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Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)
By Laury Hubrich
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My crime: genetics. Up to the time of the verdict I was a relatively healthy woman of thirty-seven but that drastically changed as I was fitted with a court mandated electronic bracelet — a headache. This was no ordinary headache. It grew from a small ‘niggle’ to a raging beast that savagely dug its talons into my brain and would not let go. Just like pesky relatives, the headache pulled up the drive in a camper, set up a flag bearing skull and crossbones, and claimed not only my head but my life.
I suffered over five years and during that time I sought medical advice from doctor after doctor and was prescribed countless medications before I was finally diagnosed with something other than ‘chronic headaches.’ Days and weeks at a time I would forget who I was, a Daughter of the King, with the promise of a glorious place waiting for me in Heaven. At other times, thinking of Heaven was my only means of escape from the unrelenting pain.
The plaintiff was the devil seeking to destroy my life and in many ways he did. I lived in constant fear of the future, uncertain of the challenges that lay ahead. I merely existed through the bleakest days and unbearably long nights. Built up pressure in my head caused severe dizziness and foggy thinking. Every nerve of my body screamed to be left alone. With my head pounding and my stomach rolling I appealed the sentence crying out to God for leniency. “Why bring this charge against me? I’m tired of living in this prison of pain. I can’t go on, not one more minute. Please take it away.” My defense attorney, Jesus, was my constant companion. Bleak as life was, my faith was growing faster and stronger than I could ever have imagined.
It took the right doctor to listen to my complaints and give the correct diagnosis and then was confirmed through a spinal tap. I had my answer! The condition: Intracranial Hypertension. The symptoms: extremely painful and disabling headaches due to high levels of cerebro-spinal fluid. I am one of 100,000 women to suffer the affects of this life-changing illness. How amazing! After years of living in fear of the unknown I finally had an answer. The cure: I was told to lose weight and take a water pill to bring down the fluid. Over the months I lost the weight but still had unbearable headaches. After much begging and pleading through e-mails and phone calls, my doctor agreed to surgery.
I am now a proud owner of a body installed with properly functioning hardware, a shunt; however, it did not come without a cost. Recovery was long and hard and months later the headaches were as fierce as ever. Aware that the shunt might not correct the problem I clung to the belief that I had made the right choice. God had worked countless miracles in my life and I refused to give up hope.
It has been a little over a year after surgery, a year of more trials and tests of faith than I could count but I am relatively pain free. The ‘niggle’ remains in the background much like static on a TV screen. The old pain haunts me three or four days each month but it serves as a reminder of how I used to feel every single moment of my life. Tracing the embedded tubes down the length of my side also reminds me that IH is a chronic condition and headaches will always be a part of my life as could problems with the shunt.
My life is slowly returning to ‘normal’. I’m living and rejoicing, taking care of my family and have returned to work. I continue to live out the consequences of the higher court’s decision but it has been drastically scaled to manageable – thanks to my Heavenly Father and my ever present defense attorney, Jesus.
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