Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sometimes the Tornado, Sometimes the Bug on the Windshield

I have had a rough couple of weeks to say the least but for once it wasn't my RA.  Well at least not directly.  Sometimes I like to think that I am the tornado ripping through stuff send my way.  The past few weeks, I have been the bug on the windshield which isn't dead but that the windshield wipers keep running over.

After the doctor's appointment that discovered that my optic nerve inflammation visit, I had my MRI.  My MRI actually came out normal which is a a good thing but that only left one thing pseudotumor cerebri. 

If you've never heard of it, pseudotumor cerebri is in it's basic idea a fake brain tumor.  It's not that there's nothing wrong, it's that you actually show symptoms of having a tumor but without a mass present.  It's also called Idiopathic intracranial hypertension.  I'm not a doctor, but from the best explanations I have received it's that I have too much pressure in my cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and the increased pressure has caused the vision issues.

I ended up being admitted to the hospital last week on Monday night and had my diagnostic lumbar puncture to determine if all these symptoms were pseudotumor cerebri.  After the lumbar puncture, it wasn't really a doubt that the problems were associated with pseudotumor cerebri.  They removed enough CSF to bring be back to a closer to normal pressure level. 

The prognosis?  If the medication works, hopefully there won't be a need for anything else.  I actually felt pretty good after the LP.  I know that sounds weird but it was done in radiology with an xray machine watching every move so there weren't any multiple punctures.  The only issue I had the first few hours was some tingling.  Other issues came later but that's for another time.  My biggest issue was they needed to get me out to watch Craig Hummer and Brendon Clark on their Oceanman and the Cowboy Podcast.

I do have to say that the first thing I felt after getting back to my room was that my head didn't feel full.  I don't know when it started feeling that way but it's as long as I can remember.  All of a sudden I am laying in my room thinking wow I guess everyone's head doesn't feel like that all the time.

What if the medication doesn't work?  The only other real options are the medication with multiple LPs which leaves infection a possibility or some surgery.  But I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

Until then, I will try to be the tornado not the bug.

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