Overcoming obstacles

If there is one thing that I can say about myself over the past six months, it’s that my body sure likes to keep things interesting. It’s been one crazy week, let me tell you.

This past Monday, I got the MRI I discussed earlier. It took about a week for the orders to get here from California, but they finally came and we set it all up. Going into it, I wasn’t too apprehensive, I thought by now I’ve probably gotten more MRIs than some people get in a lifetime, so I’m well acquainted with the overbearing noise and claustrophobic tube you have to lay in. Even the strange helmet they put over your head with the different tubes protruding doesn’t really phase me anymore; however, before this, all of my MRIs have only been approximately 45 minutes. This one was more along the lines of two hours.

Needless to say I got a little restless, and was a bit perplexed when they stuck patches on my chest to monitor my heart. By the time they were ready to put in the contrast (they insert it through a vein in your arm) to highlight where the fluid goes in my brain I was ready to get out of there. Laying that long, completely still, on a hard surface while it sounds like someone is continually pounding on the machine that surrounds you in a freezing cold room is not my ideal way of how to spend my afternoon. But it was necessary, and I am glad it is over with. Hopefully I don’t have to repeat the process often. The results are on their way to L.A. right now and I am hoping we will speak with Dr. Shahinian early next week. I have another vision test later today, and once those results are forwarded to him we will be able to properly identify what steps need to be taken next.

Even though I’m not exactly in the best health right now, I had decided that I would warm up on senior night (which was this Tuesday) with my volleyball team. Not being able to play whatsoever this whole season has been devastating, but I thought since it is my senior night of my last year playing for my school, I would at least warm up.

It all started well, I was peppering with my best friend, Danielle Lorenscheit, just like old times when I began to start coughing pretty heavily. Coughing is one of the side effects of my cyst, so I didn’t really think anything of it at the time. The buzzer rang for the other team to warm up and we all went to go get a drink of water. Thinking that this may help me, I quickly washed some down, but the coughing persisted, and kept getting worse. Suddenly I felt a wave of nausea hit me. I knew then the warming up idea probably wasn’t the best thing for me.

I ran to the locker room, the coughs shaking my body, trying to regain some composure. The whole world was spinning, I was having trouble breathing, I couldn’t see, and that nausea feeling turned into a repulsive version of dry heaving. It was not pleasant, I’ll save you all the details. After the dry heaving stopped and my coughing fit subsided, though minimally, I began to notice a wheezing sound coming out of my mouth. I looked at my mom in horror. To say I didn’t sound good is an understatement. She quickly told my father to come to us, and he immediately checked my heartrate. Turns out my heart was having a celebration of it’s own and pumping like a champ, getting a bit too excited for our liking. This continued, and I tried to stay as calm as possible while attempting to convince my parents not to take me to the emergency room. They complied with my compromise that if it my symptoms had not changed by the end of the match, I would go. During the second game of the match, I began to feel tingling in my hands as they slowly went numb.

Things were starting to get scary, but, in about ten minutes after I lost feeling in my right hand, the symptoms began to subside, and eventually, I was breathing normally, my heartrate was down, and I could feel both my hands just fine. One could say it was an eventful night.

These recent events only remind me of the severity of my situation, and based on what happened, I am assuming things in my brain aren’t looking too good. I’m ready to get better. I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get back to my normal life, where I can do all the things that I love so much. I’ve faced many setbacks, yes, but everything that has posed as an obstacle only makes me want everything I used to have so much more. It may be a few months till I get back to volleyball and all the rest of my activities, but I can guarantee you that when I do, I will have an unlimited supply of motivation.

Nothing is going to stop me. Not this cyst in my brain, not anything. I’m not giving up on all my hopes and dreams of senior year, and I’m not giving in to the weakness of my body. I’m overcoming it.