I have no doctor appointments, nor tests, for the next month. It’s been three months and a lot of professionals later… with no official diagnosis but many clues. And I’m okay with clues. The tilt table study, as I thought, came back normal so I don’t have POTS and that is good news. My symptoms share some similarities with POTS, but I’ve never fainted so there’s that. Smug little doctor man was right, but he could have been less dismissive about it.
The lovely hatch pattern on my shoulder from my fall Monday is healing nicely and I don’t seem to have any more permanent damage from it. So that’s more good news.
I’ve been keeping up with my metrics at work, but my body has felt very awkward about it.
Today I am scheduled for a home visit from Susquehanna Service Dogs, and the teenager has been working hard not only on decluttering the house but also cleaning. I intended to help more, but I came home from the neurovascular appointment yesterday, canceled the gym, took a shower and went to bed without dinner.
I slept more than nine hours. And I noticed at the doctor’s office my temperature was 98.3, which is actually high for me as I am usually around 97-point-something. I checked my watch and sure enough my temperature has been steadily creeping upward, but so has the sunshine and heat outside.
Regardless, I wasted last night by spending it cuddled with Louise instead of accomplishing anything. I knew I should have stopped for coffee on the way home.
The neurologist I visited yesterday was located in the Doctor’s Pavilion at the hospital, recommended by my neurologist/physiatrist, to consult with me about my aneurysm. It was a tiny office on the sixth floor of the building with a list of doctors and physicians assistants that had to be thirty people long. The waiting room was also small, and like a good patient, I arrived at 1:50 p.m. as they asked me to be there by 2 p.m. for my 2:15 p.m. appointment. And by some strange coincidence, I found a very convenient parking space.
I had also completed all my paperwork, confirmation and check-in online. They had me in the waiting room by 1:52 p.m. And despite the fact that I had a very compelling brand new ebook on my phone, The 8-Ball Magic of Suzie Q by Jody J. Sperling, I was way too exhausted and a tad too lightheaded to read it.
Instead, I people watched. As the small waiting room grew more and more crowded. A woman in a wheelchair that didn’t fit in the actual seating area. Her caretaker. A thin woman with bronze skin who didn’t look up and had a cane. A woman with bold tattoos who argued in Spanish with a burly man who spoke on his red iPhone once she left for her appointment. (She appeared to be the only one close to my age.) A large African American man whose accent revealed he may have had cognitive issues either from a congenital disability or a stroke– I was in a neurologist’s office waiting for a neurovascular assessment. And several more who arrived as my name was called. It was very claustrophobic.
My medical assistant introduced herself as Franky, while her nametag revealed her full name was Francesca. She said she loved my name and said it was her brother’s name. My name harkens back to my birth story, so I always experience a pang of weird sensation when someone mentions it. It’s a mix of gratefulness to be alive and also a split second decision of what do I keep to myself and what do I share.
I usually keep to myself.
Franky warned me that my providers were running behind and that they probably would not arrived until 2:40 p.m. and if they arrived later than that, she would check on me. I spent the next half hour staring out the window, and studying the models of spines. Without touching of course.
By physician’s assistant arrived at 3 p.m. and used a lot of big words, showed me an image of my aneurysm (which is on the vessel between my left eye and my nose) and explained our plan of monitoring this tiny balloon of blood in my brain. (My phrase, not hers. I don’t know her big words.)
As long as the right side of my body doesn’t suddenly experience numbness or other hemiplegia (that’s my word– I know that one from cerebral palsy lingo) or as long as I don’t start experience the worst headaches I’ve ever experienced in my life, I’m good. With a less than 1% chance per year of something happening. But should either of those things happen, I am to visit the ER immediately.
After a thorough neurological exam, I headed home, leaving the hospital around 3:30 p.m. I don’t normally drive the highways at that time, and since the Lehigh Valley has so many medical professionals it seems the 3 p.m. time has a ridiculous amount of traffic. And I still can’t believe the number of people who cannot merge. You can tell from their driving that they are terrified.
Here’s hoping I can stay awake past 6:30 p.m. tonight.