Monday, November 2, 2009

I think I would have rather had the flu

A week ago on Saturday, I started not feeling good. I really thought it was just bad allergies. I didn't have a fever, but I had a sore throat, congestion and a headache. I took some migraine medication, but the headache stayed just under the surface all day. I felt better on Sunday, so we went to church. I didn't want to miss church for 2 reasons. First, it was the primary program. I love the primary program every year. Second, it was Andrew's first time to pass the sacrament. It was a great Sacrament meeting. We left after sacrament though.

I felt fairly normal, except the sore throat, for most of the day. Around midnight that night, everything changed. I got a sudden severe migraine and had a fever of 100.6. I took some migraine medication, but couldn't take anything for the fever since I had taken 2 Aleve prior to my Avonex (the shot I take for my MS). I took another migraine pill at 2, the slept for about 30 minutes. At this point, my fever was 101. By 6am, my head hurt so bad that I couldn't stop crying even though it hurt my head to cry. I took some Demerol and tried to sleep. I ended up moving to the recliner though because it hurt too bad to lay down. By this time, I had a severely stiff neck. I went to the doctor at 9:30 that morning. They ruled out strept throat and flu, but he was really concerned I might have meningitis. He sent me over to Seton SW ER. It didn't take them long to get me back and get the IV started. They gave me some morphine with some phenergan. It took the edge off the headache, but didn't take it away. The second dose of morphine brought the headache down to about a 4/10.

Now the fun really began. To find out if I had meningitis, they had to do a spinal tap. I have had a number of these in my life for various reasons. This was my 11th spinal tap. Needless to say, I have a lot of scar tissue in my lower back. I also have chronic low back pain. They failed to get the spinal tap in the ER, so sent me to have it done under x-ray. That failed 3 times, so they transfered me to the main Seton hospital to have a neuro-radiologist do the tap. It took him 3 attempts to finally get spinal fluid. So, 8 huge needles into my back to find out I didn't have meningitis. They diagnosed me with viral upper respiratory infection with sinusitis. They sent me home on antibiotics and symptomatic care. Like I said, I would have rather had the flu.

Today is the first day that I have felt normal. I found that I actually missed going to the gym while I was sick. I went today and did water aerobics. I managed 35 minutes, but felt exhausted after about 20 minutes. It's going to take a little bit to get my stamina back to normal.

The good news for the day though came from my neurologist. I saw her this morning for a normal follow up visit. She said my reflexes are almost normal except my left arm. I have hyperactive reflexes as a part of my MS. They are now only 2+ rather than 3+. I also have less spasticity to my legs. She was very pleased with how I am doing from a MS stand point. The only new abnormality is that my left pupil is bigger than my right and my left eye-lid is drooping. She said that could be from the migraine, so we will just watch that for now. I don't have to go back to the neurologist for 6 months unless I have a new problem develop. Seeing the neuro every 6 months is normal for most MS patients when they are doing well. She is sticking with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis as my diagnosis. There is still no diagnostic test supporting that diagnosis, but I wouldn't be doing so well on the Avonex if it was some other neurological disease. I have found lately that I am a little paranoid about my MS. I have gone 18 months without a flare. I feel as close to normal as I have since this whole thing started. I just wonder when the bottom is going to fall out. I guess I should just count my blessings. I went through more than 2 years of the unknown. I'm grateful for how well I am doing and I am grateful that I found such a wonderful neurologist who will listen to me and know that I am not just crazy.

1 comment:

Petertammenson said...

Oh, you are so lucky to have a great doctor! And yes, I wish you'd just had the flu too!
AND I wish I had seen Austin Ward'd newest deacon pass the sacrament! Awww!