Monday, April 12, 2010

My Pseudo Sickness

Hi all…I’m sorry I’ve been M.I.A. lately, but I was just recently diagnosed with a condition called Pseudotumor Cerebri. For the past seven months I’ve been having dizziness, mild headaches and a whooshing sound in my ears. My doctor thought maybe it was from poor circulation at first, but that proved to be wrong. For a while I ignored it and chalked it up to just sitting too long at work.

Then a month or so ago the dizziness got so bad that it started scaring me. My ears constantly felt like I was flying in a plane and waiting them to pop, which they never did. My doctor said my blood pressure was dropping when I stood and that’s what was making me dizzy. I posted about that, but turns out what my doctor thought was a side effect from my medicine turned out not to be the cause either.

No one could explain the whooshing in my ears and that, along with the dizziness, were the most constant symptoms I had. My doctor sent me for an MRI…which was terrible…and that came back negative, thank God.

I’d started having increased headaches, so much so that I went through a 50 count bottle of Excedrine in 2 wks! That many pills would normally last me a year or longer. Then I started having pains in my eyes to go along with the dizziness, headaches and whooshing in my ears. Two weeks ago I started seeing double. It happened off and on, but it scared the heck out of me.

It was time for my annual eye exam so I went to my optometrist—told him about the pain in my eyes, headaches and double vision. He used that instrument they have to look into your eye and said, “Huh.”

Let me tell you, you never want a doctor to say that when they’re examining you. When he looked into my left eye he said, “This is weird.” Something else you don’t want a doctor to say while examining you.

He told me that if it wasn’t for the fact that I’d just had a clear MRI, he’d have though I had a brain tumor based on how swollen my optic nerve looked. Again, something you don’t want to hear. So he referred me to a Neuro-Optometrist. She diagnosed me with Pseudotumor.

Oh, I guess I should tell you what Pseudotumor Cerebri is. It’s basically too much fluid around the brain. There’s no known cause for it, but it’s more prevalent in women of child bearing age who are overweight—I’m two for two-lol.

I have to have a lumbar puncture—spinal tap—to measure the fluid and then I will start on a diuretic to run the fluid off. That should alleviate the pressure on my eyes, stop the headaches and the dizziness. I’ll have to shed some pounds which I was already doing and hopefully that’ll be the end of it.

I’m sharing this and going into detail, just in case someone else is out there suffering from this and can’t figure out what’s wrong with them. While no one wants to have anything wrong with them, you just don't know how good it feels to know what's wrong with you AND to know how to fix it.

I haven’t posted in a while because my eyes have been really tired and achy when I get off from work, and that’s usually when I get the double vision. But this weekend I did a lot of writing on my wip! And my eyes are doing well. I’ll be posting a little more frequently and maybe drop an excerpt since I don’t have to do much but cut and pastes.

If any of you have any questions, feel free to ask.

P.S. A.L. Sonnichen…I haven’t forgotten about your query, but I’ve been resting my eyes in the evening. I should be getting to it in a few days.

Take care everyone!


Talli Roland said...

Oh wow. How great of your to write about it and share your experience.

Hope you feel better soon.

Tere Kirkland said...

Poor thing. Sorry, Karen. That stinks not being able to work on your writing and all, but at least now you know what's causing the pain.

Rest those eyes!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Thanks for sharing, Denise. I've never heard of the condition before. I'm glad to hear the solution might be easy as losing weight. Okay, that's not easy, but it could be worse, right?

Good luck with everything!

Palindrome said...

That is just awful! I've had a spinal tap, no fun at all. It sounds kinda fun but it really isn't. It's not like a funny dance with clicky shoes. I was disappointed and subsequently in a lot of pain.

Good luck!! And take care of you!

Shelley Sly said...

Aww I hope everything gets better for you! I'll be thinking of you and hope you're doing well. I'm glad you've at least figured out what it was -- some people suffer for years and years with various conditions without a diagnosis. Good luck with the treatments and feel better! <3

Tory said...

Hi, Karen! I just stumbled onto your blog and have fallen in love with your informative posts! You seem to know a lot about the publishing industry, and for a newbie as myself, I am gobbling up as much information as possible. As for your recent illness, I am so sorry for the pain and discomfort you are experiencing. At least now, you have a clear diagnosis and options for treatment. Prayers are lifted for a speedy recovery. I would love for you to take a look at my blog (when your headaches cease, of course!). You can find me at Head in the Clouds, I look forward to following your blog! Take care, Tory Minus

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Karen! Oh my gosh, I am so sorry about all this. I was wondering why you hadn't been posting much and was really getting worried about you. My query doesn't matter at all. Please don't let it stress you out and don't rush to do it. I am in no hurry. I just finished the first draft of the book, so I have PLENTY of time before I need it. And if you never get around to it, it's no big deal at all. I'm just so sorry to hear about this rollercoaster you've been on. But I'm so glad it looks like the end is in sight and they actually found the problem! I hope you start feeling a lot better really soon!


Amanda Borenstadt said...

You poor thing!
But at least you're getting answers and can then get the right treatment. ((hugs))

Karen Denise said...

Hi guys! Thanks so much for the well wishes. It really does me good. It's weird how much better you feel when you know what's going on, because I've been feeling pretty good. I've been drinking lots of fluids and eating well. Hopefully, I'll be back to 100% soon.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog on a google search for Pseudotumor Cerebri. My daughter was diagnosed with it at age 15 and has done well since. It's literally a pain at times but something you should be able to control with the help of some good doctors. She got through college and did some extensive traveling and didn't let her get it down! You sound like you won't let it either. Good luck!

A mo

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Oh my goodness. I am so sorry, Karen. It sucks to be dizzy and scared and going through tests. I'm sending lots of positive thoughts your way. Take care of yourself.