Tomorrow my husband and I will leave our three small children behind with their grandmother and a trusted babysitter, and head north to see an esophageal specialist. In the course of a week I will have three procedures - an esophogram (probably to confirm results of the last one), a TNE and a manometry. The results will be important, not only for my swallowing function but also in terms of at last getting us to a diagnosis. Or at least a lot closer to one.
While we are at the medical center, we will visit in person with a wonderful woman from the Road Back Foundation who called me at home during the very lowest moment I have had since this all started. She called to give me hope, tell me a story of healing, and let me know that I will make it through this. She also gave me the contact information for the doctor who may well save my life with the AP treatment.
I am still in wonder that this situation which is unexpected and a bit grim has already brought so many blessings into my life in the form of amazing advice and support from those who have previously traveled the path I am on. Three weeks ago I had no idea any of this was happening, and now I will meet in person a woman who may have preserved my health and our family in one telephone call. I can't wait to give her a hug.
There is another avenue we will have to look into, if the rheumatological path turns out to be a false lead. My naturopath advised me yesterday that I should also check into parasympathetic nerve disorders, as the autonomic nervous system controls smooth muscle response and the part of my esophagus that has stopped working is smooth muscle. He thinks it could possibly be related to that awful flu shot I had last October... the tingling, twitching, nausea and headaches I have experienced since that time. I guess it could be a postviral (post-vaccine) response. I have no idea how one could navigate successfully through that... but none of the supplements I am taking right now will hurt me in any way, so hopefully they are helping.
I wish I understood why I wake every morning so scared, even though I go to sleep peacefully at night and sleep well. I read last night about Sheldrake's morphic fields and the theory that our brains are like radios positioned to interpret the fields transmitting energy all around us. If my brain/radio has stopped functioning well, surely it must be possible to re-energize it so that it can take in the information about how to send the right signals to my esophagus again.
Maybe that ties into the success they have had with electro-stimulation (both through acupuncture and TENs therapy) to get the lower esophagus motility functioning again - or greatly improved. Maybe the electro-stim helps get the brain/radio back tuned into the right frequency.
I have so much hope and so much confidence that things are going to be okay. Whatever that means. I don't know what I believe about reincarnation, but I am working on finding peace in needing to let go of whatever I ultimately need to let go of -- eating solid food, other physical functions, even being physically present in my body to be near my family. I believe that love lasts beyond death so I am not worried about needing to let go of the profound love I feel for my family. That part will remain no matter what :-)
I guess the journey will get both harder and easier this week. Harder due to the separation from my children, and because we are going to get some concrete information about what is not working in my body. Easier because once we know what we are dealing with, we will be closer to starting a proactive plan for treatment. My lyme results should come back from IgeneX this week as well.
The important thing is, I am alive today and actually feeling pretty darn good. Ready to blend my breakfast. Grateful and appreciative for this moment, and for all of the love and support that surround me.
May this day bring healing to you as well. May all of our journeys be long and graceful.