Saturday, December 22, 2012

I'm Back . . . Finally!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Hospital Bed
By:  Nathan and Jenny

It’s been a year since I’ve done a blog post, a year filled with concern over some crazy health issues that came out of nowhere.  It all started around last Christmas, when I began having mild migraine headaches, along with a scary variety of migraine auras (actually called “ocular migraines” – who knew?).  These headaches, although not severe, were with me literally 24/7.  And that frequency lasted until March.  I was convinced I had a brain tumor.

By the end of March, I’d had an MRI that showed there was no brain tumor.  But there were other “issues” that needed to be investigated.  So began my yearlong odyssey of doctor, hospital and lab visits, which I will condense into a few paragraphs.  The first neurologist I saw put me on a treatment regimen that actually increased the frequency of my headaches.  So I switched to a team of doctors who sent me for tests.  Then they told me to see a hematologist, who ordered more tests, which identified a genetic mutation that has nothing to do with the headaches.  As of today, they’re pretty much gone, but I still get the auras daily, every time I’m exposed to bright light.  And nobody knows why the headaches began or why they’ve stopped.  It turns out that neurology is still in its infancy, because relatively little is known about the brain.

Adding to my health concerns, in October, I experienced the worst upper abdominal pain of my life.  I couldn’t sleep at all that night and almost went to the ER.  Instead, I saw my doctor first thing in the morning.  He asked if it could be food poisoning and if I’d been to a restaurant.  I told him I hadn’t, that I’d made a vegetarian stir-fry the previous evening, so it couldn’t have been food poisoning.   Well, because of the extreme pain and the abdominal swelling, he sent me to the ER, where I had several tests.  They found nothing that would account for the pain, but said I had a very high white count.  So I got an IV bag of antibiotics.  One of the tests did find a 6mm kidney stone, which was a shock.  And, although the stone wasn’t causing any immediate problems, I saw a urologist about it.  I’ll see him again in a few months to further assess the situation.  By the way, here’s a quick tip – the urologist said to drink Crystal Light lemonade if you have kidney stones, because the citric acid sometimes helps break them down.  (At least, I think that’s how he said it.)

So why all the terrible stomach pain?  Well, within three days, I was back to a normal diet and feeling absolutely no pain.  So I decided to have some of that veggie stir-fry before it started to go bad.  And within three hours of eating that damned thing, I was doubled over again.  Yes, I had poisoned myself twice on the same crap!  Because I added cauliflower, broccoli and snow peas after the other stuff was cooked, they never got hot enough to kill any bacteria.  And, although they say washing veggies with water is enough, I’m proof that’s not always the case.  I figure I must have needed another big doctor/hospital bill.

Anyway, after a year of anxious doctoring, I’m left wondering whether my gene cesspool will cause health problems in the future.  (Fortunately, it hasn’t made any trouble yet, and the doctors and I are hoping it never will.)  And I wish I knew what will happen with the kidney stone.  Will it suddenly start moving on Christmas Day, when I have 30+ people here?

Probably the first thing I ought to do is stop thinking about all of it and force myself to resume eating fresh vegetables without first soaking them in bleach.  But, for now, I think I’ll go mix up a batch of Crystal Light.