Friday, April 30, 2010

Nothing New

No new developments in my medical life.

This Monday, May 3, the Fox show, "House," will be focusing on diagnosing a patient with Chiari Malformation. The episode is called "The Choice." Based on the promo, we know three things so far: 1. The patient is male. 2. He is accused of faking his symptoms. 3. He begins lactating. The second fact is very common of Chiari patients. And the lactating seems to be a sign of hormonal imbalance, probably caused by flattening of the pituitary gland, which is also common in Chiari patients. They just had to find a shocking presentation of the disease for the show. (At least this is my analysis.)

I'm pretty excited to see it. I hope a lot of people see it. We'll see if it can bring some awareness to the condition.

I found a compilation of symptoms of autonomic dysfunction that is really comprehensive. I'm including the link here. I'm also going to include a few that I found to be particularly specific to me that I hadn't seen before.

-"Irritability due to decreased blood flow to the brain"

-"Inability to tolerate changes in temperature"

-"Abnormal deep tendon reflexes"

-"Intelligence is normal when receiving adequate cerebral perfusion."

-"Disruption of sleep/wake cycle usually consisting of increased energy late in the evening and lowest energy level in the morning regardless of amount or quality of sleep."

-"Need to sleep 12-14 hours in order to complete simple activities of daily living."

-"Distorted depth perception resulting in a feeling of unsteadiness. Often appears to be "clumsy" or excessively cautious when climbing stairs or reaching for an object."

-"Decreased awareness of what is in the peripheral visual field. This often causes the patient to startle because he/she did not perceive anyone or anything next to them.

-"Frequent "bumping into things." Attributed to a combination of visual and depth perception deficits."

-"Noise sensitivity. Loud or beating sounds can cause pre-syncopal episodes. Difficulty filtering out sounds. Easily distracted by sounds."

-"Sensitivity to odors. May cause extreme nausea, retching, vomiting, dizziness, and headache."

-"Sensitivity to touch. Mild pat on the arm or squeeze of the hand can cause excruciating pain, especially right after an episode or if the patient has not had enough sleep."

-"Taste and appetite changes. Fruits and other acidic foods may taste extremely acidic. Foods may taste differently if patient is tired, stressed, or post-syncopal episode."

-"Speech disturbances: Inability to finish a thought, loss of train of thought, especially if up and about for 2 hours or more without lying flat and resting."

-"Comprehension difficulties. Inability to follow a conversation. May hear words but be unable to understand their context in a sentence. Cannot focus on more than one activity at a time. May not realize they are being addressed. Looses conversation focus when topic is changed. Is easily distracted from the conversation focus by any environmental stimuli.

-"Memory recall deficits in long and short term memory. Improves with lying down and resting."

-"Abdominal migraines. Severe stomach pain triggered by large meal or sitting or standing too long. Usually resolves if patient lies quietly."

-"Drifting to the right or left when walking."

I just found these to be interesting, as they are all quite specific symptoms that may not have been noted elsewhere. I found them all at the website listed above.