This will be a brief update -- I'm sorry for the lack of posts recently, but I've just been essentially in a downward spiral and trying to cope with it.
The news is that I was diagnosed yesterday with optic neuritis, which essentially is inflammation of the optic nerves. My vision has been weird lately and I've had eye pain and increased headaches (apparently triggered by my eyes), so I went to the eye doctor. After a long computerized test of my vision, I showed significance loss of vision in the bottom part of my retina of my right eye, and a much smaller loss in my left eye.
A photo of my retina showed no damage to the actual eye, so the doctor said that generally means it's inflammation pressing on the optic nerves.
As you may already know, that's a fairly common symptom in multiple sclerosis and often the symptom that leads to diagnosis. Interestingly, I found out that Portland (and Seattle) are considered to have the highest per capita rates of MS. A little scary, especially since I'm rearing a native Portlander, but it also means that we allegedly have some of the best MS experts in the country if not the world.
So I've got a name of a doctor to call on Monday (this all came about just before 5 p.m. on Friday so there was no chance of calling then) and will hopefully get an appointment soon.
My internist says that while I had a brain MRI done a little over a year ago that showed no plaque (the radiologist said my brain was unremarkable, which I strongly disagreed with :), MS docs prefer contrast to be used and often have preferences for a certain kind of contrast that best shows plaques. So we'll see. Dr. Takano said it was also not uncommon for symptoms to show up before things had progressed enough to show up on the scans, so that's another possibility.
Meanwhile, we're trying not to jump to any conclusions about what this might mean. The eye doctor and my internist say that sometimes optic neuritis just happens spontaneously so we're not making any assumptions. I'm still a medical mystery and this could all be yet another red herring.
I'll keep you updated.
Fyi, our DSL is out until possibly Thursday. (I'm currently "borrowing" a neighbor's ... thanks, Joan! :) So don't be surprised if I'm not as reachable as normal via email.
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