i’m sitting here with a knowing of uncertainty. i’m not sure how to start this blog post – in fact, i’m not totally convinced i should even write it, but a dear dear friend has encouraged me to be transparent, to admit my fears, get my heart out onto the world, and get on with it already. so, here i go. spilling. cracking open.
if you’ve been a long and steady reader here in this space, then you’ve likely heard me ramble from time to time about my pesky and persistent leg numbness. how i’ve journeyed through acupuncture, intense massage therapy, painful physical therapy and more – all in an effort to gain healing, mainly so that i could start running again. in all of these months, i never considered that the numbness could be something serious.
one by one, all of the above efforts/treatments have failed and the reality is is that i live in a world where i can’t do simple things like walk up a hill, or quickly cross a street without a very odd sensation in my leg. i’ve learned to live with it, i suppose. and quite honestly, i’ve coped considerably well with it given how much it’s changed my life. lately, though, my intuition has been tugging at me, insisting that i dig deeper and get to the bottom of the numbness.
last week i went to see an orthopedist. immediately, i knew i was just another 15 minute appt to this guy – you know how that goes. i mustered up all my social work advocacy skills and insisted on being taken seriously – that perhaps i needed an MRI. he resisted, said i was young and healthy and recommended more physical therapy. i pushed back, convinced him i wasn’t an alarmist seeking unnecessary intervention, but rather a young woman with daily numbness in her leg. and i wanted the MRI. he reconsidered. i went in for a spine MRI the very next day.
unfortunately, the results of that MRI are a little alarming though not entirely conclusive. because of these results, i’ve been instantly thrown into an existence of referrals, three hour neurology exams, brain mri’s, complicated vision tests, a lot of blood work, and more. there are no answers for me right now. just a ton of appts, waiting, navigating a huge and frustrating medical system, and several near panic attacks.
my heart is dropping, then in the next moment i’m back to equilibrium. then it drops again. the same is true for john.
i don’t want to get into the specifics of what my doctors are speculating it could be, or why i’m having another MRI tomorrow evening, but i will say that the terminology and vocabulary being tossed around by my medical providers is quite hard and almost bizarre to hear. are they talking about me? really? is my entire life going to change or will they find an uncomplicated explanation?
i’ve never had this much medical care/concern in all my life. in one second, i’m tumbled over with dread. and the next i’m a supreme optimist, almost certain that all will be well. quite honestly, i think i might be a total mess, barely holding it together, yet doing a damn good job going about the day and staying busy while trying to trust that the medical people know what they’re doing . i suspect this going back and forth in spaces of optimism and worry will continue until we have some clarity.
in the midst of all this, i’ve been afraid to spread concern to my family + friends. what if it’s nothing? what if i’m creating drama where none exists? but the truth is this: no matter what happens, or even when the answers arrive, i can’t change where i stand today. and where i stand today is a place of being scared while at the same time keeping it all together. and it’s very, very hard for me to see john worried for me – this is huge in my i’mgoingtoloseitanyminutenow.
i’m reaching out today to ask again for your light/prayers/thoughts/good juju and whatever space you can hold for me and john this week. we are doing the best we can, but sudden and unexpected possible outcomes are throwing us for a loop.
and i also want to say this: trust your intuition. be your own best advocate. insists on aggressive diagnostic testing – even when you’re faced up against an establishment whose main concern is lowering their costs and not ordering expensive tests, like MRI exams. our intuition is our most powerful guide, if we allow it to be.
i’ll be back soon with more information. i’m hoping for the best. i really am.
Hi, I'm Kelly Rae Roberts!
Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my whispers and started playing with paint and everything changed. Now I’m a full-time artist, author and Possibilitarian, who helps women explore their creativity, nourish their souls and build a thriving creative business.
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