Sunday, December 28, 2008

Updates, etc.

Hey all, thought I'd write to say thank you all very much for the nice messages, and update the eye situation. The good news is that there were no other spots on the MRI, so I am in the super low risk category for MS. Wahoo! The bad news is the optic neuritis has spread to my other eye. It started when I was just leaving Boston, and for that I'm thankful! I got to see my friend D and her awesome baby girl and for that I am thrilled. I will be posting pictures, etc (but not of the baby, you gotta get those from her!) of the trip later. The pain (I think) is about over. From everything I've read, and those who know me know that's probably been a lot, when the vision starts to go, the pain usually stops. So that's the bummer of the deal. I am significantly more blind than I was a week ago. I've been trying to explain to J what it's like, and the best I can come up with is that I have these spots in both eyes (one per eye) that looks like the imprint you get when you look directly at the sun. Not that anyone's ever done anything like that. When I look at something straight on, it's really not that bad, just feels like I forgot my glasses. But peripherally I don't really see much. So, still not driving. But outside of that inconvenience, it hasn't been so bad since I've been on vacation and all. I've been listening to lectures for board review and that doesn't really require eyeballs, so - so far so good. I have noticed an increase in the times I've knicked my hands in the kitchen, so maybe I can get out of cooking dinner too....Actually that would make me sad so I'll just have to be more careful.

Besides, I made so much food for Christmas we won't actually have to cook for like a week! I took some pictures of the food too, because I'm a nerd like that, but again, I'll post more later. For now I'm feeling lazy, and since it's vacation and I can actually afford to feel like that, I am going to milk it for all it's worth. I hope everyone had a great holiday, or are enjoying thir holiday right now for all my Jewish friends out there. As always, I'd love to see anyone who has some extra time like I do, and as long as I can find a ride, will travel!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Optic Neuritis

Well, the fun never stops. The past few weeks I've been a hard one to get ahold of, so I thought I'd fill people in on what's been up. Last week I woke up and couldn't really see out of one eye. Bummer. So I got my butt to the doc. They tell us in school that nothing sends a patient in faster than visual changes and they are right. You don't realize how much you truly use your eyes until they aren't so much doing their job. I was amazed at how quickly I got shuttled off to the specialist, and to be honest it freaked me out just a bit. But ultimately they got me figured out and I have something called optic neuritis. Basically my immune system got all pissy at my optic nerve and decided to tear the myelin covering off of it. The good news: 92% of people who get this recover full vision and the pain that is associated with eye movements almost uniformly goes away. The bad news, I can't drive and since it's a problem with the nerve and not the lens, my glasses don't do a thing. So, although it's creating some unique problems with my studying abilities, it could be worse and I don't want anyone to worry.

If you're like me, you're probably already opening google to see what exactly this is all about, so I'm saving you the effort. Before anyone freaks out, there is a risk of multiple sclerosis but it is SMALL and since I really have no other symptoms I think that is not a problem. I had an MRI last week and we're having a follow up appointment today, so it should get figured out soon enough. This is all very treatable, manageable stuff so I appreciate all the thoughts, prayers, juju, whatevs, but everything is fine. I will say, however, that the countdown to boards is looking a little more daunting when I can only see it out of one eye.

But, the good times keep rolling. This weekend I'm off to Boston for my first time ever to see my friend D and her adorable daughter. I'm super excited, even if I have to have one of those golf cart-driver thingies get me to my airport gate. In a strange coincidence my preceptor and favorite doc in the world is actually flying to Boston on the same flight, so I'll have someone else who is afraid to fly to have a cocktail with. Bonus. Plus he should be able to point me in the right direction, at least to my seat.

So, I'll keep you posted and I hope all is well with everyone. Rest assured I am still super excited to see everyone who is coming to town and you can bet this is not going to slow me down too terribly much. I am a Christmas junkie and I would enjoy it with no eyes, hope you all are feeling the same!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Palm trees and cookies

We stink at taking pictures. I think the only pictures we snapped over the weekend was a few at the airport bar before we got on the plane (I have a slight fear of flying) and one of J, my grandma and I. I'm a little sad that we don't take more pictures more often. I really need to work on that.

I caught some sort of stomach flu in the days since I've been back. It hasn't been the most fun thing ever. I'm catching up on some rest though, and that's been good. Today while I'm working on some school stuff I'm being serenaded by Mugsy's loud snoring! That little puppy is more like an old man. Better than his barking though.

Although I'm not making it into school today, I am slowly starting to feel better. The soup I had for breakfast is staying put, so I think maybe tonight we'll be able to put up the Christmas tree. And the Chanukkah candles. We're funny like that. I love this time of year. We always end up seeing friends we haven't seen in a long time, and even though its hard to believe sometimes, people are just nicer this time of year (unless they are shopping at Walmart in NY). It's always nice when people pleasantly surprise you, and I think that happens during this season more than others.

I'm doing my best to get in the spirit today rather than get bummed out by the weather. The temps are in the low twenties/teens which totally grosses me out, especially when I have to take the little goob out about 10 times a day. So, I picked a good movie that definitely does not gross me out to watch and decided to make some cookies. But, I'm not jumping into Christmas with both feet, the movie is set in southern California (Tortilla Soup) and I'm just making oatmeal raisin cookies. I'm not going to the store in this ridiculous weather to get the stuff for mexican wedding cookies no matter how much I want them, and while some people have dreams of white Christmases, I think I'd take palm trees from time to time. So maybe it's just what I need.