Sunday, June 10, 2012

Update for New York trip

Thursday and Friday night I began experiencing new symptoms where muscles spasms and twitches awoke me from a sound sleep. This new symptom has been quite alarming for me.

Our trip out to New York was from Thursday afternoon through Friday afternoon. The appointment with Dr. B was Friday morning. He looked at my MRI and x-ray scans and saw no major structural problems with the fusion. As a result, more testing needs to be done to determine the causes of my increasing symptoms. This testing includes CT scans, DEXA scan, and a type of lumber puncture.

The CT scans are for a more detailed look at my fusion. The DEXA scan is to check where my bone density is at, although I just finished two years of Forteo bone building treatment. Lastly, the lumber puncture is to rule out some other possibilities.

If the CT scan shows that the bone is strongly fused with the titanium, I will be prescribed intensive physical and manual therapy. If the bones around the fusion are too thin or not completely fused, I will need to continue Forteo treatment for osteopenia, with the possibility of fusion revision in the future. This course is contingent on the results of the DEXA scan.

The lumber puncture (LP) will be done to rule out some scarier possibilities. One possibility would be high CSF pressure. If this is the case, serial LP's will be performed to decrease pressure. If this is found to be helpful, a VP shunt will be considered. In addition, the spinal fluid that will be removed will be tested for infection or markers of MS. Dr. B has told me that he has several patients similar to me that have developed MS at about my age.

We went to the ER yesterday for treatment of the muscle spasms, which began affecting my speech (i.e., halting, stuttering). I was prescribed Valium to get me through the next few days.

Currently I am having anxiety and fear over the possibilities presented, especially MS. The spastic movements have intensified this fear.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive in this difficult time.