Each evening just after putting the children asleep, a peculiar routine was starting to develop.
I noticed that I was unable to lift my head once in a horizontal position. I was pregnant and used to getting up at least three times a night to relieve my bladder but now, I had to hold out until morning. In other words, I could not abruptly change my head position as it made me so dizzy that I ended up projectile vomiting (actually dry heaving because I had nothing left inside me) at any given hour of the night. I would just lay there as still as possible and nudge my husband when I heard tiny little footsteps rapidly approaching our bedroom.
My wonderful husband really did not understand what was happening to me and I am certain that there were times that he thought to himself that I was just downright lazy. Nevertheless, he diligently assumed all graveyard shift duties. There was a lot of night-time action in our bedroom; we had sleep-walkers, bed-wetters, nightmare sufferers and mommy barfing at any given wee hour of the night.
During the day, I became the personification of Mr. Magoo as I would stumble around the house like a klutz, colliding into everything from walls, to table corners and doorways. Whatever I was carrying would clumsily fall out of my hands and once it landed on the floor, it mind as well have fallen into the deepest abyss as I was utterly unable to bend down to pick it up. It was the most uncomfortable sensation I had ever experienced as even the slightest shift in head position would throw me into a full blown puking attack. The entire room was spinning out of control.
To function, the survival technique I most adopted was to hold my head in one position the entire day and certainly, I resembled an indigenous woman at the market carrying her family´s sustenance balanced perfectly on her head in a large woven basket. Our housekeepers, who were already overworked with caring for the children, (as I was unable to be hands on changing diapers, bathing, etc.,) would walk behind me calling out all the items as they hit the floor one by one, ¨keys,¨ ¨cell phone,¨ water bottle,¨ ¨medication¨, etc. I tried to explain that I needed them to retrieve everything for me as I could not. They probably thought that I was a ridiculously high maintenance woman who was above bending down to pick items off the floor! I mean, who had ever heard of such a bizarre symptom associated with pregnancy? Perhaps it were understandable if it were a blind person or someone wearing a neck brace due to a major spinal injury.
Again, my kids just went around saying that the baby in mommy’s belly was making her sick and assumed it was normal that their mother’s complete incapacitation was part of a normal pregnancy. Interestingly everybody else also assumed the same thing, including several medical doctors. I ask, how could so many intelligent and learned people from all professions and disciplines simultaneously buy into such a preposterous theory?
Everybody except for one friend of mine. She saw me out one night and I was relaying to her about my night-time activities of puking, sleeping like a cadaver inside a coffin due to my constant onslaught of dizzy spells. At that moment, she suggested that I see an Auditory Specialist and ENT doctor to check out my inner ears. That sounded reasonable enough to me so I went ahead and made the appointments the following day.
In a nutshell, both renowned specialists concluded in so many words that I was having a rough pregnancy or had some loose debris in my inner ear and one of these consummate medical geniuses attempted to ¨shake it loose¨ by performing a maneuver on me that resembled some wrestling techniques I’ve seen during my nightly UFC matches. Not only was this ineffective, but I would stagger out of the doctor’s office like an uncoordinated intoxicated sailor grabbing for my husband’s arm for stability. Normal pregnancy symptoms, right?
Fast forward about another week and now I find myself involuntarily winking with my left eye. I have now developed some sort of nervous twitch I assume. My husband finds this new ¨habit¨ (as if I am doing this to be seductive) charming and adorable and begins winking back at me during each meal we share together. He is actually making fun of me and by now, thinking I am a drama queen!
The following evening we are attending a couple’s class together and I mention to the same friend that the other specialists were buffoons having diagnosed me with either ¨rough pregnancy ¨or ¨sand in my ear¨ and curiously, now I cannot stop winking with my left eye which also gives way to random uncontrollable tearing. She grabs me by the shoulders and insists that I see (her) neurologist that next day and since she is so chummy with this doctor, (my friend has a reputation for being a certified hypochondriac by the entire community in which we live so it is hard to take her seriously at times,) she will personally call and make me the appointment.
The following morning we found ourselves in the presence of the eminent neurologist who continued to subject me to a series of coordination tests to the likes of a drunk driving finger test. Was this really so necessary that I had to leave the movers? (Oh, I forgot to mention a small detail that we were in the midst of moving homes and I had movers with boxes and all the associated supplies at my house waiting for my instructions.) Meanwhile, here I was performing coordination skills I had learned at the age of two!
Shockingly,to our surprise, I could not perform the simple movements correctly and I was somewhat embarrassed of my clumsiness. I told her I was stressed out with the move and had not been sleeping well since the pregnancy began four months ago. She rapidly summoned us into her consultation room, whipped out one of her fifty-pound med school books and showed us a map of the brain. The rest is truly a blur. I sort of remember her pointing to the part of the brain that controls coordination and her claiming that pregnancy hormones should have no influence whatsoever over the functioning or malfunctioning of such abilities.
She then proceeded to make a phone call on the spot to her colleague, a neurosurgeon, and scheduled an appointment for me to meet with him the very next day. In the meantime, she instructed us to make an MRI appointment right away. My husband seemed concerned. I was oblivious and frustrated that I was not home already tending to the movers. Being the control freak that I am, I had to supervise every move they made or my life would become total chaos. I had no idea at that moment what was yet in store for me.
To Be Continued...
The future of My Mama Mojo - I have been quiet..very very quiet. I am a true introvert and tend to hibernate when I'm upset, going through major life changes or contemplating an imp...
4 years ago