The center of our great nation is not the place one always wants to visit in the summer and yet that summer a trip to visit family in Texas and Colorado seemed like the right thing to do. Traveling for weeks and long distances with two small children can be taxing to any parent but on this trip I was not feeling well and the visits remain a blur in my memory! While visiting in the Dallas area my illness was compounded with a terrible uti and I remembered that we had a friend from Bible college days who was now a doctor in the area. What I did not know was that the physican friend was a pathologist and so perhaps began what would later seem as foreshadowing in the story. It seems that even pathologists can write scrips and so I was able to obtain an antibiotic so that the trip might continue. I know we visited a brother in law in Texas and a sister in law and her family in Colorado, but where else and who else we saw will forever remain locked away in the back of my brain somewhere.
Upon returning home to the city of Chicago-life quickly fell back into a sense of normal for a few days. I still had the remants of an upper respiratory infection that I could not shake and traces of the earlier uti that the medicine had helped ,for awhile , had reappeared. I vaguely remember being at a church league baseball game and sitting outside at sundown, thinking that I was much sicker than symptoms seemed to indicate. The role of pastor’s wife or in this case assistant pastor’s wife was one that demanded mostly my presence at everything and my illness was no excuse to stay away from church services or functions. So I kept dragging myself and my two little girls to all the events of the week.
Returning to my two-night-a-week job as a nurse’s assistant for a wealthy North Shore family was in some ways relaxing from a stress filled home and hours of relief from the demands of mothering a three year old daughter and a eighteen month old daughter. It was decent pay for the time and it was 12 hours worked twice a week that seemed the easiest to be away. I worked from 7 pm until 7 am usually on Tuesday and Thursday nights… the nights most often void of church services or activities. This was also the time that the girls were usually asleep and so not to much work for their father. On my first night back at work, the other nurse I worked with noticed that I looked sick and sent me to bed once our patient was asleep for the night.
When I awoke the next morning the first thing I sensed was that the outside of my hands and feet were numb. I tried to shake the numbness away thinking that my hands and feet were asleep as though I had slept in a strange position causing them to fall asleep. When the numbness did not go away I thought that maybe I had pinched a nerve. By Thursday of that week the numbness had spread to my face and I was getting concerned. It was as though the face had been given novacaine like the dentist might give for a filling. Afraid to return to my patient because I thought that I might be carrying a contagious disease I visited a family doctor who assured me that I was a tired pastor’s wife and mother and that there was nothing to worry about! I returned to work and woke up on Friday morning feeling more numb and as though my limbs weighed hundreds of pounds. I was becoming more fearful by the hour… to be edited and continued