So when the doctor left, my husband and I sat there trying to make sense of what had just happened. The doctor went out to make a few phone calls and the assistant went to make the appointment with the neurologist. All of this happening was so out of the blue.
The ophthalmologist wanted me to been seen by the neurologist as soon as possible, so the appointment was made for the next day. And we left and the world was tilted. We stood in the parking lot and hugged and wondered what was for supper. I can remember going to Kentucky Fried Chicken to get food to go.
Late the next day, we saw the neurologist. He came in the exam room carrying his ‘doctor bag’ and before examining me, he took out a bunch of books and then his stethoscope! I thought it was pretty strange and funny too. I mean what was he going to do? Look up MS in one of his books?
We were there a long time. The night culminated in a spinal tap, a procedure that I hope never to have to repeat. As per the doctor’s instructions, I had to consume a lot of caffeine afterwards and lay down or else get a huge headache. This was a long time ago and I’m not sure if the same rules apply. But anyway, I remember laying on the couch that night being pumped full of Pepsi by my husband and watching TV. From that day to this one, he has always been first in line to take care of me. But did you know that “I Love Lucy” comes on any time of day? Even at 3 in the morning? Oh how I wished I could have gone to sleep.
Although, that night was a long one., the following three days were full of IV steroids given to keep the optic nerve from swelling any more than it had. The MRI was scheduled for the following week. I don’t remember much about that MRI. I remember being super nervous.
The MRI didn’t show any lesions. The spinal tap came back negative. The doctor was stumped and said I must have had a weird virus or something….. Of course, I was glad everything was negative but he also told me that I had a 50% more chance of developing MS than other people. I never did figure that one out.
The optic neuritis eventually got much better. I can still tell a difference vision-wise, when I compare my eyes. And other than a visit to the same neurologist for some tingling in my right leg (ahem) I didn’t have to go back.
So I walked around for seven years, busy developing MS, seeing articles about people with MS and glad that at least I didn’t ‘have that disease.’ Sigh.