Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Quick Update

Life has kept trucking along since my last post. I don't have a diagnosis yet on the joint pain, body aches and fatigue, but the rheumatologist did put me on a prescription-strength NSAID that has helped a LOT. I wake up in the morning and I can actually move around. It's amazing how much better life seems when you don't hurt everywhere all the time. I go back to see him next month, at which time he wants to run a bunch more tests.

I've also seen the hand specialist, and she diagnosed carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel, and thoracic outlet syndrome. All this means I have nerve compression occurring in my neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists on both sides. I'm in physical therapy twice a week to learn exercises that are supposed to reduce the compression and I go back to see her at the beginning of next month.

Jamie is - well - Jamie. He's been hanging out with his friends from school and church, building bots, and such. They're all getting ready for their Remote Operated Vehicles competition (underwater remote-controlled bots) competitoon next month at NASA in Houston. We don't have school or work on Good Friday, and that's the day we caravan over and spend the night, then the competition is the next day. We're really excited to be able to go this year! Also, I'm very proud to announce he's getting inducted into the National Junior Honor Society on Thursday of this week! Yay, Jamie! His friend Spencer is also. Good job boys! On the Geek front, I have introduced him to Battlestar Galactica on Netflix, so that's been fun. I'm trying to show him there's more to Science Fiction than just "Star Wars." Sometimes, I get soooo tired of SW!

Well, I have to go make sure Jamie is getting ready for school and I need to inhale another gallon of coffee or two before I'm ready to face the day. Hope you all have a blessed day!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Je Suis Fatiguée

I am tired (for those of you who do not speak French). I've been on a whirlwind medical odyssey for the last two months - well, years longer than that, actually. But this was the first time I've ever had a doctor take me seriously and actually try to investigate my symptoms, instead of just telling me my pain, fatigue and dizziness are because I'm fat, or looking for attention, or whatever.

I told you all last post that the doctor had thrown out a whole lot of scary possibles - multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, brain lesions, etc. I went back to the doctor yesterday for the results of more blood work, an MRI of my brain and a nerve conduction velocity/EMG test on my arms (to test the constant tingling and numbness in both hands). First thing she did was tell me the MRI looked good. "You have a normal brain," she said. I fired back, "You're probably the only person who thinks so." She laughed, then said there was nothing on the MRI that indicated MS, brain lesions or brain cancer. She did say a very small percentage of people with MS do not have abnormal MRIs, so if the dizziness continues she'll refer me to a neurologist; at this point, she does not think it's MS that is bothering me.

She then apologized for stating before that she didn't think it was carpal tunnel causing the tingling, because it turns out I have it in both wrists, along with cubital tunnel, as well. Basically, both main nerves running into my hands and fingers are getting compressed either in my wrist or my elbows. She has referred me to an orthopedist to tackle these issues. I go the week after next to see the hand specialist.

Then, she said that my rheumatoid factor in my blood was high, indicating it's possible my pain and stiffness is being caused by Rheumatoid Arthritis. She said this could also be affecting my balance issues if I have it in my ankles. She also said just because my RA was high does not mean I necessarily have it. She has referred me to a rheumatologist to deal with all the aches, pains, and the bloodwork. I go to see that specialist the day before I see the orthopedist.

So, that's what's up. The good news is, she doesn't think it's MS, which is the thought that was scaring the crap out of me. The other good news is that I'm not some psycho hypochondriac looking for attention, as I've been accused of being. There is something causing these symptoms, and I am going to find out exactly what it is and beat it. I'm tired of being too tired to do anything but work, go to school and go to bed.