My last post was on Valentine’s Day, and while it was a Happy Day, and felt like maybe a step back into a more regular blogging role, I regret to say that it was the same day that my life may have changed forever. It can really happen overnight, and it is eye-opening. I’ll share a little here, because as distant as we may be, I do know that I have amazing friends amongst the fandom, and I could really use your prayers, positive thoughts, well-wishes. But if I don’t spend a lot of time on responses, please know that my life was busy as of 2 weeks ago, and now it’s complicated in ways I can’t fully comprehend. Or, I may just be emotional, overwhelmed or otherwise unable to formulate words.
So Feb 14. In the morning I did a surgery and felt my right hand numb/tingling almost as if the hand fell asleep afterward. It occasionally happens if my hand gets fatigued or maybe my surgical glove is too tight, but goes away after 20 minutes. That day, it never went away. Later in the day, same pin/needles feeling in my right foot. Still later, an area on my right thigh. Fast forward through the days to Sunday, by which time I’ve seen my primary care family medicine doctor and had baseline bloodwork (all normal) and ordered an MRI of the brain for Monday… the entire right side of my body, torso, limbs, side of head, ear, but fortunately not the face, all numb/tingling and easily fatigued. Still have decent motor function and coordination, not falling, still actually able to type and give injections, and even do simple surgeries, but not able to lift even 10 lb Roxie into the car using the right arm, and by 1 week later, Tues 2/21, the idea of chopping 2 stalks of celery, 1/2 onion and some Polish sausages to fix a simple dinner was a tear-inducing and impossible ordeal after a long day at work.
I’m fortunate that Hubby’s cousin is a well-loved oncologist here in town, and is an amazing advocate, calling in advance to smooth the way and see that I’m squeezed in for whatever testing is required and getting in with a great neurologist who was fully booked and also about to be leaving on vacation. I saw him Thursday with my initial MRI results and while he’s leaning toward a diagnosis of a rapid/fairly aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis, apparently it’s generally a diagnosis of exclusion, so while he’s on vacation, I’m having a lot more tests and we’ll reconvene to go over the results next Monday.
Yesterday I had several tests including a pretty unpleasant lumbar puncture to collect cerebrospinal fluid for analysis, 21 large tubes of blood drawn for more advanced testing of autoimmune and other obscure disorders, an IV catheter placed for a daily infusion of a whopping 1000mg steroid at the hospital once daily for 5 days (thankfully, all this is outpatient), and I’ve had to be on my back for 24 hours following the lumbar puncture. I also had an echocardiogram in there somewhere… all kind of a blur. Monday afternoon I’ll have a bigger and better MRI of the brain plus entire spinal cord which may take several hours of holding still. Then we wait and see what we have.
My dad has MS, diagnosed when he was 55 years old, and apparently, while not directly heritable, it can tend to run in families. There are other possibilities, but the initial MRI showed several areas of demyelination in my brain. Thankfully, doesn’t look like a tumor. The biggest concern so far is that one of the lesions is in the brainstem, and that is one of the worst locations, and the reason for the big gun steroids to try to slow the really rapid progression and salvage my right hand because it is absolutely necessary to my profession. I will not be a successful veterinarian without full use and sensation in my right hand. The leg being numb, I can work with. The hand… whole different story. The steroid injection has improved me dramatically, so I have high hopes that 4 more of those and I’ll be feeling pretty fantastic. Literally already feel about 50% better after the first injection. (also buzzed… up typing energetically at 5am on a Saturday!!) LOL
I have a wonderful Hubby and a lot of local family support. I’d rather this happened to me than to my husband or my children or anyone else, but it is really, really scary. So Mr. Armitage is firmly on the back burner while we wait to see what happens. But please do keep our family in your thoughts and prayers. I’ll try to update when I know more