Saturday, January 17, 2009

Crazy Doctor Adventures

So I told you about my embarassing episode at the opthamologist on Monday. I still cannot believe that whole thing. I am so glad I don't ever have to show my face there again- haha
I thought it would be good to update everyone on why I was even at the opthamologist in the first place. A lot of this is a repeat of what some of you know; but I thought I should tell the story from start to finish.
December 22, 2008: While I was at home over Christmas, I went to get an eye exam to update my contact/glasses prescription. While I was there, they noticed some swelling on my optic nerve. They referred me to an opthamologist to get a second opinion, confirm/deny what they thought they were seeing, etc.
January 12, 2009: So on Monday I went to a really great opthamologist that my Teaching Leader recommended to me. That doctor confirmed what the optometrist had found- swelling at the opening of my optic nerve. Basically, a normal optic nerve has a bowl or cup shaped opening; mine is concave (upside down bowl), which indicates swelling or pressure of some sort. He said it could be 1 of 3 things: pseudo papilledema (increased intercranial pressure on the optic nerve), optic tissue swelling (?), or a brain tumor. He didn't come right out and say this until I directly asked him. I think he was trying not to scare me. Which makes sense considering my reaction to the dilation...
January 15, 2009: So he referred me to a neuro-opthamologist so we could rule things out. I didn't even know that specialty existed. My mom came into town so that she could go with me (at the suggestion of the opthamologist). That appointment went well; the doctor confirmed what the other 2 had found- swelling on the optic nerve. I did learn today that the optic nerve is not a part of the eye, it is part of the brain. Learn something new every day! I also learned that there are other possibilities for the swelling than the ones given by the opthamologist. It could be an auto-immune disease or it could be a blood clot. He did find that the swelling is on both optic nerves, not just the right as we had originally thought. He said that more than likely it is pseudo papilledema, but he has to put me through a series of tests so that he can rule things out and be sure. He sent me to have some blood work done, and I will have to schedule an MRI/MRA/MRV. 
January 16, 2008: My mom went with me to get my blood work. When I walked into the lab, the girl took a look at me, took a look at the doctor's request, and said, "I hope you have good veins." Another nurse was peaking around the corner with a concerned look on her face, and I later learned that they were talking amongst themselves, wondering why I was having so much blood drawn and if I would survive it. LOL. I did warn them about my tendency to get dizzy, lose my breakfast, and faint. I think that made them more nervous for me. I had been warned by many doctors in the past not to ever give blood, just because they didn't think I could handle it. Goodness. I am very proud to announce that I didn't even get dizzy! No crazy reactions- I took it like a pro! When the nurse said she had to take a lot of blood, I had no idea what that meant. They ended up taking 20 vials of blood! They pretty much sucked me dry- lol. What they are going to do with that much of my blood, I have no idea. But some is being sent all the way to California for testing. Since I turned over so much, I want to know everything- my blood type, what I am allergic to, what diseases I have, everything. Haha.
I am still waiting to schedule the MRI/MRA/MRV. A week after that is done, I will go back to the neuro-opthamologist for the official diagnosis. All this is a bit of a whirlwind. Who would have ever thought I would be going through something as random as this? I am so blessed that they found it in a simple routing exam. I am thankful for the timing and the doctors God has provided. I am thankful for good insurance. I am thankful for everyone who has committed to pray, and who have been such an encouragement and support so far. And I am thankful for the overwhelming sense of peace that God has provided to me and my family. I like this new idea of trusting God instead of worrying.

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