Monday, September 26, 2011

Holistic Dangers?

This weekend my Mom showed me an article in the Reader's Digest about the benefits and risks of home remedies or natural remedies when it comes to illness. Many times, I know because I am guilty of this too, we often self diagnose ourselves and try to solve our issues without going to a doctor. Now, I'm all for using herbs and things to try and get rid of colds and aches and pains before shooting off to a pill or doc but reading this article makes me think twice.

When I was having my stroke, I self diagnosed. I first thought I was having indigestion or some kind of heartburn. I took to the internet and did things like eating an apple and having some yogurt to try and ease the pain in my chest I attributed to some Italian food I had eaten earlier in the day. BUT on the flipside, when I called the emergency doctor line, a pompous Doc named Doctor Foo, the same Neuro who told me nothing was wrong with me, told me I was fine and to see my Primary Care Doctor that Monday.

Mmm, sometimes I guess both options fail. But still, especially when dealing with stroke, you can't take neck pain lightly. Something in this article struck me in particular. Never ever ever let a chiropractor touch your neck if you are in pain. They may make the issue worse especially if you are in danger of having a stroke. They can make the dissection worse and cause you more harm. My neck tingles just thinking about it! The article also spoke about some folks who overdo it on holistic or natural remedies. It cited one man with rectal cancer who od'd on carrot juice and actually worsened his condition. This makes me so sad. Many times we try so hard to fix ourselves that we end up doing something to make it even more horrible. I'm not going to lie, I probably would have done the same thing.

Just something to think about. Look at both sides of the coin before going crazy on one or the other.

Be well.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

MRI Results

I got my MRI results and everything seems to be in order. So strange though...

I had many of the same symptoms I had when I was having my stroke. I forgot things, took time to say what I had on my mind, head cloudiness and yet, no stroke came. My Neurologist said that stroke symptoms can return even though you're not in danger of having another stroke. She raised my aspirin intake to two baby aspirin and said it would help and sure enough it did! My symptoms disappeared in a couple of days.

Scary though...I didn't like having those feelings again. It was incredibly scary. I still don't have any news about my D-Dimer but at least I know that I won't be having another stroke.

Friday, September 2, 2011

MRI, We Meet Again

D-Dimer, you are a thorn in my side.

I went to the Hematologist yesterday to discuss my uber high number (mid 300s). First I had to get blood drawn. Not something I am not used to but the technician wasn't as used to me as most others were. I was wearing a button down shirt and the arm was a little tight so I couldn't roll it up completely soooo naturally I said "Hmm, looks like I have to take off my shirt". I started to unbutton and the tech quickly shouted "No!" I guess not many people offer to strip so they can take a proper blood sample.

He said no need for that, I'll get you a gown. I explained that I had a bra on and that it didn't bug me, but it bugged him! Then he came at me kind of shaky with the needle and I had to stop him and tell him to calm down. After that, things ran smoothly and I am not bruised on my arm!

When I saw my Hematologist, I told her that I felt like I was hesitant when I would speak. She called my Neurologist to see what she thought about that and I was quickly whisked away to the Neurologist's office top speed. After taking a visual test with my Neuro, (the greatest ever Dr. Myrna Cardiel) I was sent to get an MRI. Normally, I don't terribly mind getting these tests except because of whatever is going on with me right now, I had to be in the machine for 1.5 hrs, the longest I had ever heard of. This freaked me out. For those of you who have never had an MRI, it's not fun. It's loud, you hear all kinds of  banging and you have to stay perfectly still otherwise the pics mess up. Did I mention that it's super tiny and you get claustrophobic?

I made sure to stop home and get together a nice playlist for my MRI; some calm Flying Lotus, Thundercat and of course, some Jillionaire :) I was all covered with a blanket and had my headphones on. Ok, 1.5 hrs in a tube and can't move. All types of things run through your head when you have that time on your hands, especially when the tech doesn't ask if you would like the volume adjusted on your headphones before you begin! I could only hear the faint whisper of the music against the loud clanging of the magnets of the machine. I started to think about all the things that could be wrong with me and let me tell you, you think about some pretty ugly nasty not so good things when you can't move and are in a plastic tube in an uncomfortable and airy hospital gown.

But...I survived. The test was over and I was free to go. I walked home afterwards thinking again of what could be wrong. I hate that my levels are funky and that my mind is cloudy. Why is it cloudy? Why am I feeling hesitant? What is going on?

D-Dimer, once again, I really hate you. I wish I wasn't positive, I wish my level was below 245. You're not welcome here. I was doing well. Get out!