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!


The Maiden Metallurgist said...

Have a great trip and get well soon!

medicine girl said...

Sending good vibes your way and pulling for a swift & full recovery! I'm glad to know you're getting such good medical care. I also hope you have plenty of study-free Christmas fun this month!

chris dutton said...

hi. Were you ok flying with optic neuritis? I want to get a flight from the uk to Vegas but worrying the pain will be unbearable