Tuesday, December 30, 2008

End of day two

Day two brought about new tests, repeat tests and a visit with an actual doctor!

At about 11 this morning, I started the vision and auditory evoke response test and nerve tests. First I was hotwired with lots of little electrodes all over my head and neck (and later on my hands and feet and legs).

The vision test had me looking at a little dot in the middle of a small tv/computer screen while the background (black and white checkerboard) moved back and forth. This went on for 15 minutes with the left eye covered and 15 minutes with the right eye covered. By the end of this half hour, I was so tired from having focused on the small sticker on the screen and sitting upright. Luckily the rest of the tests for this batch had me laying on a bed.

The auditory section of the tests had me listening to beeps. Simple, not too loud or invasive to the ear.

The nerve tests were a little more uncomfortable. The technician (although she was the Director of the program, so I knew I was in good hands for these tests) hooked up my hand to a conductor and then proceeded to make my fingers twitch. It felt like having electro-stimulation therapy for physical therapy... only bumped a few notches. It wasn't so much painful as just uncomfortable. The same thing was done to both feet, although for the right side, the conductor was not directly on the nerve, so it felt as though there were two sharp spikes digging into my flesh. I was glad when that test was over.

I returned to my room and had lunch with my mom who had spent the whole day with me at the hospital. Joe was home being Daddy. Shortly after we got back from eating, we saw the doctor. Yes, Virginia, they do indeed have doctors at hospitals, not just nurses and nurses' aides.

The doctor said that he'd seen something on one of my MRIs from the previous day. My spinal MRI was clean, but he'd found some transvere myelitis (TM)on the neck MRI. You can read for yourself what that means as I'm sure to botch any description. Basically there's something there but that's not the ultimate diagnosis. In order to rule out other things, like MS, he ordered a brain MRI (luckily just one - not two like I had done the previous day). If this MRI is weird or inconclusive, he'll order either a spinal tap or another MRI, this time using dye (I'm reluctant to do that one just now as I'm still nursing and the dye would require me to pump-n-dump for 48 hours. Having a baby who hates whole milk makes this is a little difficult.). So, for now I am hopeful that what I have is TM as it seems to be fairly straight-forward with no major lasting damage - as he said, it's a one-time deal. Could have even been brought about by the fever (virus?) I had a few weeks ago. A lot of the symptoms mentioned on the fact sheet I have, right down to the extreme hot/cold sensation in my leg and the discomfort on my arm when fabric touches my skin. He has not ruled out MS and says that is still a possibility, so while I'm optimistic that it's not MS, I'm not being overly naive in thinking that all is well.

I'm still stuck in this hospital bed waiting. Nothing more to do this evening but sleep (the nurse said if all my vitals were normal at 10, she would skip the 2am vital check - thank you!) and wait to speak with the doctor in the morning. Hopefully with a good night's sleep comes good news in the morning.

1 comment:

nikole said...

Hoping, hoping, hoping with all my heart that it is TM and that it has resolved itself soon. Thinking of you, my friend. Rest well.