When you’re in jail, time passes very slowly and 45 days is forever. That’s how long I ended up in there again! It could have been shorter if I had let my mom bail me out, it was a $1500 bond, but I told her not to. The reason I did that was because the court was saying that I owed them the money. I didn’t owe them a dime and I refused to have her pay the bond then not get it back when I got out!! I’ll tell you, this whole ordeal has been an object lesson for me on the power of forgiving and forgetting. I must admit, writing about it now stirs up some of that old outrage in me. The lack of compassion was one thing, but you’d think they would have bent over backwards to make sure I didn’t sue them.
Anyway, back to where I left off. Each day brought a small amount of progress. I could walk a few more step before losing my balance; I could sit on the bench without falling off; I could hit my mouth with the food and so on. Of course, it was all God‘s doing! I’m sure my constant rosary praying enlisted the help of the Virgin Mary also! What Son can refuse His Mother? I’m surprised there were any beads left on that string by the time I got out! I remember one time a C.O. asked me what I was hiding in my hand. I opened it and she said, “What is that?” I told her and she just looked at me. Good thing she didn’t try to take it from me, that wouldn’t have gone well!
I spent my time reading the Bible, praying and doing my own brand of physical therapy. By the time my 45 days were up, the judge call me to court. They came to the pod, got me, took me to the front, shackled me, and transported me to the courthouse. You should have seen me trying to walk in those shackles and keep my balance. When I went before the bench, she was pretty crappy to me. She asked me why I thought I didn’t have to appear in court like everybody else that gets subpoenaed. I told her I never got one and asked where it was sent. She said I ought to know, I signed for it. I told her that I didn’t. She read off where it was sent. That’s when I got a little crappy myself. They sent it to an address that I lived at 17 years earlier! She wanted to know why someone would sign for a subpoena that wasn’t theirs. Like I should know? Finally, she released me. My mom said she would follow us back to the jail and wait for me in the parking lot.
Oh happy day! I was a bit worried about what Mark was going to say when he saw just how bad off I was. I’ll tell you right now, God is so good to me! We were only engaged at this point in time. When I got home, Mark was so great! He was a wonderful caretaker. I know that I scared him to death a few times when he was in another room and heard a big thud. He’d come running out just as I was trying to pick myself up off the floor and then ask me why I didn’t ask him to get whatever I needed! I wasn’t good at being an invalid. I was also determined not to be.
You know you have a good man when he marries you after you’ve become disabled. My progress was slow going. It had nerve-wracking ebbs and flows. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to regain as much as I have, but again God is good to me. Now remember, at this point we still didn’t know what had happened to me. I made a doctor’s appointment immediately. My eldest daughter had started seeing my doctor prior to my going to jail and had informed him somewhat on what had been going on. When I got in to see him, he was hot, hot, hot! He thought that I might have had a stroke also. Though he never said it, I think he has other suspicions too. He order an MRI for me at the hospital, but I didn’t have insurance so I kept putting it off.
Then I got really sick. Mark, having gone through pneumonia with me before, knew right away what was wrong with me. After a couple of days, he was tired to my excuses and said, “You’re going to the hospital!” So, I called my mom the next morning while Mark was at work. I never thought they would admit me, but they did. So, since I was already there, I asked if they could do the MRI too and they did.
The following day a doctor walked into the room. She introduced herself and said she was a neurologist. Then she dropped the bombshell on me, MS. I had no clue about this disease. She said she couldn’t stay but wanted to give me the results right away and she would be back to follow-up with me. The MRI showed that I had suffered two attacks. The first left a smaller lesion, which probably wasn’t real noticeable, but the second was a fairly large one and had caused all the damage. The only thing that I could think of was that it is a crippling illness. Of course, I know a whole lot more now. I didn’t know that there were two different types of MS. One will go into remission and the other won’t. Thank the Lord, mine does.
MS usually strikes from mid-twenties to mid-thirties. I was 46. Like I said before, your immune system attacks your own body. What results from the attacks are lesions on the brain. Those lesions, scars really, cause the electrical impulse transmissions of the brain to be interrupted or broken. I think it’s real similar to a stroke in that aspect.
Here is what I was left with at that time: impaired motor skills, equilibrium, vision, speech, thought processes, and short term memory loss. I found out the reason I was hurting all the time was fibromyalgia, which is a chronic pain disease. I was depressed because that is part of MS. I had developed restless leg syndrome where my muscles in my calves cramp up, my legs jump and twitch involuntarily, it feels like pins and needles being stuck in you, and causes a creepy/crawly sensation. It’s awful.
So, as a result, I had at least a dozen medications that I had to take, some twice a day and some three times a day. I had a real hard time with all these pills, so Mark went and bought me a 7 day-4 times a day pill case. I would sit down each week with his teenage daughter and we would stock the case. I had a hard time swallowing my pills and gagged on them often. Several of them caused me to have a dry mouth, so I had to carry hard candy with me everywhere I went. I have to take a shot once a week. These shots are very, very expensive but God provided! The neurologist gave me some paperwork to fill out and send in to the drug manufacturer for assistance. I have been on a special program for 6 years now that supplies my shots for free. Thank you Jesus!! It’s been a trial of patience and perseverance. Without the support of my family, Mark’s family, and God’s constant blessings, I don’t think I could have done it.
Stay tuned for part V. I’m trying to split this up a little so that it’s not too much to read at one time, ’cause there is a whole lot more to my story. So…
Always remember that Jesus died for us because He loves us!