June 22, 2016 was a day I will never forget. I was driving to work just like every other day and I took a sip of tea as I was waiting to get on I-20. In that instant I knew something was really wrong. I choked on that little swallow of tea. I could not even swallow to get any of it down. “Well that’s a fluke!” I thought. I went on and drove to work never touching that glass of tea again. My coworkers asked if I wanted to go get some breakfast and I can still remember the looks on Alice & Danielle’s face when I said “No, I’m having a little trouble swallowing.” Danille has very expressive eyes and they were expressing alright! It was Alice who alerted Dr. Thomas who had seen me in the hospital and expressed his concern that he thought I had MG. He had even called and talked with a Neurologist. When Dr. Thomas walked in our office he was ALL business! He ordered me to the ER! I burst out crying because I knew something was wrong and I couldn’t hide it anymore. I headed straight to the ER at the Medical College of Georgia. I had to call my husband, mother and my daughter to tell them what was going on. You see I had been hiding all of these weird things going on from my family and friends. Some of them had become too obvious to hide for example the loss of control of my right eye in the afternoons and the physical exhaustion or laziness as someone had referred to it. 🙄
I endured testing and a hospital stay for a week. That would be the first of eleven for this past year. April was my last hospital stay and I am so thankful that I can now get home infusions of IVIG every month that keeps me out of the hospital. In this year I have learned a lot about myself, my faith, my husband, my mama, my mother in law and my children. My family has a strength and resilience I had no clue existed in them. They have stood by me and helped me through every step. There have been days that it’s not been pretty and we have hit last nerves but for the most part we have learned how much we truly love each other.
I mainly want to share what I’ve learned about myself. I will try to keep it short. 😂😂😂😂
I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. Days upon days of being in the hospital enduring needles, testing, sleepless nights, fear and so many other emotions I completely learned to rely on God, my Creator, to provide for me what I needed. I have learned to shout in my head when it wouldn’t come out in my voice! I know God is real, I have felt and heard Him time and time again when I didn’t think I would be around the next day. His still small voice guides me daily. My prayer is now that I listen and follow what He asks. It’s so easy to try to push to thoughts aside. God is the Great Physician and I know He will completely heal me in His time. I just can’t wait to see what the outcome of this journey will be!
Don’t sweat the small stuff. This is a big one for me because of my personality. Everything has to be perfect, let me rephrase that everything used to have to be perfect. I can’t fix everything. I have learned not to worry about things that I cannot fix. My house is lived in and you are welcome to come see me whenever you feel like it. There will be dishes in the sink, shoes on the floor and a dog or two in the house. It’s life and I currently have two of the male species living with me. See my point? Tal & Adam do the best they can but let me tell you they are not house keeping specialists! Hahahaha! What a title! If you come to my home I want you to feel like you can sleep on my sofa if you want to. We will not sweat the small stuff around this camp! Ok so that might be a little fib, some days I still focus on the little things but I am getting better.
I am loved by a bunch of people! I had no clue that so many people truly love me. A nurse is a thankless job most of the time and it never occurred to me that I made a difference to people. I have had so many people visit, bring food, send cards, call, write, send texts and ask about me that it has been overwhelming! It’s hard for me to be the sick person, I’m suppose to be the care giver. I thank God for each and every person that has reached out to me this last year! I still get all emotional when I think of how many people it has been. So, thank you for caring about little old me. It has helped to strengthen me in this literal fight for my life.
This next one is going to shock you I just know it. I am stubborn! I am persistent! Those are my “super powers”! Yes, I said it, I have the Charles Fuller (that’s my dad by the way) hard head and I know just how to use it. It has kept me working and fighting day in and day out. I’m not exactly sure my mama and husband are glad I have it but I’m pretty proud to have it at this point! I am continuing to work 40 hours a week and drive myself. I have learned how to pace myself and deal with the new normal that is my life. At first that hard head worked against me but now it helps me persevere!
Finally, I have learned to slow down and enjoy every second of my life. I was rushing through life before I got sick. Running to work, to church, to the next stop and never taking the time to enjoy any of it. It’s crazy to think back on how much time I have wasted. I’ve learned to say “I’m sorry I just can’t do that” when I don’t have the time or energy. I have learned how to grow flowers and tend to them (I’m talking my thumb had been brownish black! Tal said I could kill an artificial plant in the past! It’s a huge deal!) It’s hard nowadays to make plans with things so uncertain, my symptoms can change in a dime but l still keep going just much slower than before. I am so thankful for that. It might not have been how I wanted it done and I might have had to step over a few extra hurdles but The Good Lord has my attention and I am thankful for everyday I have.
There are so many life lessons this journey has shown me. Myasthenia Gravis has been a curse but it has also been a blessing. It has opened my life up to so many things that I just simply couldn’t see before me. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy that’s for certain but I do wish the life lessons on each and every one of you.
Thanks again for reading! Until next time ~Melynda
“And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30 NKJV