Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Put to the Test

On July 3rd I will be spending the day not at a health spa, but rather at Washington Hospital Center to try to figure out what has been causing the bizarre health problems I have had in the past couple of weeks. The blurred vision I experienced after my yoga class last night had put me into a real panic, causing me to assume I had a brain tumor or some other fatal disease.

Ironically today was my scheduled yearly physical. By all the lab results from last week’s tests and my blood pressure and pulse, I would be extremely healthy. But something is going on that affects my vision and gives me periodic headaches.

I have never showed up for a physical with a list of any sort, but today I had a page of notes to prompt me to mention all the things going on with my body. Some were as mundane as occasional low blood sugar and frequent nightly trips to pee. Those got the ho-hum you’re getting older, eat every 4 hours response.

But my doctor had no ready explanation for the headaches and visions issues, so I will be having the following tests done:

– Cranial MRI with Gadolinium
– MRI of orbit with Sat suppression
– MRA of brain
– MRA of neck
– Carotid Doppler/ultrasound
– Echocardiogram

And while I’m there I will also get an X-ray of the hand I injured when I fell off my bike if it is still hurting.

The only problem we got resolved today was the removal of a big wad of wax from my left ear which had rendered me nearly deaf on that side. Bravo for simple remedies!

My doctor is fairly confident that I am not seriously ill, but she is a belt and suspenders kind of doctor who leaves nothing to chance.

She and the MRI scheduler both asked, “Are you claustrophobic?” To which I replied, “I don’t really know. I’ve never been locked up inside a capsule with a jackhammer pounding for a significant amount of time. I guess we’ll find out.”

I am grappling with the fact that my health is so much out of my hands, even though I get all my regular check-ups, take my thyroid meds, take my daily vitamins, exercise regularly, and try to eat well. Our bodies are very complicated machines that even the best-trained physicians sometimes don’t understand.

I will definitely be looking forward to a quiet evening on Thursday, July 3, after being tested... I almost said “to death”, but somehow that seems oddly inappropriate.


Blogger Pauline said...

On July 9, I will be thinking about you and hoping all goes well. Be sure to keep us posted...

2:51 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

I'm sure your meditation training will come in handy while in the MRI. If you are claustrophobic, they have those open ones too. You can reframe this experience as a health spa. ::Smile::: ((((hug)))))

3:26 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

You are in my thoughts. I hope all goes well!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

News flash: With a little cajoling I got them to move the tests up to Thursday, July 3. It will nice to put this behind me...

Thanks for all the support and encouragement!

4:09 PM  
Blogger KC said...

I know the tests will give you peace of mind, and, we all hope that all will be clear. Glad you are taking care of yourself.

7:31 PM  
Blogger wordwitch said...

Hello Barbara...having undergone a recent MRI over at Washington Hospital Center myself, I can tell you it's really not that bad. I simply lay there quietly, with my eyes closed, and let the rhythmic pounding send my head where ever it really wanted to go. They give you earplugs (which really help) and then you slide into the tube. If you close your eyes before you go in, you won't even realize how close the walls are - just lay there, relax, andlet the rhythm take you away.


9:33 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

KC -- I'm glad we both had a doctor who knows exactly what to do because I didn't have a clue when my eyes got blurry.

Marian -- Thanks for making this sound so easy and painless. I will put my meditation skills to the test and do exactly what you suggested. I hope your MRI pronounced you healthy.

9:52 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

Good luck with the tests! You must have extensive health care coverage to be able to take all those belt and suspender tests.

10:49 PM  
Blogger cyndy said...

I hope all goes well with the testing and they find a simple way to resolve those issues you've been having. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

11:05 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MC -- Anyone can take these tests. It remains to be seen what GEHA pays for. They are generally pretty good, though.

Cyndy -- Crossed fingers have gotten me through many a life crisis. Thanks!

11:18 PM  
Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

Call Dr. Craddock, please?

Love and more love, dear one.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Reya -- 9:30 am on Monday. Dr. C is the one who taught me the value of an osteopath, just one of many alternative forms of treatment.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

....of course this is a hard test to study for...

Hope you get an A+!

12:17 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

I'll be thinking of you and sending lots of positive energy your way tomorrow.
This too shall pass quickly.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Today's update: Here's just how good my doctor is. She personally called my insurance company to make sure everything would be covered. They declined to cover the MRI-orbit test and suggested something else in its place, so one less interval of pounding to endure tomorrow. Her office just called to give me the authorization number for the entire battery of tests tomorrow. It sounds like we won't have to sell the house to pay for this after all...

4:00 PM  
Blogger mouse (aka kimy) said...

I somehow missed this earlier....sending you lots of positive energy. best. namaste!

3:05 PM  

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