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Back from the MS clinic

June 22, 2011

I got back a few hours ago and guess what? The MRI clinic never sent the results to the new neurologist. She sent me for some bloodwork to look for a few things (will get into that in a minute) and I’m going back to see her on July 20th.

I’m really lucky to have a certain friend in my life; if you’re reading this: thank you. I was so nervous this morning and angry that I was gagging. Your messages got me laughing and took my mind off of things. I don’t know how you do it, but it doesn’t matter what is wrong, you always get me to laugh. I’m very lucky to know such a fun, kindhearted man. I’ll never forget it, but I’ll never be able to thank you enough.

Now then, the ride up to the clinic wasn’t bad. Traffic was nowhere near as heavy as I dreaded it would be and I barely had any symptoms. My left pinky finger went a little bit numb but that was it. The clinic was much easier to find that I thought it would be, and when I got there the waiting room was completely empty (so no long wait).

One of the wonderful, sweet nurses took me back into an exam room, did a brief history, and checked my blood pressure (oooh yaaa, 120/80! beautiful!) She must have done pyschiatric or emergency nursing at some point in her career because she was just soooo calm and sooo soothing! She was very friendly, soft spoken, and took thorough notes. I kind of hope I get the same nurse next time I go, but if I don’t that is ok because all the nurses seemed just as great.

Then came the doctor. For the sake of confidentiality and legal whatnots and haveyous, I’m not using actual names in this blog (ex: my GP is Dr. Fabulous and the old neurologist is Dr. Quack). I’m going to be referring to this doctor in the blog from now on as Dr. Kickass. I’m thrilled to be under her care. She was patient, thorough, friendly, knowledgable, down to earth, and just overall a very pleasant person. Top notch bedside manner. At no point did I ever feel intimidated, rushed, or that I wasn’t being listened to. I had her full attention the entire time. We even both got a few laughs during the exam, which I gotta say, that’s a first for me when it comes to dealing with a new doctor.

We started out by going over my current situation and what I have going on in life (she made a note that I’m going after a BA in nursing in my chart and seemed genuinely happy to hear that). We did a general history of my symptoms and a family history. I did manage to forget to print out the list I had written up specifically for this appointment but she was so thorough, thinking back now the only thing I can recall that we missed was the banding sensation that I get and the feeling of wet skin when my skin is really dry (I’ll make a note on my phone to bring it up next time). We went through a checklist of symptoms that was about 3 pages long and she took a ton of notes and used a lot of direct quotes from me in the notes to describe the various sensations and pains.

The physical exam was really, really long. She seemed really enthusiatic about doing it too haha. She checked my eyes with and without my glasses, and with the lights on and off. I didn’t realize this but without my glasses on it takes a very long time for my left eye to focus. She started rolling a klennex into a point and apologized over and over again (“I’m so sorry to do this to you!”, “Gah, this test is horrible! I’m so so sorry!”) and touched the point to the iris of each eye. My right eye reacted fine, but my left eye…the point did not feel as sharp and it took a little bit longer for my eye to blink at the irritation.

She poked me all over with a pin, and we found that I still have decreased sensation in the entire left side of my body. I could feel the pin, but it didn’t feel sharp at all. It was like being poked with a pointy eraser through a piece of cloth whereas on my right side it actually felt sharp. She checked every reflex possible from head to toe. She had me push and pull against her hands with my hands, elbows, forearms, feet, and legs and squeeze her fingers. This revealed that I do have a fair amount of weakness on the entire left side of my body. She had me put my heel on the knee of the opposite leg, run the heel down to my foot and back up again with both legs. The right side wasn’t so bad, but the left side, for some reason when I went to put my left foot on my right knee, my brain went blank and I couldn’t quite remember which was left and which was right. It only lasted a few seconds though, and I managed to clumsily get that test done.

She had me run and walk down the hallway in my normal gait. I haven’t run in quite a while (since March really because of the attack) so I was a bit stumbly running. My left foot was still dragging a little bit when I walked. She had me walk heel to toe which I managed to do without falling over (though I was quite wobbly). I had to stand with my feet close together and close my eyes. I had to do that test about 5 times because I kept falling back and instinctively opening my eyes as soon as I felt her hands on my shoulders. She just chuckled a little bit and kept reminding me “it’s ok, you’re not going to fall, I got you.” What else…I had to hold my hands palm up and palm down with my arms straight with my eyes closed. That was surprisingly hard to do. I felt my middle finger and pinky on my left hand twitching and curling down a little bit, and when I opened my eyes both times my left hand had drifted downwards.

Since the MRI results weren’t in, she decided to do some bloodwork to rule out other things. My B12 levels were fine last month, but she’s rechecking them anyway. I’ve had my thyroid checked way too many times in the past, but again she’s rechecking it. She also ordered bloodwork to check for lupus. In total I had 9 vials of blood taken today for testing. The woman that took my blood looked at the requisition, looked at me, then said “I hope you’re generous!” She was really good, didn’t feel the needle at all, and she got it all out of one vein without it collapsing. So, as it stands now, it looks like I either have multiple sclerosis or I have lupus. We’ll find out on the 20th of next month *knock on wood*. Either way, I’m extremely lucky and thankful to have seen this doctor and to be getting my test results from her.

I thought that maybe I would be more frustrated or angry or depressed if I didn’t get results today, but I actually feel really good. It’s still not an answer yet, but I feel relieved. My lower back is absolutely killing me from sitting in the car for so long and some of my muscles are a bit twitchy and tingly because I’m so tired, but a nap and some ibuprofen will take care of that and I can get on with my day and go to work tonight and really focus on what I’m doing instead of having that big grey cloud looming over my head.

So ya…bit of an insanely long entry, I know, but I’m feeling wonderful. It doesn’t matter what disease it is, I’m ready to kick it’s ass. I got an idea on the way back home for a few little comics about some of the symptoms I’ve had and whatnot, so I’ll probably start drawing those out tonight (at least rough sketches). When I get some of them done I will add a new category to the blog just for those. Thank you for reading, I hope you have a lovely day 🙂

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From → Journal

2 Comments
  1. I’m so glad you like your doctor! It makes such a difference.

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