Where to begin?
I’m told often by a few people who love me that there is (and has been) a lot of stress in my life. They have worried for my health.
And perhaps it's true. I may have overloaded myself a bit; may have been swimming in a chemical sea of adrenaline and cortisol. There's the 7:30 am retrieval of Ellie from scripture study class in town. Ellie and Tessa combined have 8 classes, plus music lessons in far flung fields, and with Jonah, all three have horseback riding on Fridays; I teach 3 art classes, and have a hefty calling at church and extra assignments. We make, on average, 10 trips to town every week. And that's just school.
In mid-September, around the last time I posted here, the stress bucket sort of spilled over in the speckled spectacle of shingles; with it's searing skin, electrical shocks, flu symptoms, and aching muscles. It carried on for three months on my entire right side, from scalp to knee.
As shingles is triggered by stress, I would have to acknowledge the flow that filled the pail in the first place. Guy reminded me that August saw a breast biopsy, wherein the machine broke down, leaving me locked in the clamp for two and a half hours, tools deeply embedded, tears flowing. With the happy news of a negative diagnosis, no one mentions the two challenging months of healing.
Or before that, the year of roller-coastering with non-bloggable kid drama and trauma, of negotiating our new world in the woods, of figuring out life as caregivers, and before that, all the business of fixing up and selling one house while buying another.
Yah. I guess folks have been right. Life has loaded my plate. Or I did.
After the shingles hit, the doctor said I needed to lighten my load. With homeschooling there have been so many classes and commitments. We are running all the time. I thought about what I could cut.
Then an ache came. It was in my wrist and thumb joint, and then migrated to the elbow. Now it's from the shoulder down. The jolts if pain from the shingles had finally began to fade, but for some reason the flu symptoms had gotten worse. One day at church, I reached my hand out to receive my weekly high-five from my favorite 4 year old, Dean. His little smack felt like a hot explosion in my hand that went on hurting for a half hour.
I finally caved in and went to the doctor
(I mean, Dean is a tough kid, but he's, like, 3 feet tall)
13 blood tests.
A rheumatology visit
A possibly-false-positive. Because an agitated immune system can trigger a false positive. More tests would follow after two months, just to give the shingles time to re-roof.
So far no improvement.
So I trimmed to our schedules a little. We dropped a couple of classes for next semester, but I just really couldn't see how I could cut any more. Not right now.
It rained on Sunday. After church we ran to the van to stay dry. My knee sort of buckled and gave out. I hit the concrete hard. Something exploded behind my knee.
And it turns out that there is nothing in my schedule
that cannot be cut.
The good news is: no broken bones, and the ligaments, tendons and ACL all seem to be intact, though badly bruised and swollen. Crutches, ice, elevate, recheck in two weeks.
And after years of asking,
I finally got a referral to an endocrinologist...
...and an opportunity