Brains, I has them.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

I am going to do just one more health update and then hopefully things around here will get back to normal. Really. I was tagged for a Meme by Tammy like two weeks ago, I have a great story to tell and all kinds of things, but just in case anyone is curious how the whole debacle of this last week ended up, I'm going to fill you in. Also, I kind of want to have it written down so I can reflect back and see if anything actually gets done the way I was told it would.

Yesterday, after getting the MRI and waiting all day Thursday to hear from the doctor (who was in surgery on a 2 year old with a tumor, man did that give me a healthy dose of perspective), I was given an appointment at my neurosurgeon's children's clinic, where they informed me that he had never ever seen an adult (well, they had seen one, just not as a patient). Yes, I am that special.

He said that the MRI looked good, the only thing that wasn't exactly as it should be was that there was a small fluid accumulation outside my duraplasty (which is a patch made of cow heart that they put on my brain lining to make it bigger). It's not an active leak because the fluid didn't light up with the MRI contrast, which is great news, but it might account for the headaches I had several weeks ago that were so freaking unpleasant.

So that's the super-duper awesome news. Everything related to Chiari looks fantastic. No bone slipping, no vertebral anything, no brain falling down farther, none of the things that I think we were all collectively holding our breath about.

The bad news is that something is wrong. The neurosurgeon did a bunch of the tests and said that he'd really love to call this Carpal Tunnel, but it's clearly not. And even more, he called himself a "clumper" in that he likes to clump things together in a diagnosis, but he cannot see how he can clump this with Chiari.

So basically, we closed one can of worms and another open one came flying down from the sky into our laps. Fan-freaking-tasticly messily, I might add. So here's the new plan. Not this Wednesday, but the one after that, I'll be getting another MRI, this one of my whole brain since the one they did this week was only of the cranio-cervical junction down through the c-spine. They want to make sure that my brain hasn't settled down any and that no fluid has accumulated at the top of my head, and oh yea, that it's not Multiple Sclerosis.

I have an appointment for an hour after my MRI appointment such that I can get the films from the MRI guy and walk them directly to the neurosurgeon who will look at them right there with me. Assuming that nothing shows up there, I'm being referred to a neurologist (incidentally, the one that The Fiance worked with for his neuro rotation and who is apparently brilliant, though strings have to be pulled because his first new-patient appointment is May 14th) who's going to do a myriad of tests beginning with an EMG, which is doctor abbreviation for sticking needles into my muscles, shooting electricity into them and seeing how much my muscles like that sort of thing (so maybe that's an exaggeration, read about it for yourself and then let me know if you'd like me to sign you up too...)

I don't know what comes after that, but at least while I'm freaking out about all the good things that could cause hand a foot paresthesias, I know that there's a plan in place and that my doctor is taking it quite seriously.

So now you're filled in, I'm going to go judge both the joke contest and the contest that I was supposed to judge for Lanny like a week ago. Thanks for listening and if you'll still keep reading, I promise to try to bring back the whimsy.


Anonymous said...

Well, I was going to come on here and say that it sounded like your brain was trying to fall out your...butt, but then I read of your further trials and have decided not to say that, and to say that Scarlett and I will, of course, be praying that everything is alright with you, and that you and your brain won't have to have any more pictures taken for quite some time.

Angela said...

Saying a prayer for you.

lace1070 said...

Katie ~ if there was ever a woman who could handle more health drama with such style and humor ~ it's you! Glad you are getting in to see the experts and find some answers ~ If you don't mind me asking ~ what kind of new symptoms are you getting? Could they possibly be related to tethered cord??? Hugs to you ~ Lace

~~Silk said...

A little reassurance - the electromyography isn't as bad as it sounds. The "needles" are like accupuncture needles, super fine. My husband had it done, and he swore he couldn't feel them.

It sounds like they're doing all the right things. It's great that your doctors are so responsive.

Ness said...

Wow, Katie. I'm so sorry about the latest health twist. I had an EMG years ago when they diagnosed my carpal tunnel and it wasn't bad at all. Praying that they can get you some answers...if you're like me, I can deal with black and white but I can't deal with gray.

Thanks for doing the contest. I think if you will go to this site it will have the information you need. If not, let me know.

Hang in there...I'm praying for you.

~*~Snappz~*~ said...

I'm here to distract you ... And maybe give ya a smile.

In Jeruselem, a female journalist heard about very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, everyday fora long, long time. So she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and there he was. She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, she approached him for an interview.

"I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN. Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"

"For about 60 years."

"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?"

"I pray for peace between the Christians Jews and the Muslims. I pray for all the hatred to stop and I pray for all our children to grow upin safety and friendship."

"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"

"Like I'm talking to a f*ckin' brick wall."

Anonymous said...

Well, stick with the good news and we'll keep our collective thought positive for you too! Thanks for keeping us posted!

the queen said...

I can say quite honestly that if I had to choose between MS and Carpal Tunnel I would choose MS. Well, my brand of MS vs Gary's brand of carpal tunnel.