As you can tell by the blog-post bombing, I actually have some time today to sit down and write about what’s been going on around these parts.
This morning I had a follow-up appointment with my neurologist to go over my test results. I initially saw him regarding how easily my hands and feet get so cold, which I wrote about here. I also had some blood work done, and went back to his office so he could shock me and stick a long-ass needle into my muscles (which he didn’t warn me about, which in hindsight is a good thing or I really would have dreaded that visit even though the needle didn’t hurt much) to test my nerves’ response.
Well, the doctor said my nerves are perfectly fine and most of my blood work is too. From a purely neurological standpoint, I’m healthy. There was one troublesome area, however – my anti-nuclear antibody test came back abnormal which indicates the possibility of some auto-immune disease. This really doesn’t come as much of shock to me because I’m convinced I do have some type of autoimmune disease since I’m always having strange symptoms come and go. Plus I’ve had tests in the past that have indicated this although nothing is ever diagnosed. So my next step is to see a rheumatologist for further testing.
I brought along my sleep-study results for the neurologist to review and explained about the episodes I have where about 20-30 minutes after drifting off I will wake up suddenly feeling like I can’t breathe and/or like there’s a presence in the room. He said this can happen to people with an autoimmune disease such as lupus, although it happens to healthy individuals as well. So I asked him his opinion on the safety of Xanax since I read that it can cause dementia. He said that my dose (.25 mg) is too low, plus that usually occurs in people 60+.
Then I asked him what he though of Lexapro, which my psychiatrist prescribed for my anxiety and depression (although surprisingly the depression went away on it’s own as soon as I made the appointment, which is so typical). He said it’s really good and would help with my sleep issues and is actually good for your brain. So maybe I will take it after all. I had started taking it before Christmas but just a half dose of 5 mg made me so nauseated I decided to postpone taking it until after the holidays and have been hemming and hawing ever since. I really don’t like the idea of taking medication, but maybe I should give the Lexapro a chance. He did say the nausea goes away after a couple of days, so if I start it on a Friday, hopefully my body will adjust before I have to go back to work on a Tuesday.
Finally, I mentioned to him that sometimes lately when I’m trying to watch TV I notice that following the action on screen tends to hurt my eyes and at the same time the back of my neck seems stiff, but he didn’t think it was migraine-related (even though my eye doctor did). In fact, he thought it was just eye strain. He also didn’t think much of this one incidence I described from two weeks ago where I was sitting at my desk at work and out of nowhere I felt like I was spinning. He said this can happen to anyone. I was worried that perhaps my ENT misdiagnosed me and something neurological is wrong with me but the doctor doesn’t think so and even looked at my MRI results again.
I do like my neurologist because he seems very thorough and thoughtful, so I have to trust he wouldn’t be telling me I’m fine neurologically if I wasn’t. It just annoys me that the balance/dizziness my ENT has been working with me on is not improving. This means I need to schedule physical therapy which I didn’t want to do. I told Joe this was going to be the year of no doctors, since I’m fed up with it all, but obviously that’s not going to happen.