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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Add yourself to the ME/CFS & FM World Map - help build a picture of the global ME/CFS and FM community and see whether there are any "hotspots"


The website and blog that go along with the map seem to have some useful information. For instance, I had not heard that Annette Whittemore, who founded The Whittemore Peterson Institute (the private not-for-profit research organization that found the presence XMRV in blood samples from a high percentage of Chronic Fatigue (ME/CFS) patients and in small number of Fibromyalgia samples), has a daughter who suffers from ME.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Catching up

I haven't posted much to the blog lately; I was able to spend Thanksgiving with relatives in Tampa, FL and when I got back I was of course exhausted and unable to do anything beyond my mountain of laundry, for a whole week. Then the doctor's follow up appointments started. I'm stating here and now for the record that from 2010 forward, I will not schedule any medical appointments in November or December. Those months are on for family and other, more spiritual pursuits.

From Cousin David's orchard, Temple Terrace, Florida

Thanksgiving Day 2009













Adding to the overload, in early November I had a referral appointment to a neurologist in Atlanta. I had to travel three hours and stay overnight in a motel for this one. The referral was from my rheumatologist because of the results of an MRI he ordered to rule out the possibility of a pituitary tumor. It showed no tumor but some possible abnormality/atrophy to a couple of important lobes of my brain.

I went to Atlanta to the Emory Neurology Clinic because the local neurologist who read my MRI does not see patients who do not have insurance. The Emory Clinic is very highly rated, and I figured, hey, IT'S MY BRAIN we're talking about here! I can't praise the Neurology Clinic, the doctors and the staff at Emory highly enough. They were great. Emory is a teaching facility, so I had one doctor who seemed quite competent examine me, then another with more experience examine me again based on what the first doctor found.

The verdict: MRIs are not a complete diagnostic tool. My physical examination showed no problems. It could be that my lobes started out in life a bit smaller than normal. The opinion of the specialist was that there's nothing wrong with my brain. Yay!

The rheumy still seems convinced that something's wrong but he's not the brain specialist. Going forward I will have the MRI that he ordered to use as a baseline, and I'm glad of that.

I also started physical therapy for my neck (degenerative disc disease, herniated and bulging cervical discs) this month. More on that later, I'm sure. Anyway, other than that I'm through with medical appointments for the rest of the year!

Found a hibiscus bloom on the ground at the hotel, and had fun playing with in on the drive to the cousin's house for the Thanksgiving Day gathering.

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