Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ruh Roh

Saw my M.D. today, and she wants me to get a brain MRI done. It's scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Apparently if you have multiple symptoms related to your brain, it's just standard procedure to have one done. I have the headaches, tinnitus in my ears, and personality changes (weird waves of depression), so into the expensive machine I go. She said the word "tumor", but also spent a great deal of time and effort to tell me that this is just a precaution and that she's sure my issues aren't serious and we'll get it all fixed up soon.

In other words.. it's not a toommah. har

Also had some blood work done because my digestive issues have coincided with the onset of these other symptoms, and so it would make sense that it's not likely a brain problem because that wouldn't have caused my digestive system to get whacked.

A few weeks before the onset of these symptoms, I got bit up by (I think) mosquitoes. The bites have taken ages to heal, so I thought maybe the problems are related to that. The doc tells me that it's not likely related, and to test for something like West Nile virus would require a procedure similar to a spinal tap. So, that's not happening for now, but may be on the menu for later if I continue to have these problems and she can't nail down the cause.

One other issue is that I'm pre-hypertensive. That means my blood pressure is typically higher than most, but is not in the range of exactly having "high blood pressure". The diastolic had been floating around the 85-90 range which is too high. I've been on 100mg of Losartan (BP lowering med), and the last time I saw her (which was prior to these symptoms showing up), my blood pressure was something like 103/71 which is really low. She asked me to take half the Losartan tab a day thinking that because I had lost some weight recently (intentionally trying to do that), the blood pressure had gone down naturally. Today my BP was 128/85, which is getting back into the pre-hypertensive range. So now I'm going back on the full 100mg of Losartan.

Thing is.. Losartan is one of those meds that has to build up in your body to have an effect, so taking 100mg today won't likely make any changes for a while. If you just start it, it takes about 2 weeks for your BP to settle in, but since I'm already on 50mg, going back to 100mg shouldn't take 2 weeks for full effect. Hopefully my BP will go back to the lower range.. my headaches and tinnitus will fade, and all will be good. I haven't had any side-effects from taking Losartan, so it's just one pill a day and no problems.

I'm rather nervous about the MRI, but.. you know.. kind of glad I'm having it done. Early diagnosis is often critical with serious conditions, and even having the test come up normal will be worth knowing just for the peace of mind.

My eldest sister died due to a brain aneurysm when she was just 38, and the doc says the condition is hereditary. She had been bugging me for a while to get a diagnostic test for that specific issue done, and I'd been avoiding it. I'm not sure if the MRI would identify a potential aneurysm or not, but I'd imagine it does. It's kind of the grand daddy of all brain imaging. That's a good question for the doc when I go back to see her next week after the test.

Oh.. and she wants me to see an ENT once we work through the current issues, even if the tinnitus eases up. That makes sense, so I'll be doing that in a few weeks I guess. I'm not sure if their medical group has ENTs (didn't see any on their web site), but I saw one that works out of Baylor back in 2007 who fixed some sinus issues for me, and he's very good. The benefit of going to one of the docs in their group is that they have computerized medical records now, and so she could see the other docs reports and stuff easily. If I go to the Baylor doc, that kind of thing isn't available.. but the Baylor doc is highly rated.. so that's something to consider.

Anyway.. that's the update on my medical condition. Judging by the comments when I last posted about it, that sort of thing is interesting to people. If it weren't happening to me, I'd find it interesting as well. I think M.D.s are a lot like software engineers. It's the same sort of deductive reasoning and information processing that we do when coding and debugging.

The platform an M.D. works on is probably more complex than a computer, which is ultimately just a binary system, but I think the comparison is valid.


Anonymous said...

Hope all comes out well. Best to have the tests and get baseline established for any future changes. Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

good luck things will work out