Sunday, February 27, 2011

head cases

As we sat in the neurologist's office on Friday, Michael turned to me and laughed. "All three of us have something wrong with our heads," he said.

Asher's head is healing nicely, but there is still a long red semi colon stretching down his forehead. My own forehead is covered with shingles. And Michael's MRI shows three white spots on his brain, spots of demylenation that could indicate multiple sclerosis, and explain the double vision he's been troubled by most of the week.

"We're head cases," I smiled back, forcing myself to breathe through the fear building in my chest.

It's so wild how quickly life can change, how terms like MS can suddenly become part of one's daily vocabulary. When 2011 began, I said that I was hoping for a nice boring year. Uneventful. No major life changes. Life, however, has its own plans.

Just last week, I was worried about my own vision. One of my eyes was swollen shut from the shingles, lesions dotting my puffy eyelid. My doctor sent me to an opthamologist to make sure that the virus hadn't entered my eye (thankfully it hadn't.) Michael started seeing double a few days later; at first, he chalked it up to fatigue, but it started to get worse, even after a good night's sleep. Double vision has a name that's fun to say--"diplopia"--but the experience, while trippy, is not what he'd describe as fun. He found a picture online that he says captures the diplopian feeling--just looking at it made me dizzy--but after I posted it here, the site took it down and asked people not to link to it. I found the double Obama image above to replace it; it doesn't quite capture the same vertigo, but it's close.

Michael still has a bunch of tests to do, so a diagnosis has not been confirmed yet. Hopefully the double vision will fade away as quickly as it came (just as my shingles are fading away, though not as quickly as I'd like. People still look at me in alarm when I'm out in public. It's been quite interesting to witness the changing landscape of my face--another reminder of how there is so much beyond our control, so many forces at play within our skin.) Whatever the future may hold, I trust we'll get through it with love and laughter and the support of family and friends. Despite all the marks on and in our noggins, we are not truly head cases, not by a long shot. If the last couple of years have taught us anything, it's that we are more resilient than we ever could have guessed, even if sometimes we're a bit shaky on our feet. And all we can do is continue to walk forward, dance forward, together into the unknown.