COMING OUT FROM UNDER

August 22, 2019

 

It’s been a while since my last article. 

 

Reason being - it’s been a very challenging few months.

 

Back in January, I was hit with a doozy of a migraine headache.

 

 

It concerned my doctor so much that he sent me to the emergency room.

 

Basically, they gave me some medication to thwart the pain.  It went from about a 10 to an 8 in pain level; and they released me.

 

Not satisfied, my doctor ordered an MRI of my brain.

 

Within two weeks, I went for the test.

 

My doctor called me the next day.   He said he wanted me to come in immediately to review the test results.

 

 

UH! THAT CAN’T BE GOOD!

 

Well, me being me, I didn’t want to wait 24 hours.  I said, “I’m a big girl. Can you tell me now?”

 

Apparently, doctors can’t divulge certain information over the phone; but he did tell me a lesion showed up on the MRI; and he needed to discuss it more in detail in person.

 

You know that moment when you need to…

 

 

That was certainly that moment.

 

That was a long 24 hours.

 

I showed up at my doctor’s office; and he took out his computer to show me the results of the MRI.

 

There it was as big as life – a large lesion on my left frontal brain lobe.

 

I asked him if this could be the result of the left frontal brain lobe injury, I sustained in the 2010 car accident.

 

He said, “This is not my field of expertise; and the radiologist is concerned.  I’m sending you to a neurosurgeon.”

 

 

Yep, I felt like I was punched in the stomach.

 

I had to wait two weeks to see the neurosurgeon. 

 

No matter how strong a person is, the waiting is JUST HORRIBLE!

 

My mind started going in all different directions.  It was hard to focus.  I tried hard to stay positive.  I knew deep within that everything was going to be OKAY.

 

I PRAYED.

 

I ASKED OTHERS TO PRAY.

 

I JUST COULDN’T KEEP MY PEACE.

 

Even though it’s difficult for me to reach out to others, I asked a friend for help.

 

 

Whenever I’ve had to deal with health issues, I’ve always gone to see the doctors or gone to the hospital by myself.

 

This time was different.  If I was going to be told I had to have brain surgery, I didn’t know if I would have the wherewithal to get myself home.

 

I was so grateful I had my friend’s support.

 

The day arrived for my appointment.

 

My friend picked me up around 8:00 am; and I was trying my best to be cheerful. Inside, my stomach was in knots.

 

The doctor saw me quickly; and he reviewed the MRI results.

 

He quickly said…

 

 

WHAT A RELIEF!

 

THERE’S MORE…

 

The doctor showed me the MRI scan and pointed out other smaller lesions throughout my brain. 

 

He said, “I’m concerned you have MS; and I need you to see a neurologist to be tested.”

 

I just looked at him and said, “I don’t have MS.  I don’t receive that all.”

 

He just looked at me like I was in denial. I didn’t care.  I just knew I didn’t have MS.

 

Next step – see a neurologist.

 

I couldn’t get an appointment for two months.  I thought waiting two weeks was bad; but two months!


 

 

BUT, THERE’S MORE…

 

While all of this was going on; I decided I needed new glasses.  I was having trouble seeing. Everything seemed blurred; and it was hard to read. I went to an optometrist; and SURPRISE!

 

I was diagnosed with double vision.  HUH!

 

YEP! Double vision.  UMMM! Could that be a reason for the headaches?

 

I wasn’t even aware of it.  With all the other stuff I was dealing with, I just thought I was looking through my progressive lenses wrong.

 

I now had to see a neurological ophthalmologist.  I didn’t even know there was such a specialty.

 

During the two-month waiting period to see the neurologist, I’m now dealing with my vision.

 

Within two weeks, I was in the next doctor’s office.

 

After a three-hour exam, it was determined that my left eye was off kilter and not even with my right eye.  Apparently, this was a direct result of the 2010 car accident.  The left side of my head took the brunt of the impact which resulted in a concussion.

 

 

A temporary prism was put over the left lens of my eyeglasses.  I needed to test it for about two months to see if I adjusted well.

 

I DID!

 

I finally got my new eyeglasses with the prism in the left lens.  YEA! NO MORE DOUBLE VISION!  And, now that my eyes are not working as hard, the headaches have lessened.  Again, YEA!

 

Now it’s time to see the neurologist.

 

When I was in the waiting room, I was wondering if the doctor spoke English.  The staff and patients were speaking Armenian. 

 

 No!

 

During my research, I discovered he had very high ratings.

 

He was all business; and while he was reviewing the MRI scan, his assistant was asking me questions and testing my cognitive skills.

 

When the doctor returned, he bluntly said, “I don’t think you’re getting enough oxygen to your brain.  That can cause the lesions and cause the headaches.  I want you to take a sleep test.”

 

So, I did.

 

Apparently, I’m dealing with sleep apnea; and it’s more common than people realize.

 

Now, I’m waiting to see the neurologist again for the official results and to deal with it all.

 

THIS IS GOOD NEWS! 

 

IT’S NOT A TUMOR! 

 

IT’S NOT MS!

 

IT’S REVERSIBLE!

 

COMING OUT FROM UNDER

 

After all these months, I’m starting to see light at the end of the tunnel; and it’s not an on-coming train.

 

 

Throughout this ordeal, something has become very apparent.  I’M HUMAN.

 

I’ve weathered many storms; but this one was different. 

 

This storm truly tested my faith at another level.  I had to come face to face with…

 

 

 

I continued to do all that I knew to do concerning my acting career.  Unfortunately, fear crept in and affected my creativity to write.

 

I felt so broken; and I cried out to God for His help.

 

I was in a place I needed to trust God like I’ve never trusted Him before.

 

I’ve had to hold onto the belief that God has brought me through so many trials, He wouldn’t forsake me now.

 

I’m grateful IT’S NOT A TUMOR!

 

I’m grateful that I’m finally getting answers to all the questions I’ve had about my health over the years.

 

I’m grateful that doctors finally listened and didn’t dismiss me.

 

I’m grateful to my family and friends who supported and encouraged me during this time.

 

I’m grateful I’ve learned to appreciate every moment more than I did before all this happened.

 

I’m grateful that I can continue to pursue my dream of acting.

 

I’m grateful that, even though I’m still coming out from under, I’ve seen the impact on my acting.  I’m truly appreciating and living each moment as evidenced in a self-taped audition I did the other day.  I prepared. I was ready.  I was amazingly calm. Then, something didn’t feel quite right. Instead, I let it all go.  I took a risk.  I just let it fly. It felt sooooo good!

 

Although nervous about writing this article, I’m grateful I’m writing again.

 

I’m grateful, that even though life gets interrupted…it’s never too late to go after your dreams!

 

                                                                 Claudia DiMartino

 

 

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Claudia DiMartino is a successful business woman turned actress and playwright. She took a risk and left corporate America.  She now shares her life's journey which helped her realize - it's never too late to go after your dreams.

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