Today was the new neurologist appointment. To say that I went into it with trepidation, is like saying that ice caps are cold. I had put a lot of hope in this appointment and I was prepared to be disappointed. Because I’m an optimist like that.
My appointment was for 3 and I had to be there 15-20 minutes early, so I left my class (with permission) when we took at break at 2:30 and walked over. I checked in and waited. And waited. And because I had gotten this appointment as a favor, I really couldn’t complain about it. Out loud at least.
At 4:15, I got called back, had my blood pressure taken and waited. At 4:30, the Nurse Practioner came in and did the most disorganized neuro exam ever. I swear, I could hardly follow her questions. Hi, I don’t have any idea why I have a permanent upward Babinski. Is brain damage not a good enough answer?
At 4:45 Dr. S came in, with the Nurse Practioner and a neuro resident. She asked a few questions and admitted that she was puzzled and concerned. But she was not deterred. She was astounded at the fact that it’s been 5 weeks since my head didn’t hurt and that I’d managed as well as I did. Not for one minute did I feel like she thought I was exaggerating or making a mountain out of a molehill. She took it seriously and for that, among MANY other things, I am so grateful.
She did a quick exam (there are some minor concerns over my eyes, but otherwise everything checked out) and said she wants to scan me “until we find something” because she believes that there has got to be something there. Which is both nice to hear in terms of not being a crazy person, and also scary-ass serious sounding. She thinks that because the pain is so localized, there must be something in the back of my brain causing it.
She threw out a few guesses, like a venous blockage, an aneurysm (not sure how those are different and I’m sure as hell not researching. (Who am I kidding, OF COURSE I’m going to research it.)), a tumor or a fistula from my surgery, among other things. She also thinks that my headaches indicate low pressure which would make perfect sense if my duraplasty isn’t holding well. How exactly we treat that, I
have not yet researched do not know.
In the end I walked out with an order for an MRI of my brain with and without contrast, an MRA, an MRV and a CSF flow study and a follow up appointment in 2 weeks. I also walked out with a prescription for a new, non-narcotic pain killer, and hope.
Because we’re running the tests. We’re investigating and we’re determined.
If my hopes were high before, they’re out of this universe now. Because she cared and she WANTS to help me. And I’ve been to a lot of doctors before, but I’ve never had one grab my hand in hers and offer me a promise that she would figure it out.
And I’m clinging to that like it’s my last hope. Because, when you get right down to it, it is.