Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Mayo Clinic

Huh, I realized that I never mentioned my time at the Mayo Clinic or my final diagnosis. I spent 2 weeks there seeing every specialist possible (I was a bit of a mystery), and having every possible disease tossed about. At various times, the doctors speculated that I had ovarian cancer, MS, lupus, Parkinson's Disease, ALS, lymphoma, etc. I had 28 vials of blood taken over 2 days. I had 2 MRIs and 2 ultrasounds. I had a nerve conduction test. I had an EEG, an EMG, and an EKG. Oh, and did I mention that my mom, David, and I were all confined to a small suite for the 2 weeks?

Finally, the lead doctor on my case (who used a cane just like House) determined I have something called myalgic encephalomyelitis, which is a post-viral syndrome. Basically, my body and brain just went haywire after being so sick. My immune system is fighting itself, which is what caused all the crazy blood work results (which mimicked cancer) and the strange neurological symptoms. It's sometimes associated with or misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome. I've been on a low dose of antibiotics for a while, and they're going to continue to monitor my fever and blood counts over the next 6 months to a year. But the really good news is that it will eventually get better on its own.

I have good days and bad days. I can drive short distances. I feel significantly better than I did 6 months ago. That being said, it's still unbelievably frustrating to not be back to normal - patience is not my strong suit.

David pointed out just last night that, while I'm still physically unwell, I'm the healthiest I've ever been mentally. Who knew? Dropping out of the rat race has been a blessing. I just have to remind myself of that on a daily basis.

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