Sunday, October 10, 2010

Molli's Mayo Musings

I've done it.

We spent last week at the Jacksonville, Florida Mayo Clinic.

I've been:
and observed
by Mayo Clinic doctors and staff.

In 4 days, they were able to answer questions that we have been asking for almost 5 years. I arrived at the Clinic last Monday, thinking that this was my last hope. I left with a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Absolutely amazing, don't you think?

After several hours of being examined by doctors, 14 vials of blood for bloodwork, an EEG (4th in 5 years), observation for sleep apnea (which I don't have), MRI imagining (I have emprical evidence that I have a brain, despite what my older brothers may think), the most extensive eye exam I've ever had...all with the same results as I've had since early 2006...Dr. Shuster is convinced that I have a non-specific auto immune condition.

It doesn't have a fancy-schmancy name. Not even sure it is what you'd call a disease. But to quote my son, my body is at war against itself...invading Normandy completely unaware that the war was won 60 years ago. My immune system has gone haywire and since it can't find a disease to kill off, its eating away at perfectly healthy nerves in my brain.

Not good! I'm not certain there is any brain matter to spare, you know?

But, thank goodness, we even think we have a handle on what caused World War III to begin inside my body. It is linked to a situation that is almost unbelievable and if you told me the same story, I'd be skeptical. But honest, it really did. I'm not going to tell you the entire story here, but I will say that the title is "Rabies is always fatal" and it happened to us when we woke up in our bedroom one night over 5 years ago to find a bat flying around in our bedroom.

Because we were alseep with the bat in our room, we found out we were at risk to have been bitten, even though we felt certain we were not. After consulting several sources, including the CDC and our doctor, we went to the ER and were given rabies shots. We had a total of 3 shots before we knew for certain that the bat didn't have rabies.

6 months later, I began to have the symptoms that have plagued me ever since. The rabies vaccines are of the live variety and the doctor believes that my auto-immune system went nuts because of that. Once it was in motion, it just couldn't quit.

I've been tested for ALS, Stroke, Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Epilepsy, Lyme's Disease, Multiple Scloresis, and several other not so well-known illnesses. Never could get a diagnosis. I've been told I'm interesting, off and not quite right. I've even been told that I probably have a 'deep seated wound in my pshyche from childhood that needed to be addressed.'

I am so thrilled to have a non-specific auto immune disorder and means to treat it. Really. I'm not going to give anyone a bad time about hooking me up to an IV and administering 1000 mg of steroids a day for 5 days. Because I believe that this is going to ultimately make me better and our lives will not be ruled by my stroke-type symptoms any longer.

So...thank you for your prayers and concern for us over the past week. It meant the world to me and to the Rocket Man.

There are several funny stories to tell about the week, and I promise I will tell them over time. But tonight, I just wanted to say that my grandsons are downstairs watching TV, Rocket Man is asleep in the bed beside me and all is well in MolliWorld.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, my friends.


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mother!

Yesterday was my Dear Mother's birthday. As we were on the road all week, I was unable to write a post for her. I would like to repost what I wrote about her on our family blog last spring. My sister, Linda, and her family are there with her this weekend as is my brother, Terry, and parts of his family. I'm sure that there is lots of giggling, teasing, loud talking, arguing and eating going on today. That is the kind of day my Mother loves, and I am so thankful that she has half of her children with her today. Happy Birthday, Mother. Ed and I love you very much!

My Mother

Someone asked me to describe my Mother once. I believe that was the hardest question I have ever been asked. If you know her, you know why.

Charlotte Theresa Younger Buster is, among other things:

Larger than life
A force of nature
Unbridled energy
A little woman with a heart as big as Texas
Purpose personified
Grace under fire
Beautiful from the tip of her toes to the top of her head, inside and out
Not exactly what you'd call quiet

My Mother is a living definition of what it means to be in love. She is in love with her Lord. She is in love with her Bobbie. She is in love with her family. She is in love with her home and her life.

She is the epitome of homemaker, a godly wife, an excellent cook and nobody...NOBODY can clean or do laundry like she can.

Everyone should have a friend like Mother. She is the consumute friend and neighbor. Always there with a giggle, a cup of coffee, a freshly baked cake, prayers, time and concern. When my Mother is your friend, you have a friend indeed.

If she hadn't raised me to be a strong woman, I fear I'd have spent my life totally intimidated by her. I have never possessed her energy. I'm much more introverted than she is. I'm a true homebody and Mother is always ready to go! Somehow, though, this tomboy of a woman gave birth to one very prissy daughter. I remember sitting in the floor with her while she carefully cut out paper dolls for me. I know that was an act of pure love, because I know she cared not one whit for such things. But she knew how I loved them and she did it for me.

She taught me so many things, and one was that it was okay to be me-even though I am so different from her.

That lesson, the space to grow up and be all I can be...not an extension of her or even who she wanted me to one of the most precious gifts of earthly grace I have ever known.

Because of her wisdom in raising me as she did, we grew up to be friends. She is Mother first. Always Mother. But,Friend as well. I am so blessed. When I had a daughter of my own, it was my honor to give her Mother's name. Not to call her Charlotte, because Annie suited her so well...but her name is Charlotte Anne. They are alike in many, many ways. The blessings have rebounded.

Describe my Mother?

My husband does that very well. I've often heard him say, 'Charlotte is the most extraordinary and remarkable woman I have ever known.' When a Son-in-Law feels that way about his know she's special.

Oh...and did you see the picture? That is Mother in her Uggs. Its not enough that she's extraordinay and remarkable...she's doggone adorable, too.

Love you, Mother!