Friday, December 12, 2008

A Week of Doctors

I've added it up, and I've spent about a full eight hours in the company of doctors this week. Maybe more. Obviously we've done two ear checks for the twins this week, and I had an ob/gyn visit. My ob/gyn listened to my list of gripes (some unrelated to female issues) and she was quite concerned when I hit on one about a dilated pupil and lightheadedness. She stared at my oversized pupil and said "you need to call your GP first thing in the morning about this". I took it seriously and followed her direction, because up until then I had overlooked the pupil thing as a sign of the stress and anxiety in my super busy life. My GP freaked and demanded I go into the ER ("it could be neurological" - "stress would affect both eyes"). I declined, and made a regular appointment, but I admit that I had the after-hours clinic doctor check my eyes last night at Molly's re-check appointment. I'm not one to be totally reckless with my health. I do have three young kids, you know. I also got a consult with an eye doctor/neurologist the day before Christmas.

But then this morning I saw the GP, and she was flummoxed by the "eye which isn't responding to light normally". She said it was "good I still have my vision" (ok, now that's never good to hear) and said it would be ok to wait until Dec. 24 as long as nothing changed. As luck would have it, I returned home for a conference call, at which point I started getting cloudy peripheral vision. I was terrified. I'm going blind! I'm dying! I called the GP back, told her what was going on, and she said "find the eye doctor today or go to the ER". I tracked down a different neurologist/eye doc, whose office recommended I go to the KU Med ER to meet its resident there. What that actually meant is I got sucked into the ER system, spent hours waiting on doctors, and felt irritated by the slow progress on my eye that was going blind. I was lucky to have my friend accompany me for moral support (and for safe driving) as Kyle was home with the kids, so at least we got some good talk time today. Four hours in an ER can be hard to pass. Thank God for my friend and cell phones.

The short of it is that I have a tonic eye (one pupil naturally bigger than the other), but also my current symptoms are caused by a "migraine equivalent". In other words, I have no headache, no nausea, none of the usual migraine symptoms - but this is still a migraine somehow, and it just happens to be showing itself on the side of the head with the already larger pupil. So for two months or more now, I've been living with a daily migraine, unaware that my pupil weirdness and bouts of lightheadedness were caused by a migraine. The doctor said it's not worth treating (and I agree) unless it gets worse, but I should try to determine the 'trigger'. Hmmmm. Let me think. Hard.

Ah ha! I know the trigger! It's called stress. Yes, that incipient little thing that wraps around my crazy, 100 mile per hour life. I think that's the culprit. Anyone have a fix for that?

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