I promise this is not turning into some kind of medical blog where all I do is chronicle my family's illnesses. But now that I've had some time to process what's happened in the last couple of days I wanted to share some of it. It's almost comical, really. Except that it's kind of not. But my coping mechanism is to find humor in situations where I would otherwise want to cry. So I'm choosing to laugh!
I got a call yesterday from my neurologist. It totally caught me off guard because a) she called me personally and b) she called me from her house. She called to tell me I tested positive for West Nile Virus and Parvovirus and that she was arranging for me to get in with an infectious disease doctor asap. She also told me that I needed to have a spinal tap to see if the WN Virus is active or not and MRI of the spine to look for any lesions that would indicate MS.
Umm, what?? Come again?
To give a little background here: I've been having some neurological symptoms for the last 9 months or so...mainly numbness and tingling in my legs and feet and a few other sensory issues. Based on my symptoms and pattern of symptoms (they get worse when my body is trying to fight something off) she suspects something autoimmune. The problem is, there are over 100 different autoimmune diseases and they aren't all easy to diagnose. The labwork she ordered is what caught the West Nile. Apparently the virus can cause neurological symptoms in the more severe cases, which would mean that I would have contracted it months ago and hopefully the virus is now dormant in my body. From what I understand, the only way to know if it is dormant or active is to test my spinal fluid, hence the fun little procedure in my very near future.
As for the MRI...I was a little confused as to why she is looking for any kind of MS lesions if she has a confirmed diagnosis of something viral. I called to ask the nurse a few questions and the analogy she used was "we started digging a little hole and we discovered a little nugget of gold. But now we're going to dig deeper because we think we might be about to strike oil." Well okay then. Thanks for clearing that up for me in such a FUNNY way!
Basically, there are just some red flags that could indicate a more serious underlying issue and my doctor is just being really thorough and trying to rule things out. Which I totally appreciate and respect, but I can't lie and say all of this information has not been a little overwhelming and scary. But thankfully over the last 2 years I'm finally learning to let go of needing to know every single answer to every single hypothetical scenario. I'm learning to take one day at a time and to trust that God is in control. What a concept, right? :)
My mom took the day off to take me to the hospital tomorrow for my procedures and my MIL is keeping the kids. The spinal tap is at 8:30 and the MRI is at 3:30. I would be so thankful if you would say a prayer for my anxiety and for negative results!
The good news is I feel completely fine, other than trying to fight off this respiratory/sinus junk. I don't have any of the West Nile symptoms you hear about on those scary stories on the news, so to me I will take that to mean that the virus is dormant and I am not, in fact, going to be dropping dead anytime soon. Even though that's what I feel like people are thinking when they hear the news that I'm "infected." Ha!