Friday, January 30, 2015

Learning new words the hard way - Diplopia and fistula

This past Sunday, I ran in the Hot Chocolate 5K.  it was cold, but I enjoyed myself.  I didn't break any personal records, but I finished.  By the afternoon Sunday, I had a mild headache.  The headache continued through Monday.  Monday night, though, things changed.  My vision went wonky.  Figuring I was tired, congested, etc, I went to bed.  Tuesday morning, my vision hadn't fixed itself, I was seeing double.  I told hubs, he took daughter to school.  Tuesday evening, I went in to Kaiser's urgent care to get checked out.  They ran me through the stroke indicators, which came up ok.  I was diagnosed with headaches and diplopia and referred to get an MRI Wednesday.

Wednesday came, my headache was much better, though the vision hadn't fixed itself.  Son woke up not feeling well (very sore throat, congestion, pain breathing). So I called Kaiser and arranged to have him seen just before my MRI.  The "fun" started after I'd gotten the MRI.  I returned to Urgent care (since that was where I started) to get the results.  The results showed an abnormality the Doctor wanted followed up on. He called a neurologist, who had him call a neurosurgeon, who had him send me back to get a CT scan.  Can I just say the dyes they use for contrast suck?  I really disliked the one before the CT scan.

Anyway, I was returned to Urgent care while I waited on my results yet again.  Results came back with cause for concern.  The diagnoses aren't very helpful but were : anomaly of cerebral arteriovenous system, abnormal skull and head imaging, headache, diplopia.  What it MEANS is effectively this:

The veins and arteries run fairly closely together.  They normally maintain distance, though, and don't touch.  I have a pair that are trying to perform a merger (arteriovenous dural fistula).  Currently there is no bleeding between the two (the MRI & CT confirmed this).  It is fixable, I have been referred to a neurosurgeon.  The neurosurgeon commented to the doctor that he retains the right to refer me to Emory to a vascular surgeon.

For now, my eyes are still showing double vision which means I can't drive.  I've been given steroids to try to reduce swelling/irritation on that area of the brain.  The hopes is that it will help my vision resolve itself.  My headache is pretty well gone. I have to be aware that if it comes back suddenly or increases that I'm to call 911 (not the doctor).  Otherwise, I'm stable and ok.
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