Monday, January 21, 2013

Eye Post

I'll get us up-to-date on my eye situation here so we can move on to things that are more fun. That's all this post is about, so if you find people yapping on about their doctor visits to be less than enthralling, please do skip it.

I finally put together that I was seeing double every time I exercised extensively, but not at other times. That made me think that my problem wasn't just one of having trouble focusing when I went from looking at things up close to looking at things far away. So I made an appointment with my primary care doctor to see what she thought.

I went to see her in the morning on a Wednesday, the day the boys get out of school at 1:10. This doctor took my symptoms very seriously. At 12:55 I was still at her office, because she didn't want me to leave until she'd gotten to speak to a neurologist on the phone to make sure she was ordering all the right labs for blood work. She also wanted to do an MRI and CT scan of my brain right away, in case I had a brain tumor, or, more urgently, an aneurysm. I didn't find out until my follow-up appointment with the neurologist that the doctor had thought (mistakenly, in the neurologist's opinion) that my pupils were different sizes, so she had been very concerned. I did pick up on the vibes, though. Very intense. 

I finally just had to leave so I could pick the boys up from school. I promised I'd come right back to finish up and get my blood drawn. At school I ran into Willem's teacher and had to cancel the parent-teacher conference we'd scheduled for that afternoon. When I returned to the doctor's office there was an electric buzz in the air, and I gathered they were worried about how long I'd been away. After my blood draw, they ushered me into a room with the boys and told me they were scheduling my imaging. I was thinking sometime in the next few days. They asked could I be there at 3:30. In an hour and a half. I called Shaun at work to see if he could come meet me there, and he could.

One blessing in all of this was that there were no big scary new places to visit. The imaging center happened to be right next to the Fred Meyer I shop at, and just a few minutes from my doctor's office. It was all very familiar, which was comforting. I had just enough time to fill a prescription for Valium at Fred Meyer (I can't even sit in the back seat of a van without feeling anxious) and buy the boys some chicken strips. Shaun made it back and joined us there, and we sat at a little round table while the boys ate. Other tables were occupied by cranky elderly men who had been shuttled over from the old folks' home across the street. I know they were cranky because I overheard some of their conversation, and it was not fit for repeating on a family blog. Not that I'm criticizing, seeing as I only just turned forty and here I am already giving you a play-by-play of my health woes.

Shaun did his valiant best to keep the boys occupied during my scans. I had never had an MRI before, and they warned me that it was loud. It was loud all right, and startling. One series of blats varied unexpectedly from what had come before and struck me as hilarious (maybe that was the Valium was kicking in), and I had a hard time not giggling. Other than that it was fine.

It was dark when we finished there, and time for dinner. We ended up trying a new Mexican restaurant nearby. The servers were all so warm and friendly. In fact, everyone that day had been warm and friendly, another blessing. We ate chips and salsa and felt mildly homesick for California and the Mexican culture that we forget is so much a part of life there. I ordered just the right thing instead of wishing I'd ordered what Shaun had, one more little blessing. We shared a margarita the size of a fish bowl and wondered if it would be our last night of normal.

I felt heavy, but I didn't feel worry or fear. I've always wondered if I'd freak out in a situation like that, and it was such a relief not to. Not that I can take any credit for that. I had friends praying for me, and my state of mind says more about who God is -- faithful--than it does about me.

I don't know how I'd do if the news we eventually got had been bad. After a few hours we figured there was no aneurysm, or they would have called us. By the end of the next day I'd gotten the all-clear for all of the big scary possibilities. All of my blood tests had come back negative too, so I don't have any thyroid disorders or lupus, or any of the other things they were looking at. After subsequent visits to a neurologist and more blood work for more obscure disorders, we still don't know what I do have, but we've ruled out all of the seriously life-shortening conditions.

My MRI did show a few white spots on my brain, which might be totally normal for a brain my age. However, they can't say with 100% certainty that it's not multiple sclerosis without doing a lumbar puncture. Before I do that, though, I am going to see a neuro-opthalmologist (Feb 22) for more specialized tests on my eyes. There are still a few things we haven't ruled out, but I am trying to keep in mind that it's possible I may not ever get the answers I'm looking for. That would be a test, all right. And the reminder that I so often need; that our times are never in our own hands, but in God's.


Gretchen said...

Oh Gypsy, thank you for the update and yes I read every word with rapt attention! =0)
Will keep you in prayer as you go through all the tests and "look overs" and my main prayer will be that it turns up to be nothing serious but that they find the answer so you can get the right treatment!

Blessings friend!

Gypmar said...

Aw, thanks, Gretchen :)

Anonymous said...

You had me on the edge of my seat and although most tests are coming out okay, it's the unknown that trip me out, your attitude and faith are very encouraging. I love reading your posts, I like every word of your play by play:)oh my word, I though listening to the i.d. would be easier than reading the i.d. boy was I wrong. Leaving a comment is so hard for me...

Gypmar said...

Traci, thanks so much for reading AND commenting:) I often have to take more than one stab at it myself when leaving comments!

Mullins said...

Whoa! That sounds really tough! We went through a potential serious scare around here and it is humbling and perspective shifting. I'm glad to know you have good people there and a peace as well. We will pray for clear answers and help. Take care. Jeff

Gypmar said...

Thanks, Jeff. Perspective-shifting is exactly right! Hoping y'all are staying well.