Posted in Archive, Novemeber 2020

Who to Turn To?

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After a week long stay I was finally discharged from one of our local hospitals yesterday evening. I was admitted due to pain in my left eye which has optic neuritis, it had become overwhelming, to the point I felt I had to apply pressure on my eye to relieve it. I had also lost the sensation in the bottom half of my right leg.

During my time in the hospital they decided to carry out a Lumbar Puncture and MRI knowing that my neuro team wanted to do these anyway. The LP side effects I’m still dealing with, I am still having issues with my bladder, my whole leg now has no sensation, and I have a permanent horrondous headache. Both tests came back clear which left the dr’s there confused. On discharge I was diagnosed with Complex neurological disorders and global sensory loss in the right leg, and told my neuro team would take over figuring out the cause.

Today I had an Opthalmology appointment at another hospital. The opthamologist in charge of my care is wonderful. I sat down, he faced me and said “So you have MS ” he was quiet matter of fact about it. I corrected him and pointed out that my tests had come back clear. He muttered that they were wrong and went on to examine my eyes. After several tests he sat back looked me in the eyes and again said “Rebecca you have M.S”. He was quite insisted that my doctor’s must have missed something on my scans due to the state my eyes were in.

So where do I go from here? Such wildly different view points, everyone agreeing that my local neurology team needs to see me again and review what the different teams have found. However getting hold of them is darn impossible. Both myself and my gp surgery contacted them a few days before I was admitted informing them I was going downhill, and needed input desperately. Neither myself or my gp’s surgery has had a response yet.

Right now I’m very emotional and very stressed. I’m taking things moment by moment and trying to just accept things as they are and get on with it. But I work best with action plans and right now I don’t even know who’s responsible for my care. I feel very lost in the system.

Posted in Archive, Novemeber 2020

Local Anaesthetic and Me

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When I was 17 weeks pregnant with my daughter I underwent surgery to remove a mole on the underneath of my right breast that had early cell changes. Due to the fact I was pregnant and it was a relatively short surgery they didn’t want to give me a general anaesthetic, so decided a local would do. Unfortunately my Ehlers-Danlos means I have no response to local anaesthetic and felt every cut, and every stitch. The whole process was rather traumatic and I’ve worked hard at trying to forget it.

I was admitted to my local hospital a couple of days ago due to worsening symptoms in my eye and leg. Due to this it was decided last night to bring my lumbar puncture forward to that evening. I explained that local anaesthetic does not work in the slightest for me. They decided to give me a double dose in the hope it would work; it didn’t, which I expected, maxfax team has tried injecting several times this amount with no effect previously. Now lumbar punctures are known to be painful anyway, so to know I was having one without effective pain relief was nerve wracking to say the least.

It was one of the most agonising experiences I have ever had. It took multiple attempts to place the needle correctly as they found the spaces inbetween the spinal collum to be be extremely narrow. It’s been just over twenty four hours since and I’ve struggled to move. My whole back is in horrondous pain, taking a deep breath or swallowing liquids really seems to agreviate it. I’ve also lost sensation over my waterworks which is concerning. I’ve spoken to the consultant but everyone’s answer over this is that I need an MRI, which apparently is booked but no can tell me a day or time.

I’m missing my kids loads but I know that being here is where I need to be. If this helps put a piece of the medical jigsaw in place and leads to better management that can only be a good thing. Just got to take everything one moment at a time.

Posted in September

What Can I Do For YouToday?

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What can I do for you today? It’s the standard greeting I find I’m met with at every doctors appointment, no matter the speciality. Perfectly poliet, open ended so therefore inviting me to dive in to the promblem that has brought me to their office. Expcept lately that is not how that questions makes me feel, it leaves me biting my sarcastic answer off of my tongue. Fix me, take my pain away, how about just stop my constant deterioation please and i’ll make do as I am but please press pause in the meantime. Let me correct myself, it’s not sarcasm, it’s truth, it’s honest words from a scared vulnerable person who wont utter them because I know the reality is the Drs are trying but their isn’t much they can do.

I was diagnosed yesterday with Trigeminal Neuragia, along with being informed they no longer expect the sight I’ve lost (the majority of it) in my left eye to return; I can see blurry outlines but I cannot work out shapes or distance. It was a bit of a hit emotionally as whenever I have had Optic neuritis before my sight has recovered fairly well, however this has been going on for a while now and if anything the pain has gotten worse behind my eye, it is incredibly intense. I’m trying not to dwell on this too much while we await my Evoked Potential results and wait for a date for my lumbar puncture test. Hopefully these tests will shed some light as to what is going on currently.

In the mean time I feel much like this blog; I am all over the place, one minute quite happy dealing with things as they come, the next frustrated that despite almost a decade of chronic illness a level of normality is yet to be reached. I’m still fighting against the current of deteriation. It may be as useless as trying to swim the wrong way around wild rapids but it helps to know that I am trying to do something to counter the every growing pill box.

Stock photo of pillbox

Posted in April 2014, Archive

Disappointed & Disheartened

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Yesterday I had my appointment up in London with my neurologist. I had been really looking forward to this appointment, as I wanted his opinion on a couple of things. Firstly on my new leg spasm and if there was any treatments he could suggest that could help it. I am taking 45mg/ml of Baclofen a day for it and whilst this is controlling it, it impacts my cognitive ability greatly. I am able to hold a conversation but anything that requires me to start actually using my brain and answering questions is too much and I am unable to do so, I end up relying on my mum or whoever is with me at the time to do so for me.The second thing I wanted his opinion on was on a type of splint that my physios are arranging for me to try called Second Skin. It’s a lycra based splint that provides  feedback to the brain, and it seems to work either really well or not at all.

For my leg he had no idea what to do other than keeping me on the Baclofen.  He is referring me for more intensive physiotherapy to see if that will help but other than that he was lost for ideas. So I guess all we can do is hope that these new splints when I try them work, because otherwise I do not know what to do. In regards to the splints he did not say too much, he said they could do no harm which is always good to know and that they may help but didn’t say much more on the subject.

The main reason I had been looking forward to yesterday’s appointment is that in a letter I had received from my neurologist the other week he had stated in it that he hoped to have an answer for me about my IV treatment for Neurological Lyme Disease by the time he next saw me. I took this as a positive statement when I read it as recently in conversations with my doctors it had all been looking like it could go ahead if someone could be found to oversee it. Sadly this is not this the case. The hospital that originally said this can be set up if you find a neurologist to oversee it, is now saying they want more evidence that I have Lyme. By evidence they mean a positive Lumbar Puncture result.

My neurologist has said that he can arrange for me to have a Lumbar Puncture very quickly and it is up to me whether or not I agree to go through with it. He is not very happy for me to have one done as it puts me at risk of developing new symptoms or my current symptoms getting worse. There is also the problem that I cannot actually guarantee I can stay still due to body spasms so for them to realistically be able to do the Lumbar Puncture I would have to be under a General Anesthetic. The tests for Lyme Disease are also extremely unreliable giving false positives and negatives, and with a years worth of oral antibiotics in my system its more likely to come back negative.

I started taking oral antibiotics for Neurological Lyme Disease this time last year, and we have battled for the correct treatment which is IV antibiotics for the last year. For a whole year I have been put under the impression that I would get IV it would just be a bit difficult to set up. Now I am extremely upset. All I have done since I left the hospital yesterday is cry on and off. The IV would not cure my Dystonia but it would cure my Lyme, and who knows how much of my body is that! I had all my hopes pinned on this!! I am terrified that now when they take me off my oral antibiotics, which I know will happen soon, that my symptoms like my hand spasms, that improved may come back. I could not cope with that!

My plan today is to phone a local private hospital that I know treat Lyme Disease and see if they will consider treating me without the Lumbar Puncture. If they won’t then I will have the Lumbar Puncture done as I would rather risk it and hopefully get treated then spend my whole life wondering what if I had done it.

I am feeling very lost, and sad right now and I know things can only get better. It’s just hard after spending a whole year having all my hopes pinned on this treatment to have it snatched away. On a positive note I did get my injections done, and he was so lovely and apologetic. I am lucky that I have him. I  just have to struggle on.

 

Posted in Archive, September 2013

Seething with Rage

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I am so angry right now. I have tried to get in to see my GP for about two weeks now, but as I have been unable to see him I asked him to phone me. I wanted to discuss having IV antibiotics arranged. When I saw my neurologist 5 weeks ago, he agreed that a lumbar puncture would do me more damage than good and that it was worth switching from oral antibiotics to IV.  My neurologist put all of this in a letter for my GP.

My GP is usual a great source of help, and I usually think he is fantastic – however usual is the key word here. Today was one of those days where he was exceptionally un-helpful and left me in a rage. He stated that he did not want to arrange it as it would be “complicated”, and he wants me to come in so he can explain why it was “complicated”. When I pointed out the reason I had not been into see him was because he was fully booked in the evenings when someone is at home to take me, he claimed that was nonsense – I had to bite my tongue at this point as I’m sure the receptionist would not lie to me for 2 weeks about him being booked up. He then asked to speak to my mother!!!! Now I am sorry but I am 20, why on earth is he asking this?! Now my mother comes to all my appointments with me, but really what is so complicated that he has to explain to my mum instead of myself?

I feel disgusted, disappointed and disheartened. He wants ANOTHER letter from my neurologist about IV treatment. Luckily I have an appointment with my Neurological Consultant next Tuesday, so I shall explain and ask him to write another one then,  but this is all beyond ridiculous. He already has one letter stating it, how will another one saying the same thing make any difference?

I could go privately and pay for the treatment myself, however it is very expensive and I don’t see why I should to do so, when my neurologist was happy for it to be done on the NHS. Why does the medical profession insist on picking a fight with me at every hurdle? All I want is to rid me body of the disease that caused my Dystonia, is that really too much to ask? After all if they had picked up on it 14 years ago I would not have Dystonia now!

 

Posted in Archive, August 2013

Amazing Consultant Appointment

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Today I went up to London for an appointment with my neurologist. It went fantastically well. This was only the second time he has seen me with my jaw not in spasm, the last time was our first meeting last October, and he seemed very happy that I was not in agony this time. As usual I went armed with some ideas/questions that I wanted to discuss with him.

He brought up the fact that I had seen the infectious disease doctor the other week, and said that he was happy for me not to have the blood tests and lumbar puncture, but would arrange it if I decided I wanted it, and he was happy for me to get my gp to arrange for me to have 2-4 weeks of IV antibiotics. I am thrilled at this, as it was not a conversation I expected to have with him and it went completely in my favour. I have been on oral antibiotics for several months now, and adding IV antibiotics into the equation should hopefully get rid of whatever Lyme is left.

I had my usual injections in my neck and jaw, however after discussing the ongoing issue of my glasses setting off more eye spasms he decided to inject Botox around my eyes to see if this helps improve things. I am really hoping this helps as I am meant to wear my glasses for pretty much everything, so for a fair while now I have dealt with everything being rather blurry.

I brought up with my consultant that I would like to have CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) to help me manage my pain triggered Non Epileptic Seizures and neuro-physiotherapy to see if that will help me with my spasms. He was great with this and agreed both would be a good idea and that if I went through my GP I would be able to have it done locally. He has also offered to speak to the neuro-physiotherapist, when I get assigned one, about my condition so that the physiotherapist understands it better and therefore can treat me appropriately.

Overall I am completely over the moon with how well the appointment went, and have left with a date in hand for my next lot of injections in six weeks time.