Thursday, December 8, 2011

Distractions...

If I have seemed a little distracted recently, there is a reason.  A pretty good one.

Let's just say that I wish Dr. House really existed, but since he doesn't (at least not in a way that we can access him directly) it's a really good thing that nothing going on with me health wise is more than just really irritating.

About six months ago I started noticing that the center of my vision in my right eye seemed a bit more blurry than usual.  OK - time for an eye exam.  But since I don't have vision insurance I had to wait for a Specialicious (think Groupon for Northern Virginia) coupon to go to the optometrist in September.  Thing was, my vision hadn't changed.  Well, maybe the need for reading glasses has finally appeared just before my 42nd birthday (12/12), but other than that, nothing.

OK - maybe it was the material my glasses are made from getting the better of me.  The optometrist suggested I see an ophthalmologist and have her prescription confirmed.

On to eye doc #2.

She didn't see anything but suggested I go to a nuero-opthamologist, and here is where things get tricky.  You see, the nuero-opthamologist she recommended is in another state and doesn't take my health insurance.  Payment was due when I got there and would be more than $300.

Yeah - not happening.  So I didn't make the appointment, figured that there had to be a nuero-opthamologist in my state that took insurance and vowed that I would figure it out eventually.  Tucked it onto the back burner and decided that everything else in my life took precedence over this annoyance that probably was nothing anyway.  Hey, I'm the mom of a 5 year old who's fighting dyspraxia (and winning, I might add) going to 2 different schools as well as speech and OT.  I live in the car.  The last thing I need is to be told that something is seriously wrong so ignoring seemed the prudent thing.

Guess how that went.

Before I go anything further, you should know this does have a happyish ending.  No tears here, not for me anyway.  I am lucky we think, but you still need to hear this story because ignoring is not the thing to do when you sense something is wrong and I learned that again in the past month or so.

You see, I fell.  Not once, but twice.  And these weren't little trips.  I mean full out fall down the stairs or driveway, smack your head, tear up your knee and sprain your ankle falls.  Dizzy spells, migraines, more blurred vision to the point of not being able to see at all falls.  For those of you in my life the reason most of you don't know about these spells is because, well, with everything else going on in my life the boy who cried wolf kept coming to mind.  I didn't want to scare everyone needlessly.  For those few who do know, thank you so much for your support and for yelling at me to get my butt to the doctor.

So, with the LOUD encouragement of the neighbors who witnessed at least one of the falls (the really bloodly one that scared the kids - yikes) I went to first a neurologist who sent me to the nuero-opthamologist and for an MRI.  The nuero-opthomologist sent me to a retina specialist and now we kinda, sorta have some answers.  We know what it's not.

It's not MS.

It's not a tumor.

It's not a scar on my retina.

It's not the Lyrica I take for the fibromyalgia.

After that, the list of what it could be is much easier to swallow.

So far, the most likely suspects are the beginnings of a cataract - potentially trauma based - for the eye.  And for the migraines, dizzy spells, etc. the words post concussive disorder were mentioned as a potential as well.

Yep that lovely disorder that has been in the news for all our sports heroes who've been hit in the head more than once.  You know - football players, boxers, hockey players.  Well, it seems that if you have been in a car accident where your car decided to hug a tree (1994) the odds of you walking away without a concussion, no matter how small, are slim.  Especially if the car in question was built in the 1980s and didn't have airbags.  Add another 4 car accidents that involved whiplash over the course of 20 years, a few incidents of hitting my head against walls literally and at least one incident where I had a black eye and you have a shot at having post concussive disorder. Good news if this is what's going on - there is so much money being thrown at this problem right now there may actually be a solution in the next 10 years.

So, reason number 2 for this blog post.  Hey folks - watch your heads!  Wear that helmet when you bike, ride your motorcycle, skateboard, etc.  If/when you are in a car accident go to your doc and be checked out for a concussion.  If you fall down go to your dock and be checked for a concussion.  The same for your kids!

You see, it seems that no matter how small the concussion there could be consequences later, much later.  That black eye - 1991.  The car accidents - pre-2002.  Head meeting walls - pre-1988.

And none of them raised any red flags for concussion back then.

Some of you reading this have had kids checked for concussions this year.  Boy did they hate it when you told them they couldn't play .  Please - tell them about me.  A photographer, lover of art, reader, writer and computer marketing person who is having to search for a diagnosis for losing sight in her right eye and coming up with - I probably hit my head more than once when I was a kid.

So yes, good news.  Not one of the potential causes of my vision blurriness is something we need to be really worried about.  I am incredibly lucky that way.  And if this can serve as a reason for you to make sure you watch your or your kids' heads it is worth it.

Bad news - if it is a cataract, I caught it so early I can't do a darn thing about it for at least 10 years.

Rats.

1 comment:

Cat's Litterbox said...

WOWZERS!!! What a lot to be dealing with! Glad to hear that you got it checked out, but sorry to hear about the falls! I'm praying that you get everything fixed and that you're without any pain!!!