Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Shakeup in the symptom log

Well, caught in the limbo between "not a big deal" and "potentially life-changing".  Which, as you know, is a huge variance.  At this point, I have no diagnostics.  I wish they were easier and/or quicker.  I hate the parade of specialists.  I also hate the process of ruling out everything else under the sun before you pinpoint that yes, you are more susceptible to autoimmune disorders and whatever you are experiencing is probably related. 

So before I even start...
Yes, I am doing yoga.  No, I don't need a new mattress.  No, I didn't herniate a disc in my back.  No, I didn't do this to myself by running too much. 

Symptom Log:
July 8:  Wake up in the early a.m. with back pain/discomfort.  Too severe to comfortably go back to sleep.  Thought it odd.
July 9-14:  Nighttime back pain gets worse, to the point where I am not sleeping at all during the night.  Up, down, pacing, stretching, yoga poses, crying, cursing from about midnight to 7am every day.  Feel crazed with pain and exhaustion.  Pain shakes off during the mid-morning hours, and aside from being tired and worried, lead a fairly normal day.  Sunset feels like a death sentence.
July 15:  Start to feel some leg weakness, walking to work gets harder.  Skin on legs and torso feels tingly, itchy.
July 16:  See rheumatologist.  Do full blood panel, urine, and back x-rays. 
July 17:  Feel like my lower half has less feeling than my upper half.  Can feel the dividing line of sensation/strength somewhere around my belly button. 
July 18-23 (present):  Nighttime back pain has stopped.  Loss of sensation in legs and lower half is as strong as ever. Tingly fingers, tingly skin on legs/torso.  Altered walking gait.  General discomfort. 

Of course I'm googling like crazy.  I've narrowed it down to some self-diagnoses, but haven't confirmed any.  Have not heard from my rheumatologist, which makes me question the inflammatory nature.  I would imagine that I'm headed to a neurologist.  I'm scared, but trying not to jump to wild conclusions.  Although I'll punch the next person who asks me, maybe I did herniate a disc and pinch a nerve.  But in my experience, if it looks like autoimmune disease, walks like autoimmune disease, and smells like autoimmune disease, why would it not be the first guess?  My rheumatologist told me once that there's really no benefit in piling on the diagnoses, unless it alters the treatment plan.  Makes sense to me, especially with the nature of health insurance these days.  However, I think one benefit is mental... knowing what I'm dealing with, knowing where my fight lies. 

Seriously, what next?  I'm starting to feel like Calamity Jane, here.  Trying to balance Type I and Type II error in my sensitivity to health changes is a serious mental game.  Friends tell me that it's fine, that I have every right to freak out, but I feel like I'm starting to bog down the environment with my issues. 

Have a good week.  Be nice to your friends who are working their way through hardships. 

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