The Girl Behind The Blog: Part 3

The following post is part of The Girl Behind The Blog series that will continue each week detailing my story of illness and recovery starting in March of 2007. I believe that God created me for a reason and each experience I have can draw me closer to HIM and be used to encourage others. This post and those that follow detail a pivotal moment in my life that changed me forever.

Need to catch up in the story? Read Part 1 and Part 2.

Nervous energy swirled around me as I sat on the exam room table in the doctors office. It was later in the afternoon and the sun was coming in through the windows creating rays of light throughout the space. March creates beautiful spring days in Arizona and I tried to let the outside view of the desert mountain range calm my nerves.

That was short lived because soon enough the thoughts from earlier in the day came screaming back into my head. Why couldn’t I feel my legs? Was I dying? Over and over I kept praying: God, please let everything be ok.

I really did not want to be sitting there. The crinkly paper rustling underneath me and my pink skirt fluttering from the air conditioner above me are images that are forever etched in my memory. It is funny the moments you remember. My legs dangled off the table as I glanced down at my feet as I heard the knock on the door.

In walked the physicians assistant Katherine Keating. I will forever be grateful for her and Dr. Timothy Baker. She instantly made me feel better and more at ease as she nodded her head in sympathetic concern while listening to me ramble on about how I could not feel my legs from the knee down. She poked, prodded, and also checked my patellar reflex (otherwise known as the knee-jerk test). I thought it was a little odd that my leg hardly moved when she tapped on my knee but quickly pushed that thought aside as we began to discuss possibly reasons for what was happening.

Feelings of relief flooded over me as she discussed running lab work for vitamin b12 deficiency, anemia, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders. I had my blood drawn and walked out on unsteady legs feeling hopeful that the blood work would come back showing I would only need a simple b12 shot to return me to normal. I headed into work feeling better and even more at ease after calling my parents and Josh to let them know how my appointment went.

It took a few days to hear back about my results. On Tuesday I received a phone call at work that my blood tests had come back and that I needed to return to see Katherine to discuss the next step. I made arrangements with my boss and quickly drove to the doctors office.

The blood test results had come back negative except my liver enzymes were highly elevated. She was concerned that my legs were still not feeling better and asked me about my sore throat from a few weeks earlier. Looking at my chart she began to discuss my previously negative mono test. I was, yet again, going to be tested for mono, checked for hepatitis a, b, and c, and have more blood drawn for a complete blood count. This was starting to sound a bit more serious then a vitamin b12 deficiency to my 23 year old ears.

Let me pause for a moment and introduce to you my wonderful family.


I can’t really continue telling this story until you know the key players and give you a short Hallock history lesson. Pictured above: My dad, mom (she blogs over at Deliciously Inspired), brother Evan (sorry single ladies, he is taken), and of course my hubby Josh.


In my family it had long been talked about how sick my Dad was before he and my Mom were married. My Dad had mono two months before my parents wedding and they were unable to go on the honeymoon they were planning because he was still in recovery mode.


The dreaded mono illness story floated around our house waiting to be told each time one of us was sick. It became a running joke in our family comparing each others colds to that time my Dad had mono.

In the beginning of March 2007 when I had gone to the doctor for my sore throat he ran a mono and strep test. Both came back negative and I was thankful! After spending years growing up listening to how horrible my Dad felt, that was the last thing I had wanted to be diagnosed with. Especially with my upcoming November wedding to finish planning.

Two days after my last blood draw on March 22, 2007,  I was getting dressed for work and needed to sit down in my closet to pick out my clothes. I was so weak. Standing up was taking so much effort and it was easier to sit down to put my pants on.  My balance had been really off the last few days and as I tried to stand back up off the floor my legs gave out. I needed to use my arms to pick myself up. I knew something was not right and continued to push the worrying thoughts out of my head as I left for work.

A few hours into my work day I received a phone call at my desk updating me on the lab results. This time the blood work had come back positive for mono. Almost three weeks after the initial mono test,  I finally had an answer. With all the weird symptoms and sensations my body was experiencing I was happy and relieved. My imagination had been starting to get out of control with all the thoughts of what could be wrong with me.

Over the phone I was told to leave work immediately and given strict orders to go home and rest. In a few weeks I would be retested to check my liver enzymes and if they were not elevated I would be cleared to return to work.

I again felt a sense of relief because like an umbrella this diagnosis covered all the crazy symptoms I had been having. From my sore throat, weakness and numbness in my legs, and to the overall fatigue I was experiencing mono covered it all. During this phone call I was referred to a neurologist to work with to manage the neurological symptoms I was experiencing from the mono.

Thinking how funny it was that like my Dad I would get diagnosed with mono 8 months before my wedding I began to pack up my things to go home. I said goodbye to my co-workers and was told to rest up and feel better.

As I drove home I can remember thinking that my Dad had always made mono sound so horrible. Sure my legs still felt really funny and I was having a harder time walking but I felt really different compared to what he had always described. I wasn’t suffering from a sore throat or fever any longer, and my appetite was completely normal. From my current list of symptoms I wouldn’t have thought I had mononucleosis.

I arrived home and made phone calls to my family, told Josh that we couldn’t kiss for a few weeks, and spoke with my grandparents who offered to bring me food to nourish me back to health. Grandma promised to bring over her famous Mac and Cheese later as well as anything else that sounded good. I sat back on my sofa, turned on the television, and flipped through channels. I had no idea as I fell asleep, listening to Judge Judy give her verdict in the background, that I would never be returning to my job I had left several hours earlier.

Thanks for reading and here is Part 4 to continue the story.


The Girl Behind The Blog: Part 2

The following post is part of The Girl Behind The Blog series that will continue each week detailing my story of illness and recovery starting in March of 2007. I believe that God created me for a reason and each experience I have can draw me closer to HIM and be used to encourage others. This post and those that follow detail a pivotal moment in my life that changed me forever.

Need to catch up in the story? Read Part 1

Psalm 139:13-16
Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.

Since I was little I have always been fascinated with the human body and the intricate systems that allow our bodies to function daily. In college I was several courses shy of a Kinesiology minor, the study of human movement, but the fact that I wanted to graduate and that I really didn’t want to take anymore science classes swayed me to not pursue the minor.

During college I started exercising on a daily basis partially because I had enrolled in a few too many Kinesiology courses because they sounded interesting. To my surprise I discovered I enjoyed working out and pushing myself in ways I never had before because I knew my body would adjust to help me perform to my best ability. I began to want to do things that shocked even my parents because I had never been a super active kid. For instance my Dad and I took a road trip to Yosemite National Park in California to hike and climb the cables to the top of Half Dome in 2005. Hiking became a weekly part of my life as did trail running.


At the top of Half Dome! Still one of the best moments in my life.

Fast forward back to Monday, March 12, 2007, I began to have this nagging feeling that something was not right. Sitting in my office staring at the computer I continued to experience odd sensations in my feet that I wouldn’t describe as painful just annoying. I had worn my cute pink ballerina flats to work and kicked them off under my desk thinking maybe that would make a difference. It didn’t. By the time 9pm rolled around I was ready to call it a day and head home.

Earlier that day I made mention in phone conversations to both my parents and Josh about the peculiar feelings I was having in my feet. My parents and Josh had grown used to me being slightly melodramatic when it came to describing how I was feeling. I was trying to not overreact to what, at the time, was just a few odd sensations in my feet and toes. I tried not to sound panicked or overly anxious when describing what I was feeling and felt reassured after getting off both calls that whatever was causing these feelings would correct itself in a few days time.

Tuesday came and went with no noticeable difference. I went about my daily routine of going to the gym after eating breakfast because I didn’t see a reason to skip my workout for the day. I wasn’t sick with a cold or the flu and other than the tingling in my legs I felt fine.

Wednesday morning when I woke I discovered that the tingling sensations had not gone away but in fact seemed to be a little more persistent in my feet.  I went about my routine of eating breakfast, going to the gym, and heading into work. I called both my parents and Josh once again to let them know that my feet still felt funny and made plans to see Josh after I left work.

That night as my co-worker and I were locking up all the rooms in the building my legs started to feel very wobbly. I can remember thinking that it wasn’t the best idea to have worn my Steve Madden heeled boots; and I told myself that tomorrow I would need to wear more sensible shoes to work. I walked to the parking garage stumbling a bit over my feet and attributed it to the fact that I needed more practice walking in heels.

I called Josh when I got into my car and let him know I was on my way over to the townhouse he was sharing with his brother. My feet weren’t feeling any better and I was hoping for a sympathy foot rub and also to show him how cute I looked in my boots. I arrived and upon entering the house I immediately removed my boots. They were killing my feet and I didn’t care how cute I looked, I wanted them off. I again mentioned to Josh how weird my toes felt.

Thinking it might feel good to soak them in warm water we walked outside to the community pool and I sat on the edge of the jacuzzi giving my feet a good soaking. It didn’t help and I was starting to get more annoyed that they weren’t feeling better. It had been three days since the tingling had started and I was ready for them to return to their non tingling state. I said goodnight to Josh and went home. I was in bed 15 minutes later praying to God for my feet to be healed in the morning.

Thursday, March 15, 2007, I woke up and was highly disappointed and starting to worry because not only were my feet not better but the tingling sensations I had been feeling had gotten worse. Plus the odd sensations had traveled further up my leg to just above my ankle and were feeling a tad more uncomfortable. It was a pins and needles sensation that I had only experienced before when sitting for long periods of time in one position. I got out of bed and thought about going to the gym and debated if I should go or stay home before work. Opting to go I quickly got dressed but had to steady myself when I put my pants on. I walked to the gym, did cardio on the bike, and walked home.

Back home from the gym I stepped into the shower to get all squeaky clean. I shampooed, lathered, rinsed, and repeated, and was letting the conditioner seep into my hair. I picked up the razor and started shaving my legs and did a double take to look down at the razor.

I could not feel anything as I slid the blade from my ankle up to my knee.

I tried again.


I pressed the razor against my calf.


I was starting to freak out.

I tried the other leg.


I dropped the razor and started touching, poking, and pinching my leg at various places.I had lost all feeling in both legs from the knee down.

Thanks for reading and here is Part 3 to continue the story.

The Girl Behind The Blog

The following post begins a series that will continue each week detailing my story of illness and recovery starting in March of 2007. I believe that God created me for a reason and each experience I have can draw me closer to HIM and be used to encourage others. This post and those that follow detail a pivotal moment in my life that changed me forever.

I really don’t know how to even start this post. For the past few months I have been wanting to blog about my illness and share my story but never really could figure out how to begin. I guess I have to start back to when I was a Hallock, not yet a Buschel. Let me rewind my life towards the end of 2006 and beginning of 2007.

I was finishing up my college career at ASU super excited because I was already working for the past 6 months at my dream position for the City of Chandler in the Parks and Recreation Department as a Recreation Coordinator. I was 23 years old, graduating college, had a full time job with benefits, my parents had bought me a car earlier in the year & helped me put a down payment together for my townhouse, and to top off all that wonderfulness my boyfriend had just asked me to marry him (photo below)!!! I was on top of the world! Everything amazing that I had ever dreamed about was coming true!


My graduation party turned into an engagement party and I couldn’t have been happier! Everything was lining up perfectly! To top it all off my soon to be husband was currently entering the testing process for his dream job to become a firefighter. We seriously were feeling Gods blessings pouring down. We set our wedding date for November 10, 2007!

In the mix of all this fun I had to still be an adult and take care of a few important items like paying my mortgage payment (I felt so grown up having a mortgage payment, now I don’t feel as excited about it, hahaha), paying my car payment, and getting my wisdom teeth removed (yuck). I also began wedding planning, honeymoon location scouting, and dreaming about all the other fun things life would hold for me once Josh and I were married. Thinking back on this time still makes me so happy!

The New Year was celebrated by signing up for a 10k run (my first ever) and Josh signing up for the fun run to support me. We had a blast and I was so proud of myself. I loved running and would make it a point to hit our local hiking spot for a 5 mile trail run at least once a week. Running was not really Josh’s thing so we decided to buy mountain bikes and make that our activity together. 2007 was definitely getting off on the right foot (literally).

Two weeks before we bought our bikes I got a nasty stomach bug that left me curled up on the bathroom floor unable to move. After I had recovered from the flu we purchased our bikes and took to the trails that weekend. We did pretty good on our first ride, Josh only flipped over the handle bars once and I screamed about 50% of the time riding my bike down the hills.


Having had a fun time hanging out with Josh over the weekend it was time to go back to work. My hours were Monday-Thursday 12pm until 9pm and Fridays 8-5pm with every other Friday off. It was a nice schedule because it allowed me to have leisurely mornings and still have time for a workout before heading into work. The week after mountain biking I developed a sore throat and took time off of work to see my doctor. He ordered a strep and mono test to be safe because I also mentioned I had been feeling a little more tired then usual. I was prescribed a z-pak and took the rest of the week off of work to go home and rest. The strep and mono test both came back negative. I finished my z-pak by Saturday was ready to return to work the following week.

On Monday, March 12, I woke up to the strangest feeling in my feet. It felt like I had slept on them funny during the night because there was this odd tingling sensation in my toes. I wiggled, moved, massaged, and pulled but nothing seemed to make it any better. Figuring it probably had something to do with how I had slept I made my 10 minute morning walk to the gym. I got my workout done but felt a little more fatigued then usual. I said bye to my trainer and headed out the doors.

While I was making my way back home from the gym I tried to make the light to cross the street by running but my legs felt so heavy and numb I had to stop and walk. I felt like I was moving in slow motion and assumed maybe I had started exercising again too soon after being sick. I made it home took a dose of Emergen-c, showered, and headed into my office at noon hoping that I would start to feel better soon.

Thanks for reading and here is Part 2 to continue the story.