Wednesday, February 27, 2013

In Which I Do Not Have a Brain Tumor or MS January, I went to the eye doctor, because I hadn't been to the eye doctor in years.  Like, maybe 10.  I know, for shame! I'm like a real adult, with a real job, and real health insurance, and not moving every flipping year.  So I went to the eye doctor.

Eye doctor (for whom pastoral care bedside manner is not particularly a strong suit) tells me I have swollen optic nerves (= increased brain pressure), and I need to see a neurologist.  Cue freaking out.  (Eye doctor: "I'm sure it's really nothing...")

So I go see the neurologist, who explicitly and very sweetly tells me to "please don't freak out, I really think you're going to be okay."  My neuro exam checked out totally fine (except for the optic nerve thing), so next up was a brain MRI. He asked if I had headaches, and I said I have lots of sinus headaches, but not "non-sinus" headaches.  He seemed to think maybe what I thought were sinus headaches were really high-pressure headaches.  Well, maybe, I guess...Could be, I suppose, right?

So the nurse calls to tell me that the MRI is clear except for some sinus I have sinus problems?  Sigh....

Anyway...on to the spinal tap...the working theory at this point is that I have high cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) we need to actually measure the pressure to find out...which is done by spinal tap.  So back to the hospital, spinal tap under live xray (nice, because then they can see what they're doing instead of just randomly stabbing you in the back), spend a few days lying flat on my back...My awesome aunts took care of me, and my awesome friends came to visit me (even pastors need pastoral care!).  That was Friday.  I drove back to Huron on Saturday and had one heck of a headache by the time I got there.  Then on Sunday, well...I hate cancelling church for weather, but we had a heck of a blizzard, and I think God knew that I just needed another day to lay around instead of standing upright trying to preach...

So my neurologist calls back and sure enough, the pressure was high.  Normal is 150...maybe as high as 180.  Mine was apparently almost 300.  So, there's that.  Which leads to a diagnosis of "Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension" = you have high CSF pressure and we have no idea why.

They start me on Diamox which is a diuretic/glaucoma/altitude sickness drug.  A pretty low dose.  Side effects are..meh.  Tingly fingers and toes and face, sometimes, all carbonated beverages taste BLECH, some vision changes...probably just as my eyes adjust to not having so much pressure on them all the time...

Plus, also, in "News of the Unexpected" - I can hear!!!   And smell!!!  I had no idea I was so sensory-deprived.  But two days after starting the medication, I had to turn down the volume on my phone and car stereo because it's SO LOUD.  I nearly lost it at a women's Bible Study because I didn't understand why they were all being SO LOUD.  Haha, just adjusting to new sound!  And I can smell - things like coffee and buffalo wings and all sorts of things that I had no idea I was missing out on until suddenly - there they are!  Crazy!  It's like this:

It's really amazing, actually!

So I had a follow-up with my neurologist today. He's glad I'm doing so well, keeping me on the meds at least until I see him again in April. 

Plus I definitely don't have a brain tumor, or MS, or any other diseases which are diagnosable from blood tests, being as on the day of the spinal tap, they drew out what appeared to be half my blood volume to test for a million different things.  So I'm healthy.  I feel good.  And I can smell coffee!!!!!!

Yay, me!


Kevin Scheuller said...

Yay! "It's not a toomah!"

Erin said...

Yippee Skippy!!! How did you not realize that you weren't smelling coffee?! You! <3

W.B. Picklesworth said...

That IS good news.

Post a Comment

My Comments Policy: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23