My rambling in the order I remember it….
I am 15. My back hurts like I have been moving furniture, but I have been doing no such thing. I get my mom to rub the aching, knotted muscles of my back and it helps me feel better at the moment.
This continues for days, weeks. I finally go see a doctor about these pains. It’s the family pediatrician. He pokes and prods, makes me move my arms and body in different positions to see if he can figure out the problem. He tells me to take things like Advil, Tylenol, or aspirin and the pain doesn’t go away.
He suggests I see a chiropractor or an osteopath to see if they can help. My mom and I choose a local osteopath and I go to my appointment. He tells me that my spine needs adjustment and aligns it a few times, but this has no affect on my troubles with my back pains. I go back to the pediatrician. A few months later, he schedules a bone scan for me… I am now 16.
I get the bone scan and the doctor finds nothing wrong with my bones. He tells me my pain must be the result of stress.
My thoughts at the time ran to… Of course I’m stressed, I’m a 16 year old girl who is worried about the things teenage kids usually stress about, but I knew my life was no more stressful than that what most kids my age stress about- pimples, peer pressure, my latest crush. I didn’t have a job, my mom didn’t pressure me to get one.
Time went on… the pain went away and I didn’t worry about it anymore.
Now I’m 18, I have a job scooping ice cream at the local drive-in restaurant and taking food out to the tables, then cleaning up after the customers leave. I start to have twinges in my right arm… aches that I don’t understand, but I ignore them. I have always had spatial issues, where I don’t quite precisely know where my body parts are. I’ve never been able to wear a watch without scratching the crystal face.
When I was 13, I misjudged the distance to a curb and sprained my ankle. Welcome to 8th grade. I was just always slightly clumsy, and a little off balance.
Age 19 rolls around and I have a new job scooping ice cream. I had twinges, numbness, and tingling. I didn’t worry about it too much at first, but then things got worse. I saw a new doctor and was given a tentative diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome.
A few months later I got a different job working in a fabric store. I loved this job, I loved to sew. I loved my boyfriend… but I didn’t love these occasional pains in my right wrist and arm.
More time passes… my boyfriend asks me to marry him and we move in together. I’m still 19 and 4 months before my 20th birthday, my boyfriend and I get married. We own a double wide mobile home on a fairly large lot in the outskirts of Anacortes, WA. We have a dog and a cat.
My husband is in the Navy and I go see the doctor about the pains I’ve been having in my right arm. I tell them that I had been tentatively diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome. They try several different therapies on me, like a half cast and steroid injections, but this doesn’t really help.
A few months later, they send me down to a bigger hospital and I get an EMG- Electomyeogram. That’s there they hook up a bunch of electrodes to the skin and test the nerves. Mine came back that the nerve wasn’t under any pressure. This means I DON’T have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. The testing neurologist tells me NOT to let the surgeon cut me open because there was a less than a 10% chance that it would help.
I tell this to the surgeon and go on my merry way.
A year later I get pregnant. My strange symptoms get better and I am happy. I go on long walks with my dog after I get over the 4 months of morning sickness. I journal through all of this as I had during my years in high school.
I give birth to a baby boy in January, 1991.
I get pregnant again in June 1992, then give birth to another baby boy in March 1993, just 2 days before my 24th birthday.