the wrong side of the bed

Friday, March 24, 2006

abnormalities

okay, so jeremy won't leave me alone about posting my results. fine, dude, here are the results. i will give them to you in the order they happened.

1. the EEG was abnormal. when they called me to schedule the appointment, the woman on the phone repeated it. ABNORMAL. she seemed put off by how cheerful i sounded. i wouldn't have gone in if i didn't think there was something abnormal. they moved my appointment with the neurologist up from april 27th to march 21st.

2. i met with my neurologist. he was a very nice man and he was actually carrying a black leather doctor's bag. hilarious! he told me that the results were normal except for unexpected activity in my right temporal lobe. above my right ear. since there is no history of epilepsy in my family and since i haven't had any serious head injuries, it is likely the result of 1) some kind of problem when i was developing in the womb* 2) a vascular problem of some sort, or 3) a tumor. a tumor seems unlikely because i have been having these episodes since i was in high school. it would have to be a slow-as-molasses-tumor. he scheduled an MRI.

3. i had my MRI yesterday. everyone told me it would be horrible. the claustrophobics said it was among the worst experiences of their lives. my dad said it was extremely boring. i actually enjoyed the experience. i don't know. it was fun listening to all of the clanging and trying to figure out patterns (which i couldn't). if you want to repeat the experience for yourself, jon suggests putting your head in a metal trashcan and banging on it. the part i did not like was that they had to inject me with a solution with some kind of metal in it for part of the MRI. the attendants had a difficult time finding a vein, so they stabbed me in three places. it hurt!

4. my follow up appointment was again scheduled for april 27th. a looooong time to wait for results. by the time i got home from school yesterday, they had called to tell me that my doctor had reviewed the MRI and that he wanted to see me next week and get me started on some medication. i called them back and set up an appointment. it is next wednesday, when i am supposed to be teaching. i'm hoping that someone will show a video in my class.

oh yeah! i forgot the punchline! it is illegal for me to drive for the next six months (the laws vary by state), and i only have 2 car payments left! hee, hee!

* when the doctor told me that it might have happened while my brain was developing, i shouted out, "i blame my mother!" he looked shocked, but when jon laughed, he realized i was joking. anyway, mom, if you are reading this, i don't blame you.
7:14 AM

6 Comments:

I take it your self-reporting that you "blank" during these episodes is what put you in the category of a "possible epileptic," thereby requiring that you abstain from driving until an anti-seizure protocol has been established?
Okay, it all fits, sure, but I repeat my 2 cents on this: before you start on anti-seizure meds, get a second opinion. beinlich, a neurologist, is also in the epilepsy clinic he is very very good. I do not recall if he has a black back but in all other ways he looks like a doc.
Blogger nina, at 11:22 AM  
i'm actually already on an anti-seizure med, strangely enough.
Blogger dorotha, at 11:25 AM  
As you know, there's no "strangely enough" about it. It didn't exactly take pharmacological genius for physicians involved in the treatment of panic disorder to wonder if anti-seizure medications might help.

I am really glad you are getting help for this.
Blogger jeremy, at 11:56 AM  
Hi Dorotha, I'm a Berkeley soc grad student who ran across your blog while I was looking at Jeremy Freese's blog. I totally have had the exact same experience with seizures, but no diagnosis of epilepsy - and my neurologists have told me the exact same thing about it being due to some kind of problem while I was developing in the womb :-) I also can't drive for the next 6 months! If you'd like to talk, I'd love to share -Julia
Blogger Julia, at 12:19 PM  
Wow Dorotha, what is the new medication like? Does it mean you get to stop taking the other ones? Does the doctor think that they can stop you from having panic attacks/seizures/whatever they are?
Blogger AK, at 12:34 PM  
I really hope that they're able to treat you better now that they have this information. One can certainly imagine how the meds they had you on for the panic disorder might kind of work, but not work that great, if your condition was actually different from (though still similar to) what they thought it was. Uh, you know what I mean. Anyway, I hope things improve from here.
Blogger Rhymes With Scrabble, at 12:43 PM  

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