It started innocently. I was sitting in a meeting in a church basement, listening, learning and growing. The metal folding chair was uncomfortable. I shifted in my seat, trying to find a comfortable position. Eventually my right leg fell asleep.
I thought nothing of it. Things like this happen all the time. On my way to the car, I stomped my foot, hopping up and down trying to regain feeling. It didn't come. My leg felt heavy and sluggish.
At home, the sensation spread to my right arm and eventually the right side of my face. This was not normal. I was scared.
A trip to the ER in the middle of the night, allayed some of my fears. No stroke. No lesions. Nothing serious.
My primary care doctor thought it might be a pinched nerve. A referral to a neurologist led to multiple blood tests. I had MRIs of my neck and brain and and MRA of my neck. All of these tests revealed nothing.
Nothing. We don't know what is wrong.
I was still having symptoms. Numbness, pain, headaches, neck aches. The pain was real, I felt it. I continued feeling it for months. Months with no answers.
A referral to a rheumatologist revealed nothing. A painful nerve conduction test, nothing.
Nothing. No answers.
I began to question myself. If the doctors can't find anything, is there something really wrong? Is this real? Am I imagining it?
The seeds of my doubt had been planted earlier in life. Physical symptoms were discounted by doctors. I was told it was stress, depression. I was given anti-depressants with no follow up.
I didn't question. I thought doctors knew best. I was crazy. It was in my head.
But it was not. There was a real problem. There was a solution, a treatment. If it was true then, I have to believe it is true now. I cannot live in the unknown.