Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The beginning of our journey....

Praise the Lord…my husband had a brain tumor.

That probably sounds awful. It seems bad to type it. But bear with me, this will make sense by the end of this and in the end, I know you will agree with me and praise the Lord with me for my husband’s brain tumor.

Where to begin….

The short story is “He had a sinus infection that was not a sinus infection.”. My husband had been having headaches and stuffiness in his head for over a year now. He is not prone to headaches, but you know how when you get allergies, sometimes the stuffiness can make your head hurt a little bit.

We live in Alaska. We moved there 10 years ago, and, though none of us had ever had seasonal allergies, we all seemed to get them occasionally in Alaska. I personally chalk it up to us being from the south and our bodies used to southern pollen, not the birches and spruce and various other allergens. I could be wrong and it is because we are getting older, but I like my explanation better.

Anyway, last year my husband went to the physician’s assistant that we had been assigned to in the military. He basically told TWS “You have allergies, there is nothing I can do for you.”. TWS was given some medication and sent home.

If you have read my blog, you know that this past year has been exceptionally stressful. We had a death in the family--my wonderful grandmother to whom I had promised that I would be moving from Alaska. I promised her for ten years, and had never made it home. Her death left me mournful and sorrowed. She was one person of very few people whom I truly believed loved me unconditionally.

Please allow me a moment to tell you about this wonderful, beautiful woman who has been gone a little over a year now.

She had been a beauty when she was young, and was still amazingly beautiful as she got old.

She was gentle and notional and would lean back and clap her hands together as she laughed.

Oh her poor hands! I would rub her hands with lotion from time to time, as they were crippled and swollen from arthritis. I did not do that nearly enough. She has the softest skin of anyone I have ever seen. Even newborn babies do not have as delicate, beautiful skin as she had.

I also enjoyed polishing her silver when we came to visit, as I knew that no one else would get around to doing that for her. I thought it made her happy.

She was very much a southern woman. She had lipstick in her car, in her bathroom, in the kitchen, in her purse, in the living room, and by her bed so that she was never without. Like most Louisiana women of a certain age, she loved to watch the braves play, and she drove a Cadillac. She drank coffee all day and into the night, though the coffee was weak as could be.

Also, she got her hair done every week at the beauty parlor, a custom I find TERRIBLY endearing! She enjoyed wearing some blue mascara that I had bought once. She was fluffy and pink cheeked and smelled of fresh flowers.

She was terribly brave, because she was so terribly fearful. She hated to be alone at night. If I had known that, I would have stayed over more often. I never knew and she never told me.

I miss my grandmother.

Anyway, we also had had two major setbacks for TWS professionally, and one sudden decision that left us wondering what he had done to deserve these things. He had given so much to the job and the people in his job, but he was the one who seemed to be "forgotten" for things that were the natural progression for his career. Of course, the Lord works EVERY SINGLE THING out for the good of those who love Him, I know that, but you know how hard it is to see the rainbow when you are stuck in the flood. I need to work on that aspect of my faith.

His headaches were more frequent, but we chalked that up to stress of his professional life, upcoming deployment, difficulties at work, that virus that we all had almost two years ago that lasted almost a year. I should have realized that something was wrong. He was NOT one to get headaches. He almost never got them until last year, but there was always a reasonable explanation for him to be having a headache.

However, starting in about Feb or March of this year, his headaches would suddenly become very, very severe. He would have a build-up of a few hours, and then the headache would be overwhelming—making him pale and sweaty and weak. We tried to give him antihistamines, nasal spray, etc, thinking it was a severe sinus attack. Those things, combined with rest, seemed to get him over the bouts. He would take medication then go rest. Once he would awake from his nap, the headache seemed to be better.

His headaches were happening more on the weekdays than the weekends. I was wondering if they were due to some exposure at work to something, or due to stress, or change in eating habits. I was giving him Benadryl at night, Vitamin D, and Claritin during the day. That seemed to help slightly for a little bit.
Finally, though, the headaches were getting more frequent and more severe. They were affecting his vision, and he was becoming unable to go a whole week without having one.

He finally called for another appointment.

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