I debated a lot on this one and originally I wrote about my childhood but I think that was more horrific than difficult and probably not right for a light-hearted Blog Challenge so I had another go.


When Sam and I decided to have a baby, I got pregnant instantly.  It was as if the intention was all that was necessary because prior to that the only birth control we used was the withdraw method and for 8 years that was 100% effective. My first sign of pregnancy was not the usual flu like symptoms and/or morning sickness, in fact my earliest symptom didn’t seem related to pregnancy at all. I woke up screaming in the middle of night with pain in my left knee so intense that I couldn’t move the affected limb. The pain made me nauseous and my husband literally had to carry me to the bathroom as I was unable to walk. I lost consciousness from the pain, which is the first and only time that has ever happened to me. I went to the doctor the next day for tests, when I came back days later to discuss the results I thought what the hell why not get a pregnancy test since we are trying. I was pregnant and I had Hypothyroidism (which later went away because of pregnancy hormones).


During my pregnancy I continued to get pain and spasms in my lower body, never as extreme as the first time but I would sometimes wake up screaming bloody murder. The pain followed very seizure-like spasms but at that time I wasn’t aware of Epilepsy. As I appeared otherwise healthy and as my daughter was developing perfectly it was just dismissed as unusual symptoms of pregnancy.


After I had Isadora I was like all new mothers completely exhausted and an emotional wreck. My daughter almost never slept and usually required feedings every 15 minutes, in that tiny window of time I would try to sleep but it was usually impossible as I have always struggled to fall asleep. One night I got up to feed Isadora and my legs gave out totally, no resistance almost as if I didn’t even have bones. I literally crawled back to bed and for the rest of the night Sam had to get up and fed her (we usually alternated). The next morning Sam went to work early (his job was about an hour away) and as I was still in bed I had no idea about the condition I was in.


I fell asleep after he left and I have no idea how long I slept and no idea how long Isadora was crying for my attention. When I tried to get up I couldn’t, I had no strength in my legs at all, they just didn’t work. I hardly had strength in my arms either and had to drag myself military-style to her room, legs completely useless not quite paralyzed but close. I could not get her out of the crib because I could not stand/was much too weak so I just talked to her for a while and held her hand through the bars.


I called Sam and told him what had happened and he left work strait away (it was an hour of panic for us both I imagine). He took me to my doctor and after a few simple neurological tests I was rushed to the emergency room. It was crowded but I never waited, it was instantaneous admittance. My neurological exams came back extremely abnormal and I had a potassium deficiency. I got an IV and they started a barrage of painful tests. I had a spinal tap, an MRI that was 2 1/2 hours long, blood work for just about everything imaginable. They thought I might have Transverse Myelitis, MS, or Lupus.  Of all the tests they never did an EEG which might have been helpful!


It was horrible not being with my baby. My mom came to help with Isadora so Sam could spend some time with me as we had no idea how serious my condition was. They couldn’t find anything even though I was obviously not okay. Once I started to regain strength I decided to go home even though it wasn’t recommended I couldn’t sleep in the hospital and I was getting very Depressed. When I got home I had 4 days of intense spinal headaches and I couldn’t really leave the bed, if you have never had a spinal headache they are completely disabling. I felt terrible that Sam had to take double duty for a while on top of his job with the long commute. It was a rough time. The good thing is that I recovered strength and mobility quickly. I still don’t really know what happened if it was my Epilepsy or something else (my seizures aren’t painful now). I don’t know if that something else spontaneously resolved itself or if it will reoccur (I have experienced temporary immobility once before in my neck).


I lived in US at that time without health insurance and with all those tests, plus a hospital stay you can imagine the concern I felt as to how we would ever get out of debt. We were living on one income, a teacher’s salary, and we had a new baby. My financial fears turned out to be unfounded. The hospital never once asked us about payment or insurance, in fact they took care of everything silently including all the admissions paperwork. On top of that they didn’t charge us anything. We received a list of services in the mail but the cost of every single procedure including my stay was zero dollars. After my daughter this is the second biggest miracle of my life!


2 thoughts on “Blog Challenge 20 Difficult Times

  1. My heart goes out to you Candice. Indeed,this was a terrible time for you and thank God you came out fine. I do now of some women in my country who break down completely after child birth; whether it is nervous break down or paralyses one cannot tell.

    Of the spinal headaches I had one after three days after the birth of my last baby. I never reported to the hospital as I did not think I had to. It lasted for about three or four days and for that time I was in total agony, unable to eat or drink anything. Breastfeeding the baby was near impossible. When the headache finally disappeared, I was completely exhausted. And I’ve never had it since

    1. I am so glad you have never had another one. I am happy to say I never have either, they are not unusual after a spinal tap so the source of the headache for me at least was known, which made it less scary but no less excruciating! Pregnancy is a wonderful time but its also quite scary. I know my fear of heights got worse because I didn’t want to fall and hurt Isadora and well with that giant belly I had no balance to speak of lol I am not exactly sure what happened but I have never been good without sleep, no sleep causes a dramatic increase in seizures and if those were indeed seizures it makes sense why my body was so totally wiped out, I was probably just exhausted on every level physically, mentally, emotionally.

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