I’ve got a Christopher Walken SNL dvd, some of his best sketches as a guest host. It’s one of the things I can watch when I really need to laugh and can’t.
It’s going to be an interesting and challenging new year for me. On the surface of my life, all continues as it has: seeing clients, art-making, the usual goofiness that comes from living in a house with a very smart, creative, high-energy husband who lapses into cartoon talk when he thinks I look bummed. And last but certainly not least is our amazingly smart, silly, high-energy caramel tabby cat, who from time to time teams up with my husband to perform utterly ridiculous acts that are way funnier than I could possibly describe. They both have a way of calling forth feelings of pure and simple happiness on my part. [Latest of hundreds of cat’s nicknames: Fuzzbutton.]
But to the point. Over the last six months or so I’ve been experiencing multiple health symptoms that are neurological in flavor: rapidly increasing forgetfulness; mental fogginess; speech problems; increasing trouble completing thoughts when speaking to others (not all the time, but enough to cause concern); increasing balance problems that have sometimes resulted in falls while walking; at times forgetting what I’m doing while in the act of doing it; significant decrease in mental focus and ability to concentrate and complete tasks. From a diagnostic perspective, what my neurologist and I know so far after multiple tests is that I most likely don’t have early-onset Alzheimers.
And we now also know that there are some lesions on my brain that my doctor thinks are unusual for someone my age. And that they’re located in an area of the brain where multiple sclerosis often begins. BUT. There isn’t enough measurable evidence at this point to strongly suggest that I have MS. The next test would be a spinal tap to see whether there’s anything unusual about my cerebrospinal fluid. Unfortunately, it yields far from conclusive results, and is not considered to be an especially reliable diagnostic tool for MS. So my doctor and I agreed to take a “wait and see” approach for now, and run all of the same tests in a year, along with a spinal tap, to see if anything has changed. Of course if any of my symptoms become noticeably worse, or I develop additional symptoms between now and next December, we’ll go back to the drawing board. From what I have read, diagnosing MS is very difficult, as it has widely varying symptoms in each individual, many of which are not definitive.
All that having been said, I suspect that I do have MS, and that a few of my current symptoms that have been worsening actually started ten or more years ago. So let’s say I have it. Then what? There are medications to help decrease or manage some of the symptoms. My neurologist told me that many or most of them have terrible side effects, and said she would not recommend starting any of them if we think, in one year, that this is the illness I’m dealing with. And guess what? My oncologist also discouraged me from getting on these meds for another reason: in cancer survivors there is a much higher rate of developing new cancers as a result of some of these medications, particularly melanoma and lymphomas. So therein lies my possible dilemma.
YIKES. : 0
Hopefully I haven’t bored you to sleep with the dreary details of my health problems. I look forward to getting back to my sparky curmudgeonly self and once again making sparky and curmudgeonly posts here. It’ll happen.
Just not tonight.