The fun never stops

Posted By on December 17, 2008 at 6:24 pm

I swear, it’s like riding a roller coaster that never stops. Even if you love roller coasters, eventually it’ll make you want to be noisily and spectacularly sick.
I saw my regular doc for a checkup last week, during which he came to the conclusion that I should see my neurologist sooner, much sooner, rather than later at my scheduled followup in February.
So today I got up at the crack of dawn* and trekked to the neurologist. I went through the ritual examination — the reflexes, strength and sense of touch in my legs have all degraded — and then underwent a hastily-scheduled Taser test before being parked in the office to await a verdict… or at least, a suggestion of what ought to happen next.
The neurologist asked if I’d had a plain old spinal tap done at any point — not the several-day functionality test, but one where the fluid collected was sent out for lab testing. I reassured him that yes, it had been done. Boy oh boy, had it ever. He then called the hospital where it had been done and had the results immediately faxed over.
You’d think they could do that sort of thing via email. I guess not.
After reviewing those lab results (from a year and a half ago, remember) and pondering for a minute or so, he sat up in his chair and asked me how difficult it might be for me to spend a few days in the hospital.
Oh, no. Not again.
After recovering from my apoplectic fit, I let him know it would be just a tad difficult.
He mulled this over a bit, then got down to brass tacks, to wit: the shunt is almost certainly doing its job, but he wants me to have another MRI of my head to make sure that the ventricles are in fact not expanding again.
OK, I can do that. No need to park me in a hospital overnight, much less for a couple of days.
Closing in on the previously mentioned Mysterious Undiagnosed Second Condition, he then brought up a word I’d heard before: “autoimmune.”
For that, there’s treatment he thinks I should do: plasmapheresis. Basically, it’s the same sort of thing as dialysis, the difference being that instead of removing waste products on behalf of the kidneys, they’re removing antibodies.
As the doctor described it, the process takes a couple of hours a day, every other day. He said they can do the entire blood supply in five visits to whatever place does the procedure. Of course, since they’re scrubbing the entire blood supply, I’ll have to have a catheter installed in my neck for the duration. Egads.
After the plasmapheresis, gamma globulin treatment is the next step.
I am once again convinced I’m going to have a disease named after me.

* Relatively speaking, of course. I got up at 9am for an 11:30 appointment.


2 Responses to “The fun never stops”

  1. Skul says:

    Haven’t been by in quite awhile.
    Stopped in to say “howdy”.
    Still hoping things work out for you.

  2. Heather P. says:

    Wow! I will add you to my prayers!