Monday, July 2, 2012

A Matter of Life and Life

I was not raised to show emotional vulnerability, so I don't have many friends. As my symptoms have worsened, my reluctance to tell someone, anyone about how I feel about them has increased.

Not what is happening to me, you understand, but how I feel about it. And I'm scared out of my wits. I have nightmares where I'm screaming for my parents because I can't walk, but I wake up and I feel like I can't tell anyone.

I can't really feel my legs from my knees down, because a lot of the proprioception is gone in them. This is a sensory neuropathy, I think. So unless I can see where I'm going, I don't know where I am in space. The consequence of this is that my legs feel "invisible" when they are covered up, like when I'm in bed at night. It's an intolerable sensation. I have to wiggle my toes constantly to reassure myself that yes, my feet and legs are there. A lot of sensation, such as to pinprick and temperature change is also gone. This is small fiber neuropathy.

It took a long time, I feel like to finally get a full battery of autonomic tests redone, but when I did I saw a familiar expression flicker across my doctor's face. Uncertainty.

That, ah, what is this shit? look. So he tells me that in the beginning, my tests showed that only my feet had stopped sweating. But now only my forearm was sweating. And it was only sweating a little. And if he did the test next year, I probably wouldn't be sweating at all.

I felt my mind began to race furiously, because the appointment seemed to be happening way too quickly. He was already shuffling papers, he was already preparing to leave! "Wait!!" I said. "What's causing this?"
"Probably since you had a virus first, it's an autoimmune mediated reaction."
"So, can't we do anything about it?"
"Well, you're not immune don't have any antibodies."
"But people take medicine for autoimmune problems all the time!"
"You don't have an autoimmune problem. You have an autoimmune response."
He turns to leave again. "Wait!" my voice is on the edge of hysteria, but if he notices, he shows no sign. "What about my EMG."
"Your EMG was perfectly normal."
"No it wasn't. I had no reflexes in my ankles."
"Some people with small fiber neuropathy have diminished reflexes."
"But reflexes are large fibers!"
After giving me a I wish these bitches would stay off the Internet sigh, he leaves. And he doesn't come back.

I spend the weekend with my new friend seronegative autoimmune-mediated small fiber autonomic predominated neuropathy.

I told my friend J. at one point that sense I was little I had been able to tell when people were being deceptive but it only made me sad, because I couldn't actually make them be forward with me. I knew that my neuro thought that my insurance wouldn't pay for IVIG because I wasn't immune deficient and lacked ganglionic aChr antibodies. But that didn't mean he couldn't try. And that didn't mean he couldn't trial me on something like prednisone.

I was certain of one thing, that my neuro had a paucity of either ideas or motivation, and that I should seek a second opinion. In the meantime, my invisible lower legs and progressively worsening balance are scaring me. What other nerves will my immune system attack (excuse me, respond to.)

Why am I always made to feel like I'm overreacting, when I'm pretty sure I'm not overreacting? The heat wave that has blanketed the middle of the country means that I have to be in an air conditioned environment. Only the upper 30% of my body is still sweating properly.

For a long time I felt I was getting worse, but was told I wasn't active enough, or that POTS didn't get worse. So when I finally do find out I've gotten worse and will get worse, I get this total non-response. It feels like the first time I got sick all over again, where I had to get totally bedridden and non-functional from POTS before someone finally diagnosed me and even then, only by accident.

Since my feet started getting numb in February, things have been getting worse quickly and granted, I'm just a bitch who likes the Internet, but I think there's an opportunity to actually do something about this.

I want to not care about my health. Because I don't want to just survive, I want to live. I want to go on dates and go out to eat and volunteer. When I had to struggle just to get my doctor to answer my basic questions, I felt like he didn't care about my life at all. Only my survival. He didn't even ask me what symptoms I'd been having. In fact, he never asks me. He's just a wretched doctor. When I told him my blood pressure was too low for me to get a record of my standing blood pressures, he told me to buy a more expensive cuff. Oh, okay.

Wretched doctors makes it hard for me to enjoy my wretched life. I just want to kick back, knowing that these jokers have my back for once, so I can just feel at ease as I get displaced in my body by advancing illness. Is that too much to ask?


creative chaos said...

I know your feelings unfortunately. Any chance that the wretched doctor could be replaced? I too find it unfortunate that there is not a single doctor that I have found in my area who actually cared. My thoughts are with you.

Yvette said...

He has officially been replaced! I am much better for it. Thank you for your thoughts and my prayers are with you as well. Looking for a doctor, bad doctors, it can all be so dispririting.