Yesterday I went to visit both a Neurologist, and my rheumatologist. It’s a long ride both ways and all that sitting in the waiting room made me hurt after a while.
The neurologist had me do a few balance tests, like stand on your tip toes, stand on your heels, stand up straight with your eyes closed. I had some trouble with the “standing on my heels” one, and I don’t know if it was noticeable to him, but when I stood with my eyes closed I felt like I was leaning to one side.
We talked about Chiari Malformation. Being my first appointment, I know he didn’t want to make assumptions or scare me at all, so he told me that “Chiari is common and most people just monitor it rather than getting the surgery.” With the state I’m in right now, this is not what I wanted to hear, but I went with it. I told him about the vertigo but he doesn’t think that it’s the Chiari, I sorta disagree with that but I’m not a doctor, all the symptoms just feel so related to me. He is having me get an MRI on my Cervical and Thoracic spine to see if I have a Syrinx. A syrinx is a pocket of fluid that forms in the spinal column, and is caused by the Chiari. It can cause pain, headaches, numbness, tingling, and in more severe cases, paralysis. I don’t want to jump to conclusions right now but it wouldn’t surprise me if I have one, because of all the pain my neck and back are in all the time. It seems that if I do in fact have a syrinx, the doctor leans more towards surgery at that point.
So that’s it for now, get an MRI and go back in 4 weeks. I said to my mom “I feel like I just got an extension on my prison sentence.” I guess I don’t really know why I thought I could be helped that quickly….I guess I was just hoping for more answers or some kind of relief, considering this shit is running my life right now. I wanted to cry but I had to hold it together for my Rheumatology appointment.
The rheumatologist is great, her staff is awesome, and I never mind going there. It was kind of a long wait, and sitting was starting to make me hurt, but she actually REALLY helps her patients so it doesn’t make me mad to wait for her.
We summarized my neuro appointment with her, and told her about the vertigo. I did bring up the possibility of the vertigo being cymbalta withdrawl, but when I think about it now, I’ve been having the vertigo for a lot longer than I’ve been off the cymbalta.
She said that I looked good, that she notices a change in me. I guess I don’t feel it yet but if something’s changed then that’s good to hear. She is bumping up my methotrexate dose from 3 tabs to 5, and she thinks it should really help my joints feel better. I had some blood drawn to check my liver just to make sure it’s ok for me to do so, and I’ll call to get the results.
So that’s it for now. I feel like it’s a little bit of a fight to stay optimistic right now but I refuse to be any other way.