheeled out in a wheelchair felt strange and on the way home I was relieved to have the lumbar puncture completed. I enjoyed watching Netflix with Dustin but around bedtime I began to feel terrible pain all over my body. In the morning I awoke vomiting and in so much pain. After numerous calls to my neurologist and different anti-nausea pills, the doctor put me on a medication used for chemo patients to keep from vomiting.

The pain didn’t stop.

I was in the worst pain of my life and it was all I could do to breathe without sharp pain. We went to the Emergency Room where I was treated with medicine and fluids then sent home. After resting without pain and eating a little something the pain re-occurred only worse. I couldn’t even keep water down. We had no choice but to go back to the ER where they gave me anti-nausea intravenously. I was so dehydrated it took about ten tries to begin the IV. Since the IV hadn’t been started I was also given large shots in both arms. That night we didn’t get home until about 3 in the morning. Hoping we were finally out of the clear, I layed in bed and fell asleep until I awoke nauseous again in the morning.

I rang my dad, sobbing. I felt hopeless. I wasn’t sick enough to be admitted to the hospital but sick enough that I couldn’t stay home without extreme pain.

We had no choice but to go to the ER again. This time I screamed and sobbed as Dustin sped to Med Central. The pain was so bad I felt like passing out. After numerous tests they determined my Gastritis was causing the pain and gave me medications and a GI cocktail (for the stomach lining). The doctor ordered a CAT scan and X-rays. Nothing was found regarding my stomach other than Gastritis which eats away at the lining of one’s stomach. This can be caused by stress and certain foods. Gastritis is also hereditary and my dad has it.

Healing

My grandparents and mother came to the hospital to pick me up and bring me home. For the next few days I couldn’t get up or move much. I layed on the couch and watched the Olympics and dreamt of being able to go out on errands and simply feel “normal”. Dustin and I went to Delaware, Ohio (an hour and a half away from my mothers) for doctor’s appointments and I was finally given medication to help with my stomach. I couldn’t eat for over a week and dropped between 15-20 pounds. None of my clothing fit and I was exhausted all the time. My grandmother read a verse over me that declared God’s healing.

While sitting in a bubble bath I talked to Dustin and begged for a vacation. Could we get away from all of this? We were living with our parents and didn’t have a ton of space to just be together. He agreed that I could look for a vacation while sick and we could go on one when I felt well enough. Looking online at vacation packaged kept my spirits up even though I couldn’t manage to eat a full meal.

My neurologist found nothing wrong with my spinal fluid and pressure. It appeared that the headaches could be caused by a vision problem or anxiety. After going to a opthamologist to get my eyes checked we determined that being off the anxiety medicine could be causing the headaches.

We hopped hotels for a week to give us privacy while I attempted to recover from the recurring panic attacks. Finally after meeting with a smart psychiatrist I slowly began to feel myself and we decided to place our trip to India on hold. By settling down close to family and my doctors I could focus on feeling better. Were we being attacked by the enemy because we were doing God’s work and following His call? Perhaps. Were we still going to hold close to the calling placed on our lives? Yes.

Currently

Emotionally and physically I had been through Hell. Even Dustin had physical signs of extreme stress (found by the Dentist) and we were in need of a refuge. We prayed to Jesus for help and before long we were looking for an apartment and were able to use some money to supply a getaway to Las Vegas full of rest and relaxation.

Currently we are living in a home in Lexington, Ohio and preparing for a season of rest and recovery. Dustin is working as a freelancer and I am working on my first book. When I’m not writing for the blog or my book I am baking, creating things, and reading. We miss our old church, Sanctuary but plan on attending Mosaic led by Tony Pingitore, an old friend/mentor of ours.

We’re sad about not being in India but know God wants us here for now. He continues to reroute our journey but we’re so happy to have Him directing it. We’d have it no other way.