Monday, 22 November 2010

still health

I need to write about my trip to Costa was amazing. Hopefully I can find my camera and rustle something up.

In the meantime, things are good here. I feel crappy but only in a jet-lag-why-can't-i-sleep-why-can't-I-stop-sleeping sort of way, so that's fine. I was delighted to find that 'my' migraine doctor is still at the clinic and have an appointment on Thursday to see him. I am trying to ignore the fact that I have to be at his clinic for 8.30 am....I even managed to sort it all out in German, so that's OK. From my brief conversation with the receptionist, I won't be the first person presenting with hemipleigc/basilar migraines which is both heartening and disheartening as you can imagine.

Tomorrow I am going to try to haul ass into Zurich and get a few things done...but then again I ma still be in bed at tea time!

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Health update

Well, first of all, it is good news. Thenfirst thing the doctor told me today was that there was definitely no bleed, new or old, in my brain. In fact, he was very unhappy with the way that the scans had been read...he said that the anomaly was clearly a blood vessel in my brain and that what had been reported was just so wrong. To add insult to Injury, the person doing the reporting completely contradicted themselves at the end of the report and didn't even notice. At the end of the consultation the doctor showed Number Guy and myself the actual scans and took a lot of time and trouble going through them to show us exactly why he thought that there was no indication of a stroke.

During the examination it became obvious that I do still have altered sensation in my right foot....this became very obvious as I was feeling rather blasé aboutnthe blunt pin that he was testing my foot with. he then used the same blunt pin on my fingers and I nearly shot off the examination table. He said thatbthis sort of numbness is very common with migraine, as is my word-finding issue. He thinks that I had a basilar or hemiplegic migraine. I have given a couple of URLs at the bottom of the post. To be honest they don't really explain theybtype of thing that can happen, possibly because it is pretty scary, I don't know. A quick Google will bring up lots of information should you wish to know more.

the doctor said that he has followed patients who have had very, very severe attacks of this sort. To the extent that they mimic a stroke even more than mine did. A lot of these patients never have another episode, so it really is a case of getting on with my life. He didn't categorize the attack as either the basilar or the hemiplegic as I think I was fortunate enough not to have enough symptoms to make the differential diagnosis but he is confident that it is 'that sort of thing'. He didn't want to do anything about my meds as he, quite rightly, felt that it had taken a lot of adjusting in the past to get to where I am now. I did, however, ask him if he could do anything about my sleep, which over the past few months has been very bad. Now that I know my brain isn't frying I felt that this was the single thing that would help the most. I was very hestitant about asking since in the UK there is still quite a stigma attatched to sleeping medication......woman+ sleeping tablets = neurotic. The doctor thought that it was a very reasonable request and apart from the huge relief at the diagnosis I am looking forward to what I hope will be the best night's sleep I have had in months.

apologies if theere are glaring typos in this post....I haven't worked outnhow to scroll up,through the text when I am typing on my iPad, so oncenit goes beyond the top limit I can't get back to it.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Strokes are the new black

As some you will be aware, a well-known blogger had a stroke earlier this year. It seems that I cannot let her have all the fuss and attention, so I had my own mini-strokes, or Transient Ischaemic Attack, this morning. You will have gathered, obviously, that the fact that I am typing away here some ten hours later means I am ok.

I woke up early this morning and was very confused about where I was. This in itself is not unusual since we have been travelling so much this year. But, I just could not work out where I took me a while to realise that I was in the US with my husband....and I am not sure that I thought of him as Number Guy but on,y as 'husband'. I tried to get out of the bedroom, but I couldn't work out how to do it. I got to the bedroom door and couldn't figure out how to open it. This sort of thing sometimes happens when I am sleepwalking, but I was definitely awake. I got a bit upset at this point and am not sure what happened next. Somehow I managed to get out and I visited the bathroom and then went to speak to Number Guy, who was in the living room. Just as well I did. I remember asking him to 'hold me' and then I basically fell over. Luckily he grabbed me or I would have been face first into the table and then onto the floor. My right arm started to shake and spasm and my vision went completely black with yellow stars.

finding a hospital with an Emergency Room was a bit of a farce....however things were resolving a bit. By the time I was seen, which was very quickly after we found the right place, I had some ataxia on my rightnside and I still felt very odd. I have had an MRI scan and it has revealed an 'old bleed that they are not worried about'. Well, I am because my migraine doctor arranged an MRI scan earlier this year and he made a big point of telling me that it was all clear and to tell doctors that if any future scans show damage. So this old bleed is notmactive now but it has happened in the last year.

so as you can imagine, I am a bit shaken. We have delayed our return to Switzerland by a week.I need to have a follow-up,appointment with a neurologist and we need to leave enough time to make sure that this is not a precursor to a major stroke, although the hospital say that if they were concerned aboutnthat they would have admitted me.

Friday, 12 November 2010

That'll be $700.....

so....second line antibiotics are not shifting sinus infection. ECG confirmed that although my QT interval is a bit long, it isn't so long that these new antibiotics are going to give me arrythmias (!). Howerver, both the antibiotics and the prednisolone can cause rutpured Achilles's tendon and other tendon issues (!!), so being on both means increased increased risk (!!!). So far, the total for the two visits plus medication is about
$700. (!!!!). So.....who is lucky to have health insurance, eh?

Other than continuing my medical Mystery Shopper job, I have just been chilling out here. We are going to spend the weekend lazing around, possibly going out for a bite or two to eat. Walking slowly. Watching those tendons....

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Books....Billie Girl

This novel by Vickie Weaver is desribed on the back as

Southern Gothic, dark humor and human sexuality, wrapped up in the theme of mercy killing :Billie Girl, b. 1900

I loved the start of the book, the description of how Billie, a baby who just won't stop crying, ends up being looked after by her two Moms. And then......well, it just didn't work for me. I am not always interested in the stories of the supporting cast, but in this novel there is something very unusual about Billie's adoptive parents. It is finally mentioned in the text and then, nothing. Now, it's pretty unusual and I am left with a WTF? feeling when there is absolutely no back story attatched. The book then meanders through Billie's life with a few rather odd bits thrown in, such as a graphic description of how to deal with menstrual cramps. Again, I was left somewhat bemused by this inclusion. OK, the blurb does mention human sexuality, but it doesn't feel like an exploration of said sexuality to me. Rather, it feels as if the author has suddenly remembered to put something of that ilk in and just rams the text wherever it (doesn't ) fit. I could ramble on, but I won't.

I feel like I have been very harsh about this book, and I wish I could have said lots of great things about it, but I can't. However, in this case it is probably down to personal taste, perhaps, rather than anything terminally wrong with the book. Unlike some prizewinners, I wouldn't be amazed if other people did enjoy this book. It held enough promise for me that I would have a go with another book by this author, if I get my hands on one.

Scores on the door...5 out of 10