Medical Update #3

I am looking at the title of this post and hoping that there won’t be so many more!!:) Here is the latest:
My neurologist called me Wednesday morning and let me know that he was not comfortable with the MRI that the OB doctor had ordered. He said that as a neurologist that he had never heard of having an MRI on your side and that it would be a very fuzzy picture and that it would not show anything so that basically it would be a waste of time. So, I cancelled the MRI for Thursday morning. Then, the neurologist called me Thursday and asked me to come in that day that he had some tests that he wanted to run. So, we went yesterday afternoon and they were able to do a special MRI with what they called a Lumbar Coil that they wrapped around my body. I felt like I looked like a mummy football player! Anyway, with that around me they were able to tilt me slightly to the left until I could tell that I was not going to pass out. They also gave me oxygen the whole time and I think that really helped me to breathe. So, they did the MRI and were able to get a clear enough picture to know if there was anything they could do surgically to relieve any pressure that may be on the spinal cord from a tumor or a mass of any sort that may be there.
The MRI showed that there was nothing there that he can do surgically to take care of this problem right now. This was disappointing in one way because I had a hope that maybe he would find something simple to give me back the use of my legs. However, the positive side is that if there is nothing they can do surgically, then that means we don’t have to make any more hard decisions regarding our little baby and any risks to him.
Then, he said that he wanted to do 2 other tests – a Nerve Conductivity test, and an EMG (electro myo graphy). The nerve test was to test my peripheral nerves (for example, carpel tunnel is not a problem with the spinal cord – it is a problem with the nerve near your wrist). So, I guess there are diseases that affect your peripheral nerves that he needed to check mine. So, they put these silver disks taped over my ankle bone and then wires are connected to a computer and he would hit a button on the computer and my toe would jump. Then he would tape it behind my knee, hit the button and my whole leg would jump. He said that my peripheral nerves were responding but that the message was going down but it was not coming back up. He was not sure why this was. Then, the EMG test is a test where they take about a 2 inch needle and put it in the muscles in your legs at different places and wiggle the needle around and the sound that should come from your muscle sounds like loud radio static. One look at that 2 inch needle being pushed in my leg muscles made me thankful, for the first time, that I had no feeling in my legs!!!:) This test checks to see if your muscles are getting any signals from your central nervous system (your spinal cord). My muscles made no noise at all. So, they are not getting any signals from my spinal cord. He tested the muscles in my back where I can start feeling stuff (above my waist) and the muscle sound was loud and clear. So, the doctor said that proves that something acute happened in the spine at the Lumbar area.
The problem is, that he is not sure what. He said that all the symptoms of what happened on March 12th are classic of a stroke in your spine. He said that everything fits that perfectly. Apparently, pregnancy increases your risk of a stroke and they come in like lightning, do damage, and then be gone. The thing that is confusing to him is because of all the symptoms of 2008. He said a stroke would not happen gradually. He mentioned that something called Guillian Barre could cause all of this but that he couldn’t say for sure if that was it because he cannot rule out MS although what happened is very uncommon for MS. I asked him if we could rule out MS and he said no. He said that he needs to do a detailed MRI of my brain and spine as soon as I have the baby. Then, that will help him rule in or rule out some other things. So, he won’t say anything for sure. He said that he has to figure out if one thing is causing all of this, or if two different things are going on. He just doesn’t know yet. I asked him if we could rule out Lou Gherig’s disease yet because that is the one that really scares me. He said that yes, he felt we could rule it out because my muscle sound would have been very loud and that was one thing he was checking on. So, I was very happy to have that ruled out and that was another positive for the day!
So, the million dollar question – do we know if I will walk again? We do not know. The doctor said that with anything that happens to the spinal cord, the longer it takes for you to get any movement or feeling back, the less chance you have of a recovery. I did not ask him straight out if he thought I would walk again because I wasn’t in the mood to hear an answer. I thought I had had enough info for one day. I will ask at another time I guess.
I will say this, if you want a good perspective on life, go sit in a neurologists waiting room for about an hour. It is very sobering and makes you thankful for the life you have because there is always someone worse than you.
We are going to change and have the baby at a high risk pregnancy center in Cincinnati. The neuro had talked with the OB doctor there and they said that I am a high risk and that I need to be in a better facility and that OB doctor wants my case and will take me as his patient even though I am already 33 weeks. So, we just have to call and make an appointment which we will do Monday morning.
Our hearts are at peace. Although we know that nothing can be done to help me walk right now, we are relieved that the baby will be safe until it is time for him to be born and we won’t have to make any hard decisions concerning him. I feel so calm knowing that my Heavenly Father has all of this in control and is concerned for me and my baby and is leading and guiding us and filling us with His peace.
Hopefully, the next update will not be about me!!! I will update again after I see the new OB doctor in a couple weeks and let you know what he is saying about the baby and delivery plans. I want to thank you again for your prayers. Please keep it up. I love you all!

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2 thoughts on “Medical Update #3

  1. Alicia, just read your post. Thank you for being so diligent at updating us on your situation. It sounds like you are at least getting somewhere with information; at least more than a few weeks ago. I will continue to pray and have our church to pray. May the Lord bless you and yours in a special way. Gail Moore

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