POIGNANT THOUGHTS IN THE MIDDLE OF SUFFERING AND HEALTH BATTLES

I thought I was dying a majority of this year. Some days I thought I had Lupus, on my less positive days I thought I had Cancer. I wrapped myself in my new apartment for days deep in God’s word hoping he’d perform some form of miracle healing. By month three, I accepted that whatever was going on with my body was going to manifest itself into something worse in the months to come. I had family and friends blame my health condition on me, saying I was having yet another anxiety attack. As much as I’d like to punish myself for being transparent about my mental health, overtime their assumptions said more about themselves and not me. Even if it’s common knowledge that my anxiety is rooted in desiring perfection, I’d be the crazy lady for anyone who didn’t want to deal with me that day. People don’t show up for themselves daily, dismissing me was expected, particularly in a pandemic. I had to ignore what everyone thought, easier said than done because I’m a fighter, but I had a body that I needed to tend to.

Only witness I had at the time was the man that I was currently dating. I was head over heels in love with him, but he and I argued just about everyday in July. Despite how much he empathized with my physical pain, our emotional connection wasn’t strong enough for me to have a partner on this journey when I desperately needed one. I then had to accept I’d be fighting this, whatever it was, heartbroken and alone — for real.

I was putting on my makeup preparing for a group Facetime with my friends. My 27th birthday had been days prior, and I was in need of a good laugh with them. Before the call started, I felt this odd, paralyzing rush come across my body. Because we’re currently in a pandemic, I checked to see if that may have been a covid symptom. It was not, so I ignored it and proceeded to my call.

8 days after that odd feeling, I wake up to plug my laptop charger into the wall and sparks began to fly out of my outlet. I got electrocuted. Everything happened so quickly. I didn’t really process what had occured. The entire building loss power.

I went to urgent care to make sure I wasn't experiencing anything internally. They assured me that I’d be fine because it wasn’t a commercial outlet. I got a tetanus shot. I went home. I filed a complaint with my apartment complex. They were usually very responsive, but they became oddly silent in response to what had occured. I was without power for a week, I slept in my car because I don’t have family in North Carolina. I’m Christian, so I considered it was something God would get me through despite how uncomfortable and unfair everything seemed.

Days later my legs began to shake involuntarily. I couldn’t get an immediate appointment with my primary care physician, so I went to the Emergency Room. They ran just about every test on me, and said that I was experiencing Restless Leg Syndrome due to my Anemia and potassium deficiency. I’ve been an ice chewing iron deficient hag my entire life, why would my legs start shaking now? I mention the electrocution, and I was told that it had no effect on my body because the outlet was inside of a home.

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4 months later, my hands, legs, and my body is shaking and I have severe gastrointestinal issues. I can’t even lay down on my back without my teeth burning and my head was pounding. My nails are also turning this weird, dark purple color and nobody could tell me why. I had been to the ER about 8 times. My primary care physician tested me for Lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and STDS. All of my test came back negative, so he told me we’d follow up in March of 2021. I fought hard on his lack of effort to dive in on what was happening to me. I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy with a seperate doctor and everything came back fine. I see horror stories all of the time about Black people being ignored in the healthcare system. Never in my life did I think it would happen to me. Despite test results, I wasn’t willing to let them give up on me.

One night I got up to use the restroom and I could barely walk. My muscles ached, my bones felt weak, my back had this odd stabbing feeling. I felt like I was on my deathbed. By then my medical bills are in the thousands, and I hadn’t had luck with the emergency room, so I decided to head to urgent care in the morning. Urgent care doesn’t have access to labs, so the doctor looks into the system at my latest bloodwork. She was able to determine that I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency. Average Vitamin D levels are 30–100. I was at a 13. I had seen several doctors for months, why didn’t anybody catch this? I mention the electrocution, and despite that doctor being of help to me, she also denied it possibly impacting my health.

She gives me a high dosage prescription and some of my pain goes away, but I am still experiencing the hand and leg tremors, but now I’m also experiencing strikes of lightning in my eyes and excessive sweating. For days I thought the lights in my house were just flickering, but they were not. I had did some Googling, and the possibility of having Multiple Sclerosis came up, and it’s often a result for the lack of D vitamin. I hand been holding off on coming home because Miami’s covid cases are sky high. My immune system was already compromised due to my vitamin deficiencies, but I had ran out of options. I decided to come home and see a neurologist.

The neurologist determined that I had a severe Vitamin D deficiency, Vitamin B deficiency, and experiencing the effects of an electrocution. No MS, No Cancer, No Lyme’s Disease, etc. I’ve been tested for everything. For the first time, I had a doctor validate my experience. In-home electrocution that damage the nervous system are possible, they are just rarely reported. I even had an MRI because on the same day I started experiencing involuntary head movements. It was almost like I was having a conscious seizure.

This year has been tough for me. I ended a 9 year friendship. I found love and lost it in months. I got a new apartment and then another new one. I had a health scare I never prepared for. I have medical bills with health insurance. I learned the importance of dark skinned people taking Vitamin D (something I wasn’t paying attention to while quarantining). It’ll take months to a year for me to get back to normal, and there are days when I’m upset that I even had to experience what I did. I have conversations where I petition God and I’m ashamed for the amount of anger I’ve had in my heart towards him, yet I have to be grateful that I just need to take a shitload of vitamins for months. For years, he’s provided and made provisions for me (and he still has, as I’m still employed). This experience gives me a chance to lean in and test my faith, but I’m not mature enough to stop inquiring why it had to happen to me. I just wanted to get a new apartment and fall in love this year.

I’m on some pretty strong medications that suppress my tremors and allow me to have some form of joy when I need it. I’ve even gone on a few dates and I have some more planned. I haven’t contributed to my blog in months because I didn’t think I had anything to say, I was also embarrassed as I’ve never been gravely unhealthy before, but I think my story could encourage some people to take their life a bit more seriously or see me for the human that I actually am. I rarely ask for help, so when I’m suffering, I’d like to be seen as such. Mortality is fragile. I could have died prematurely haven’t gotten married or birthed children. You can die before your time if it’s in God’s plan.

I have moments when I feel sorry for myself, but I’m still mustering up strength even when I don’t feel that strong.

Consider this a tough love diary to myself for you all.

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