I just realized that it has been almost 4 months since I wrote here. I apologize. There are plenty of excuses, and a few reasons. I think the main one would be discouragement.
Actually, discouraged does not begin to describe where we are with Frances' treatment for the numbness in her arms and hands. Since I last updated everyone, she saw a neurologist. I won't tell you what I think of him. I will just say that, because all of the tests came back negative, the conclusion was that the cause of her numbness is psychosomatic, i.e., it's all in her head. That was in January. We followed up with the primary practice, who then told us there was nothing else they could do, and to come back if there were a change.
Since then, the numbness has progressed a bit further up her arms, and she is having trouble, sporadically, with holding a pencil to write at school. There is no difficulty with strength...the main issue seems to be that she cannot feel that she is holding the pencil, and cannot make it cooperate to write on paper. Very clear, huh? She is getting more frustrated. I am getting more frustrated.
I requested the school provide a second set of books, so she wouldn't have to haul 30 pounds of books back and forth to school every day. They required a doctor's note to do that....so we went BACK to the primary practice. This time, I INSISTED on 3 things when we went in there. First, the note....got it. Second, physical therapy to deal with the pain in her back, and third, a referral for a second opinion with a neurologist at the local children's hospital. I got all three things I requested.
Frances has started physical therapy, and the therapist doing a lot of testing on Frances, trying to figure out the numbness thing, too. She (the PT) started off saying that the way Frances was describing things was fairly classic for psychosomatic symptoms...but has since revised herself, to say that she does not believe that Frances is making things up...she really can NOT feel anything in her hands and arms. AT ALL.
Meanwhile, the referral for the second opinion popped us right back over the the same place we went before...perhaps to a different neurologist, but I did not trust that to be an unbiased opinion, and called requesting, yet again, that we be sent to the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters. This time, I really got what I wanted...and have an appointment for her to go in later this month.
Finally, I feel like I caved under pressure...I have made Frances an appointment to be evaluated on the off chance that this is psychosomatic. I know it can't hurt her to talk to someone...especially since we have a great Christian counseling group here. I just do not believe that is the source of the problem. That is scheduled for 3 days after the appointment with the neurologist.
Life goes on. There are 5 other kids in this family, as well as me and my husband. All six kids are in school. There is homework every day. Jason and I are leading small groups (Jason has 2!), and are deeply involved at church, and in ministry to hurting people around us. Softball and baseball seasons have started. The school year is winding down. I am still working from home. Jason is still working on his second Masters...3 classes left! I am gearing up to start on my Masters. We are attempting to buy a house. I have been in physical therapy since sometime in February.
Some days I want to scream "STOP THIS RIDE....I WANT OFF!" But things seem to keep moving faster and faster, and I have no control.
I don't like change. I don't like the hectic pace we are living at. I am scared to death that my daughter has something that is really scary to think about. I am scared that because we're not finding answers, we are waiting too long, and there will be no reversing the damage already done. I'm sure I am NOT ready for what the next 6 to 9 months hold...but there is not holding back time.
I keep reminding myself that God is in control of this ride. I know that He knows what my future holds, and that He has good and not harm planned for me, and for my husband and children. I get that. But in the trenches where I am hunkered up right now, I have to be reminded of that very often, because the immediacy of issues keep distracting me from the bigger picture that God loves me and my family, and wants what is best for me.
So, please keep praying. Thank you for your prayers so far. I am clinging to those, desperately.