Friday, December 07, 2007

Round 2

Continuing from yesterdays rant...

This past year has been awful from a medical standpoint. I mean, I know how to handle medical issues. I have been a diabetic since I was 13 - in excess of 30 years now. I have taken up to three shots a day, spent more time in a doctors office than I care to remember and have done relatively well over the years! Began using the insulin pump about 4 years ago and honestly that was the best thing that had ever happened. No more shots!

I say all of this to stress that I am not incapable of handling medical issues. I am quite competent. Until this year.

It all started when I was with Tanker for his shoulder surgery. I was talking with my sister on the phone and she noticed that I was slurring my speech. Checked my blood sugar because this is one of the issues I have with a low but all was well. Tanker took me to the emergency room and they hooked me up to all kinds of machines, ran several blood tests and determined...well, not much. They weren't sure, didn't think it was a stroke but suggested that I check with my doc when I got home. My main concern was this was really the second episode that I had had with stroke like symptoms. (The previous one was about a year prior.)

So...I drive home and start looking for a new doc. I was ready for a new diabetic doctor anyway and quite honestly could not stand the possibility that I may just get patted on the head and told to head home from the family practitioner I had been seeing.

New doc was great...listened to me and most importantly did not pat me on the head. He suggested that we have an MRI done just to check things out. Two days later I get a call from his nurse saying there were some "abnormalities" on the MRI and they wanted me to see a Neurologist. Fortunately, they were able to get me in really quickly (aren't cancellations wonderful!!??!!) because I have a very active imagination and had all kinds of things going through my brain.

Neurologist says he believes it is MS but we should wait through the summer, redo the MRI and do a spinal tap. WOW...I knew absolutely nothing about MS so I began reading. And everything that had happened seemed to fall in line with what I was told to expect.

Waited through the summer. Saw the diabetic doc during this time and both he and nurse said that was what they thought. Said the six legions they saw on my brain was the worse he had seen. So, I was working through this and getting my head around what this meant now and for in the future.

Had another MRI done and then went to see the Neurologist in the early fall. Tanker was home on leave so he went with me. Now this doc thinks it is TIA's (mini strokes) and not MS. Now don't get me wrong...I am grateful. But I guess my whole problem with this is I had figured out in my mind how I was going to be able to handle the progression of MS while by myself until Tanker comes home permanently. Now it is mini strokes. Whole different ball game. How do I handle this by myself? And this doc put me on Plavix and basically sent me home. No suggestion that I stop smoking (even though I had but hadn't told the doc that), no talk of any other lifestyle changes I can make. When I asked what to do if I have any more episodes...he told me to check my blood sugar (totally agree...good plan) and then call either him or the diabetic doc. WHAT? Shouldn't we call 911 or at least go to the emergency room? I am working to wrap myself around this diagnosis. I am scared to death to get behind the wheel of a car and am thankful that Bonnie Blue is driving. Just finally started going back to the gym this week. Hate the drive but I am hopeful the exercise will outweigh my fear.

Heading back to the diabetic doc in about 12 days. This will be the first time that I will see him since the change in diagnosis. Need to see if he thinks I am crazy for wanting a second opinion. Also, having strange feelings in my right thigh. Not quite the falling asleep feeling like I get in my feet and hands. More of a burning sensation. My guess is Diabetic Neuropathy. And the beat goes on...

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