Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 12

Today was Church and it is so comforting to know so many people are praying for me. I talked to my sister Jenny today and I told her I was worried I may have Multiple Sclerosis. She laughed. A BIG HARDY LAUGH. It made me laugh. It may not be how most people respond, but I needed it.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Day 11

I made the mistake of looking into what can cause inflammation of the optice nerve. 28% of MS patient's first symptom is optic nerve inflammation. I stopped reading after that and left it at that. I spent the rest of the day writing my careplan for my patient with lung cancer.

Day 10

Passed my test and the class, this was my final. I love 8 week classes. My vision is the same. I saw the doctor and he noticed the spots around my membranes and capillaries were going away, but my optic nerve is still inflamed. If I get my vision back he estimates it will be between 3-4 weeks. There is a potential for my optic nerve to have scarring on it, if that's the case, my vision would not come back and will not be able to be fixed.. He does not seem too concerned with why there's inflammation, just that it is an autoimmune response which generally occurs post virus. The vision that I still have in the left eye has lost acuity.

Day 9

Its the same. I see the doctor tomorrow and am hoping he sees something different. I have a test in my quality of life class on Friday so today will be spent studying. EVERYTHING takes me twice as long as it use to and it is so frustrating. Ben's valentine's party is today. He was so excited to see me and gave me tons of kisses and hugs. I was so glad I was able to be there.

Day 8

Its the same. Every morning I lay in bed not wanting to open my eyes. With that first gleam of light I hope and pray everything will be back to normal. But each morning its the same. I remember in junior high a girl called me a hypochondriac. For some reason that insult has stuck with me. Any time since then I talk about anything to do with my own health I wonder, do they think I'm overreacting? This is the first time I have thought, I hope I am a hypochondriac.

Day 7

Its been one week. My vision hasn't changed since Sunday, which is good and bad, its not worse, but not better. I have clinicals today at Cancer Care. I've noticed I'm really unsure of where I am and am constantly turning to the left. I think I'm paranoid I'm going to bump into something or someone. Its really a strange feeling.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 6

I get a call from Chesley to set me up for an appointment. I'm able to get in first thing in the morning so I only have to miss one class. Unfortunately I will be dilated for my second class in which I will be giving a presentation. The doctor said my eyes looked the same. Now it is just watch and wait. He will be out of the office until Friday and he wants to see me them. If I get worse or have any new symptoms to call Dr. such and such. He is aware of my case. My case? Although I find it comforting to know he is consulting other physicians, it also reminds me of the seriousness and uncertainty. My presentation went great. I called Hayley to see if she could give me a ride home from school. I feel like a child having to call and ask people for rides. I know its inconvenient.

Day 5

My vision is the same, no better no worse. I find it heartbreaking to be on the prayer list at Church, thats for people in need and the people who are sick. I hate when people ask me about my eye and I see the fear and concern in their voice and their facial expressions. I go from making jokes about it in front of people and crying uncontrollably when no one is around. I take care of people. I'm scared. Its the unknown, not having a definitive diagnosis. Not knowing my prognosis.

Day 4

My vision if definitely worse today. The spot is the same but my actual vision in my eye is worse. My vision looks as if someone has smeared vaseline all over my eye. I can see light through it and shapes but no definite lines.
I kept thinking is was going to get better and I didn't want to ruin Ben and Abram's birthday party so I ignored it until after the party. I had them page the retina specialist. He called back and said he was headed to the office to look up a few things. At this point I am convinced I have a tumor on my optic nerve. A few hours later he calls me with a suggestive diagnosis of multiple evanescent white dot syndrome. Unfortunatley its not a textbook case, there's no cure, it is just a wait and see type thing. Call if it gets worse and if you get anymore sypmtoms unrelated to the eye. I am to come into the office on Monday to see him.
My emotions have been a roller coaster ride along with my self diagnosis. Day 1 I thought I may be having a stroke. Day 2, possible stroke. Day three an autoimmune disease. Day four a tumor.

Day 3

My good friend Chesley had called yesterday to find out what was going on with my eye. She just happens to work with an outstanding retina specialist. I told her and she said I should see her doctor, I said I probably would for a second opinion. I woke up with my vision the same as it had been and totally stressd because I had a test in peds. I was worried I wouldn't be able to fill in the scantron correctly. I had spoken with my professor and was told if I can't fill out the bubbles then don't take the test. I could rant and rave about this lack of compassion but thats another blog. I took the test got a 94% one of the top in the class. Fury sometimes does me good. When I was driving to pick Ben up Chesley had called and said she had spoke with her doctor and he wanted to see me and he could get me in at 1245 today. After a rearrange with Ben's schedule I went right in. I had the same test ran as the previous day and he also did an angiography which showed an inflamed optic nerve and some inflamation in the capillaries along with some build up or white spots around the capillaries. His response, there is something wrong, but I do not know what, but I will go through all of my sources until I find out what it is. Fair enough, you can't go wrong with honesty.
I went to a funeral that night and on on the way home, I realized my vision was getting worse.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My eye, day 2.

I went and saw the first retina specialist on this day. Luckily John was able to take me. Yesterday my parents had to come and pick me up from the doctor since I couldn't see well enough to drive. This was a rough day and a really bad experience. I was so glad to have my husband there with me. It started with the dilation, photos of my eyes and then the doctor examining my eye. The examination was horrible. It was invasive and I felt so vulnerable. One of my biggest pet peeves concerning the medical field is when they do things without explaining it to the patient first. At one point I thought I had gone blind. They had put a gel in my eye and then stuck this cone thing to it. IT TOUCHED MY EYE. Not only touched it but for a long period of time. My head was strapped to the machine. I felt as if I was in a torturing device. When they removed it I couldn't see. Do you know how frightening that is? When I said, "I can't see." The only response is that's normal. Thanks for the heads up. After the intrusive examination he goes on to tell me he thinks I am having an autoimmune response. Ok. Why? Should I have blood work drawn? Should I be checked for autoimmune diseases? Where do we go from here? Will I get my vision back? After halfway answering all my questions he goes on to tell me he graduated at the top of his medical class and how smart you have to be to be a retina specialist. Obviously social skills are not needed.
I left in tears feeling as if nothing had been acomplished. My vision was the same. Most of all I was scared. Scared I had a tumor, scared I had an autoimmune disease. Scared of the unknown. I cried the remainder of the evening. Not knowing where or what to do next.

My eye, day 1.

Tuesday February 15 around 930 at night I noticed a dark spot in my vision when I would blink, it almost looked like a dark spider web. I attributed it to stress and fatigue from a long day at clinicals. I woke up the next morning, drove to clinicals and really didn't think much about it. When we were sitting in preconference I then noticed part of my visual field was gone to the left of center. Basically if someone was standing around four feet in front of me just to the left of my center vision I coudn't see there head. (I think thats a good description).
I spoke to my clinical instructor and she said she would I should [probably go and see my opthamologist. At this point I'm really not concerned at all. After clinicals I met some of the girls for lunch and on the way I called my optometrist. Gave her answer service the description of my symptoms and within 2 minutes she calls me back and ask me to come in for this could be a detatched retina. Her calling me back so quickly did give my some concern, I knew a detached retina could be fixed and figured if that was it, you fix and be done with.
I got to Dr. Sweet's office around 130 in the afternoon. She looked, looked and looked some more at my eye and was baffled, she could see something wrong, but could not define it. But my retina looked good. She had me hang out in her office for about an hour and she re-evaluated me. After the reevaluations she wanted me to see an opthamolgist. I went straight from her office to the next doctor's office. Right when I got there they dialated me and I saw the doctor. He said he could see some inflamation and some RBC's in my eye. So he wanted me to see a retina specialist. They set me up an appointment for the next day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Benjamin!

My baby is three. I have been so busy with school, I haven't wanted to take any of my extra time (and I use "extra" loosely) to blog. But I didn't want to look back and not have anything written about Ben on his special day.
We started the day with Mickey Mouse pancakes and sausage. The night before I had decorated the kitchen with his favorite cartoon, Phineas and Ferb, and of course plenty of balloons. He got to open his present from John and I before breakfast, a helicopter. This was the only thing he asked for so luckily I was able to find one! After his nap we headed to Incredible Pizza. Unfortunately it wasn't so incredible. There were so many people there. I think Ben had a good time, but we all left totally overstimulated. We came home to enjoy Benjamin's favorite part of his Birthday, the cupcakes! Next weekend will be spent celebrating Ben's birthday with his best friend and cousin, Abram (AKA Thing 1 and Thing 2).

Here are a few things I want to remember about Ben over the last year:
1. He started preschool at Broadway Baptist. He has thrived. He is so much more social than John and I, he has really enjoyed the interaction.
2. Every time I would tell him Happy Birthday, he would tell me, Happy Birthday Mom, in the sweetest little voice.
3. He has started developing friends. It is the sweetest little thing. He has even asked to spend the night with his BFF Brock.
4. He jumps with both feet off the ground.
5. Nothing can have pink, because he says pink is for girls.
6. He talks constantly, he articulates every word and speaks with passion.
7. He likes to say, "Lets talk about...." and names different things he wants to talk about.
8. He can sing 4 songs from memory.
9. He has the best imagination. I love to sit back and watch him when he plays with his toys.
10. He was potty trained this year, much to my relief it wasn't too bad.

My sweet little boy, I love you so much. I remember the first time I saw you and the overwhelming emotions I felt and the tears that filled my eyes. Still to this day when I look at you I have that same feeling. You are more than I could every wish for. You bring me so much joy (and a touch of crazy). I love you my Sunshine.