A rabbit hole is normally seen as a lovely home, it’s a term of endearment for a small establishment. It’s overall cute, right? I wish it was in my case.
I had a medical appointment Wednesday that ended not quite how I wanted to. I described a series of symptoms I’ve been experiencing the last couple weeks and the look on her face worried me. You know the look that doctors get in movies when their patient is about to be diagnosed with a terminal illness but the doctor doesn’t want to freak them out so they force a smile and nod about ten times faster? That’s what I got today. I also got a referral to a neurologist near my school for some tests and head scans to make sure I was okay in the gentlest tone she could manage without crossing the line to hysteria. When she asked if I had googled the symptoms, I lied and said no. She looked relieved and suggested another reason for my symptoms. We googled cluster headaches, the thing she suggested, and I looked through the symptoms and dismissed it immediately because the only thing I had on that list was the headache part. I also have a stuffy nose but that’s because my allergies decided to explode this year. No, I had googled it and the first site was cancer.net. Usually, I laugh because google is like webMD, if you sneeze or anything goes wrong, you have cancer and you’re dead. I began scrolling the list and was prepared for some giggles as I read about the extreme symptoms. The laughter faded when I realized I had every symptom for a brain tumor. I jumped to worst case scenario and freaked out immediately. The fact that my doctor looked concerned didn’t help. The fact that the hospital I called referred me to the doctor himself also didn’t help. Cancer has never been on my radar ever. I’m not even twenty five yet and I have to worry about cancer? Aren’t I supposed to be in my prime? Why now? Why at all? Why? I prayed desperately that I was overreacting.
Let me rewind. About five weeks ago, I began getting these constant headaches. Not just normal, take some pain killers and you’re fine headaches. It was the kind that didn’t quite go away, it would turn into a whisper but it was still there. It felt like a fat man was sitting on the left frontal area of my brain gently kicking the back of my left eye once in a while. When he wanted, he would begin bouncing on my brain and it hurts so bad I’m afraid if I move my hand, my left eye would pop out. The pressure would be so intense sometimes I wouldn’t be able to see out of my left eye. I thought maybe it was a migraine and brushed it off but the pressure never left. I have had migraines before and this wasn’t one. Light and sound don’t bother me at all and I can function despite the pressure. It’s just annoying. I began feeling fatigued consistently as well. It was odd because my body was physically exhausted no matter how much sleep I was getting yet my mind was fine. My body also began shaking involuntarily once in a while when I began to relax or sat down or started to fall asleep. It’s not the usual you feel like you’re falling and shake when you’re about to land, these were a couple seconds long shaking of my entire body. That’s been going on for about two weeks now and it’s been noticeable to my friends who I nap on occasionally. It feels odd. I’ve also begun to experience memory changes. I would go into the monster mode but wouldn’t be able to remember them until someone else recounted it to me. There are these weird black holes in my memories and I’m overall a lot more foggy than before. My doctor gave me a nuero examination and everything seemed to be going fine until she touched my face. My left cheek couldn’t feel her sensation as strongly. When she asked me to push down on both her hands, my left hand wasn’t as strong. I had also woken up today with my entire left side sore. No explanation came to mind since I haven’t exercised in months. It was odd because my shoulder was sore, my arm was sore, my legs were sore and even the palm of my hand was sensitive to my touch. There are spots on my back which ache but they stop right before my spine and don’t cross to the right side of my body. Two weeks ago, my doctor had told me she wasn’t concerned and to keep an eye on it just in case. This morning, she had the oh no look on her face and now I am playing phone tag with the hospital trying to get an appointment in to check my head. Luckily, we finally caught each other and I am going in on Monday.
I felt like I was being over dramatic and almost kicked myself for it but I think there’s a problem when you feel the need to lie to your doctor about how severe your symptoms are just in case there is something wrong. I feel like normally people try to blow up their symptoms to see what diagnoses they can get but in my case, I wanted to dumb them down so she would stop looking at me like a wounded puppy.
I don’t know what to think or do or say. I’ve never gotten anything but normal and excellent on any health tests I’ve gotten. Yes, I have asthma but that’s easily treatable. I feel like the reality of this afternoon has just hit when I landed on my couch and began to just stare into space. What if I die? What if I have cancer? I refuse to let myself toy with the idea but with every ache in my head, I can’t help but go back there and wonder. Even now as I type, I feel the fat man sitting on my head, gently bouncing up and down. For once in my life, I pray I’m being dramatic and nothing is wrong. I don’t know anything. I’m so irritated with myself for worrying but I can’t help it. Having a doctor look at you with a soft sigh and sad eyes is never good.
I’m only twenty.
So here I am in my rabbit hole, held captive by this fear of not knowing. I feel like Jesus is sitting right next to me the way He was with Daniel in the lion’s den. He’s not talking to me, He’s not looking at me, He’s simply holding my hand and letting me know He’s with me. We’re spending precious time together in this period of not knowing. There’s nothing else to do in this rabbit hole so we just sit and I watch Him paint on the walls for me. He draws me pictures of heaven, of animals, of creation, of trees, rivers, my favorite foods, and silly stick figures. I hear Him singing songs of peace and love over me as I try and get comfortable on this dirt floor. I feel Him playing with my hair as I lay my head on His lap. I feel His breath on my neck as He whispers prayers over me. He’s sitting next to me here, in my rabbit hole during this period of not knowing. I feel numb but I have a strange calm over me that’s silencing the rest of the fears. My anxiety is low, my depression isn’t hitting me here in my rabbit hole. I just have my Jesus and His love. Right now, I think that’s all I need which is great because it’s all I have. Where do I go from here? I think for now, I’m comfortable just laying here with my Jesus watching Him draw for me, listening to Him pray for me and feeling His hand on me. We don’t often get these moments of pure silence together and it’s nice. Maybe as I drift to sleep in His arms, I’ll forget this afternoon and feel the peace that surpasses all understanding even just for a moment. My soul wants to dance with me but I can’t right now. I just want to sit. I’ll dance soon, I promise, but for now, I’ll sit in my rabbit hole with my Jesus.