Monday, June 10, 2013
After weeks of waiting, what I have is two appointments, one in July for a heart monitor, and one in September for a carotid imaging test, a Doppler, I think. The July appointment was made the day after my visit with the neurologist, but the second one, to see how badly my right carotid is blocked, wasn't made till weeks afterward, because Kaiser changed policy in the midst of the process. As it was explained to me, the doc coded the test for vascular imaging, which used to go through special services. That was changed, so that now such requests are to go through radiology. Could the appointment people figure this out? No. Instead, they kicked the whole thing back to the doc, for her to start anew, scheduling through radiology instead. Weeks wasted, appointments filling up, so that now I won't be tested till after Labor Day. Kaiser used to have ads about Thriving with Kaiser, but I don't think they use them any more. No wonder. Sigh.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Such a different morning from yesterday. Grey outside, our May grey, which will burn off by midmorning. Fear has dissipated as will the overcast, just a bit lingering, and today I am just tired. Although we were on time for my appointment, the doctor wasn't. She takes time with her patients, far beyond that scheduled, so that, as the day progresses, she gets further and further behind. When I finally talked to her, after two hours, she took time to ask lots of questions, most of which we could answer. She looked at the MRI and MRA and told us the opposite of what DR T had said. The MRA looks good, nice blood flow through the brain, some question about the carotids, but the MRI shows white spots. Most are old, could be TIAs, could be from migraines, definitely multiple microvascular injuries. She wants more tests, so I will be off to Anaheim in July, because that's the first opening in that clinic, to monitor heart rate. I will be called for another appointment for new imaging with the vascular group. Referral to an opthamologist. I had blood tests again. She thinks the problem is with my eye, not in my brain. This is the opposite of Dr S's diagnosis. Two good doctors, at odds with each other. Weighing the choices, do I prefer to have a good brain and a bad eye? I think so, and I'm quietly satisfied that I can think about it at all.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Fear of the unknown is universal. No matter how we try to calm ourselves, there is always lurking, at the back of our minds, dread that something we don't expect is waiting for us. Today we finally meet the neurologist to learn what the MRA really showed, what it was that caused Dr T to call, after sending us home, to say he'd referred me to Neurology. Because there was such a lack of haste in setting the appointment, I am assuming that there's nothing really wrong, that the chronic ischemic changes are just typical for my age and probably the result of migraines and not TIAs. That is what I want to hear. The MRI eliminated the big four causes, the huge monsters of tumor, stroke, aneurysm, MS, so that what is left is only tiny monsters, white blobs on photos of slices of my brain. What I really expect is to be sent off for more testing, with few answers today, just more questions. Nevertheless, my heart is racing a bit as I wait for this day to begin.
Written three weeks ago and left in DRAFT... Waiting is always difficult, and this morning is no exception. I am waiting for a phone call that has not come. Instead I've had a robocall from the library that I have materials on hold, and a yet another call from some home improvement company that insists that we spoke last January. I do not have time or energy to waste on these calls. A few days ago I went with friends to see Emperor, a fascinating story, based on fact, about MacArthur's treatment of the Japanese emperor in the war-criminal trials that followed Japan's capitulation. As we left the theater I noticed that my left eye was not behaving properly. I was not driving, and as the trip progressed, my vision regressed, so that by the time I was home, my left-eye vision was, left of center, only a grey blur. Within an hour it returned, leaving only a mild headache and a feeling of slight nausea. Yesterday, as I was having toast and coffee, Ray still asleep, this recurred. There were no changes in light values, just the disappearance of letters on my Kindle. I lay down for a bit and my sight returned, but the nausea and headache remained. I sent an email to Dr Pak reporting this, asking if this could be an ocular migraine. An hour or so later Dr Pak's PA called and said that I should go to Urgi-Care immediately. I clocked in at 2:09 PM, able to see clearly, but with nausea, headache and a bit of vertigo. For nearly two hours we waited, until finally Dr Seifert came in. She said that she didn't think there was anything wrong with my eyes, but more likely something in my brain. She then mentioned several things that could cause these symptoms: aneurysm, tumor, MS, atherosclerosis, and, my personal favorite, migraine. She ordered an MRI and an MRA, but there was a four-hour wait till the next opening. She said she'd keep us on the board, but we could go home for dinner and then return.