Monday, July 27, 2009

Full (Frontal) Disclosure

So this is a little awkward, but I didn't want to not tell anyone what was going on. Or tell only some of you, and have someone feel left out. So I'm going to rely on the blog to tell the story, even though nobody reads it. This thing is sort of like my personal diary or what have you, but all I usually do is bitch about He Who Shall Not Be Named or (insert Brewer player here). Because generally, that is all I concern myself with, other than work, which I wouldn't wish hearing me bitch about on my worst enemy.

About a month ago I had that slurred speech shit which resulted in a trip to the emergency room, and a diagnosis of "Bell's Palsy". However, the doctor in the ER had me schedule an appointment with a neurologist just to be safe.

After listening my symptoms and family history, I underwent an MRI of my brain. The MRI showed some lesions and swelling and shit, so more tests were scheduled. About three weeks ago I had a spinal tap. Which if you've never had the pleasure of experiencing, doesn't actually hurt as bad as you think. The worst part was having to lie flat on your back, sans pillow, for 12 hours.

What the doctor was testing for was multiple sclerosis, because of the lesions, and because my mom has it too.

Fortunately, the additional tests came back normal. Unfortunately, these tests can only confirm MS if they come back bad, not rule it out. See, MS is a fucking mystery, wrapped inside of a conundrum. Even doctors who devote their lives can't explain what causes it, or tell you how it will affect a person. It is all about playing odds. And there is no cure. Because of the MRI and because of the family history, I was diagnosed with "probable MS". Basically, the doctor opined that he was pretty sure I have it, although he can't guarantee me either way. His feeling was that it was caught too early to clinically diagnose.

I was given two choices: 1) do nothing and do another MRI in 3 months to see what happens, which will prove absolutely nothing most likely, or act like I have it and treat it aggressively. The pros of the second option is that it would likely stem the tide of bad shit starting, and preventing attacks (mine manifested itself as slurred speech, but it also affects vision, causes headaches, and affects muscle function), and likely prevent any of the really bad shit from happening (paralysis, inability to work). Of course, none of this is a guarantee. Apparently, you can go from being completely healthy and young, and diagnosed early to being in a wheelchair, or you can be a old, useless fat fuck who catches it late, and be fine forever. I have alot peripherals in my favor to start. Plus my mom has had it for 8 or 9 years and is relatively fine. The cons of starting treatment is that it is a pain in the ass, because it involves giving yourself a shot every day. I decided to go with treatment, because I'm not much of a gambler when it comes to potential paralysis.

So what does this all mean for the future? I don't know shit. And I won't know until it happens. All I can do is take the shots and keep a positive attitude, and deal with whatever might happen. Which might be nothing. It is all a crapshoot. So nothing is going to change for now. I'm going to work out a little more. The medication I chose supposedly has few side effects and shouldn't change everyday life much. And I feel fine now, just like before, so other than the shots, I should be able to put it out of my mind. Two years from now, if all the shit on my brain goes away, I might be able to be told that I never had it. But it will take that long to find out if the medication was merely working, or if I don't' actually have it.

One interesting thing is that I was told that while I didn't have to stop drinking, alcohol affects someone with MS more than a normal person. For instance, I told the doctor about all the weddings and bachelor parties upcoming, and asked him if I went out and had 20 beers if it would kill me or make the MS worse. He said no, but it would be like you had 30 beers. So expect quite a few blackouts this month.

Anyway, sorry for the serious shit. I'm not looking for pity or condolences. Just wanted to put it out there because I don't really want to dwell on it anymore, though you guys should know, and that if you find some syringes in my bag, it isn't heroin. I encourage you to pass this on to anyone you think should know, because I'm not going to personally pass this on to anyone else.


Bear said...

Sorry to hear you got AIDS, get better soon

Juicelaw said...

You should get tested. That combination of unprotected sex and used needles isn't good I've heard.

Bear said...

It's a proven fact that my immune system is stronger than AIDS

Bear said...

haha I'm the Magic Johnson of blogging