It was just health havoc at my house today.
Ellie was home sick with a fever and what we thought was just a bad cold, but discovered badly swollen tonsils by early afternoon that turned out to be strep.
Meanwhile, I had a routine mammogram and a sonohysterogram to find out if I still had a problem with polyps, something I'd been dealing with two years ago and postponed and then canceled a surgical procedure to correct when I got sick with my mystery illness. (They found three this time, which means I'll probably need to get that taken care of one of these days with a d&c followed by an ablation.)
I got home from that to find out that my internist (who I'd left a message for earlier in the morning and faxed a study that Lisa Emrich had given me a link to -- thanks Lisa!) wanted me to see an ophthalmologist asap and her assistant had scheduled me an appointment for a this afternoon. Meanwhile, she also scheduled me for IV steroid infusions starting Saturday for five days, which apparently is the standard treatment for optic neuritis.
To complicate matters, the ophthalmologist (who I wasn't wild about) said my eyes were not a clear case of optic neuritis, in that he couldn't see anything looking through my retina. However, he said, that the optic nerve could be inflamed in areas he can't see directly. So he's not ruling it out. Also complicating diagnosis: I'm not completely color blind, although I have some loss of color vision. He wants to run another test of my visual field, which will have to wait until Tuesday. I was already scheduled to have an MRI on Wednesday, and he was happy to hear that.
The ophthalmologist was also skeptical of the use of solumedrol for any but the worst cases of optic neuritis, saying it was unnecessary otherwise because it will clear up on its own.
My internist, who spoke to a neurologist who's married to one of my friends, said she would lean toward erring on the side of caution, which to her means going ahead with the solumedrol.
So starting tomorrow morning, I'll be spending an hour or so in an infusion center every day for the next five days. And then I'll take oral steroids in a tapering dose.
A humorous aside: I mentioned to the ophthalmologist that steroids make me crazy. His eyes widened.
"Really crazy?" he asked in a serious tone.
"What do you mean by really crazy? I probably don't mean medically crazy ..." I said.
"What happens to you?" he asked.
"Well, I get paranoid, have panic attacks, I am extremely irritable ... essentially, I'm just miserable to be around. And there's the time I really wanted to kick my cat, who wouldn't stop yowling." (Note: I did not actually kick the cat. I just wanted to. With an intensity that frightened me enough that I called my internist the next day.)
"Oh," he said, somewhat superciliously, "that's not crazy. There's something called steroid psychosis and people with that sometimes have to be put in straitjackets."
"No," I agreed. "Steroids don't make me crazy."
Ok, it's not hilariously funny. But it was probably the most amusing part of my day. :)
Oh, and you should all consider yourselves warned that I'll be beyond grumpy probably for the next week or two while I wean off the steroids ... Try not to take anything personally that I might say.
Whew! - This has been me all summer :-/ *Thank God for air conditioning! *
1 month ago