About 15 years ago, I started feeling very unwell. My Dad was very sick and my children were young and I had just started the farm. When things started to slip all over the place, I just figured it was stress and overwork. It wasn’t. I started going from one doctor to another. I had problems all over. Some doctors started feeling that it was all in my head. How right they were. It was a brain tumor on both frontal lobes. It was slowly suffocating my brain to death.
I had noticed that my handwriting had changed. My Dad was a neurosurgeon and had told me often that if your handwriting changed after the age of 21, the problem was in your head. You’d had a stroke, or a brain injury, or you had a tumor. The change in my handwriting was pretty drastic, but I was so harassed, that I figured I was being careless. My vision had changed, too. Sometimes, I saw double.
I kept going, though. My children had a Winter Holiday coming up and we had agreed to take to the ski slopes in North Carolina in a place called Sapphire Valley. The roads in Western North Carolina can be treacherous in the winter and as we climbed the twisting 2 lane road, it started to snow. The kids were really pumped. Snow is a rarity in Coastal South Carolina. It had been years since I had driven in the snow and I was gripping that steering wheel real hard. For the next 5 days, we slowly glided down bunny slopes and my more adventurous son goofed off with the snow boards.When we were done, I slowly steered down the mountain until we reached the coastal plain and made it home.
A month later, I was feeling worse than ever. I’d been taking down a green house and smacked my forehead with a 2 X 4. I should have gone to the doctor then, but I’d been to the doctor’s so many times in the last year, I felt uncomfortable going again. Later in the week, I was picking up dry cleaning. The kids were in the back seat and I was waiting to pull out on a very busy street in our town. A beige car was coming up very fast on the left. I knew I would have to wait for the car to pass. Instead, I hit the gas, turning right. The driver of the beige car did the unexpected and saved his life, our lives and quite possibly the lives of the occupants of the two other cars in the far lane. He hit the gas and accelerated around our car. Stunned, I drove home and told the children to go to their rooms, that Mommy needed some quiet time. I went to my room and tried to sign my name for hours. I couldn’t do it.