Neuro appointment

The appointment yesterday was inconclusive for the most part. I was examined by two neurologists. One, a "Grey's Anatomy" Ellen Pompeo-type intern, spent the most time with me. The second, the older woman who is very reknowned in the area, only spent a few minutes.
They each examined me and made me go through the reflex tests and other tests like closing my eyes and standing on one foot and stuff like that. The appointment lasted about two hours, including lab tests. Interestingly, the main neuro repeated two of the tests that the younger woman performed. They seemed to pay a lot of attention to my eyes and eye movements, as well as listening to my neck area with a stethoscope.

I did receive one answer, which made the entire appointment "worth it", but a day later has produced a zillion questions, and it's a Saturday so I can't call them! This has to do with the "attacks" I have at the onset of my menstrual period every month. These have been going on for 36 years, almost every month, with the exception of during my mid-30s when I was on "the pill" and then I had migraines that landed me in bed for an entire day instead. I don't know which is worse.

The "attacks" which I've mentioned here on the blog before turn out to be something called vasovagal reflex. There is a ton of information on the web about this, just Google the term and there you have it. This kind of thing has probably happened to most people at least once in their life. Most often, it is related to fear of needles -- such as if someone needs to have a blood test they become dizzy, faint and even vomit from the mere thought of having blood drawn. In other instances, vasovagal reflex can happen if someone has see something awful like a horrible car accident, a broken bone, or "I can't stand the sight of blood" type of thing, or the delivery of bad news such as the death of a family member or the announcement of a terminal illness. Another, more common occurrence (and one that actually happened to me as a kid): passing out in science class when you have to dissect the frog!

Vasovagal reflex can be brought about by severe pain. It often occurs in women who have painful periods (that'd be me). It is somewhat anxiety-related, but it is also a true central nervous system issue.

It is also often related to LQTS, a heart-arrythmia syndrome related to defective electrical impulses in the heart. Since there is a history of this sort of thing in my family, I intend to discuss this with my PCP this Thursday when I see her. These "attacks" I've had since I was eleven years old (very common for them to begin in childhood) could be a precursor.

Back to the fibromyalgia or MS suspicions: the doctor ordered a CAT scan of my brain "just in case" even though she saw no indication that anything pointed to a serious medical condition such as MS. She discussed my chronic pain and fatigue with me. She explained how the nerves function, and suggested that I may have both a pinched nerve and arthritis in my neck.

They both discussed Lyme disease and B-12 deficiency with me at length. Due to my many years of drinking and vegetarianism, there is strong agreement amongst us that I could in fact be B-12 deficient. I wouldn't doubt it.

Blood tests were drawn for Lyme, B-12, Folate, Thyroid, Rheumatic factor, CPK and a few other things.

As usual, I feel as though I "blew it" a little bit. I had written up a "laundry list" of my symptoms (I had kept a diary for the last two months while waiting for the appointment). I chickened out and didn't give them the list. As a result, I forgot to talk about a few items, and am now kicking myself.

Prior to the appointment, on Thursday while driving home from Cape Cod, I realized that I am very anxiety-ridden, all the time, 24/7. I nearly bagged on the appointment because I had convinced myself that all my symptoms are chronic anxiety, and not fibromyalgia, MS, Lyme, Lupus or any of the others. I'm sorta off that square now, but I am going to discuss it with my PCP this week.

When it's all said and done, I still believe that I do have fibromyalgia, and that's going to be a major part of my discussion with her this week.

Stay tuned and thanks for everyone's support!