Sarah’s father suffered from Parkinson’s and had constant tremors. It was difficult to see her daddy like that. But Sarah had tremors of her own that scared her.
In December of 2000, she started working at the local Boy Scout Store, whuch was located in the back of a shopping center. It was the loneliest job she ever had. There were days without a single customer and Sarah spent many hours alone. In these alone times, Sarah notice that, if she stretched out her legs, they would shake. Also, she noticed her heart would race wildly at times. John remarked that she wasn’t closing her eyes when she slept. She started losing weight, but she thought it was because she was walking more often. She had no idea her symptoms were connected.
Things were not so great at home. John still made her smoke and they still got in fights about it. To add to that, even though John got the job for Sarah, he wanted her to quit and accused her repeatedly of having an affair with her boss. He even said that someone saw them together. When Sarah said that he was lying, he got mad. When Sarah got a six week notice that she was being laid off, he demanded she quit, but she decided to work the six weeks.
Every evening, Sarah and John went to her parents’ house to help get her father ready for bed. He was in bad shape and was confined to a wheelchair. Eventually, the doctor sent him to the VA hospital, where he passed away in July.
John was still years away from being diagnosed with anxiety and depression, but the signs were there. Looking back on that year, Sarah was sure he suffered from a mental breakdown.
John was also suffering from health issues. In early May, while having an operation to break up a big kidney stone, he roused up on the operating table and his kidney was damaged. Six weeks later, he was back in the OR, this time with his appendix. A month later, Sarah’s father died.
Sarah’s sister had a good friend who was a nurse. At the visitation, the nurse noticed that Sarah had bulging eyes and a goiter. She told Sarah’s sister to tell Sarah to go see a doctor ASAP. John hemmed and hawed, saying nothing was wrong with her and that she didn’t need to go to the doctor. He reluctantly took her to the urgent care clinic at the insistance of Sarah’s mother and sister.
At the clinic, every doctor and nurse practitioner came in to listen to her heart. Just sitting in the examining room, her heart was beating 185 beats per minute. Her thyroid was enlarged and was causing all of her symptoms. The doctor sent her to an endocrinologist.
She had no idea that John would turn into a raging monster when he heard the endocrinologist’s diagnosis.