Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Pity Party is Over

And now it is time to adapt. I was scheduled to play for the recording session of Jenny Oaks Baker’s new Christmas album this morning. I figured I had better get used to what I have to work with. Lucky for me, a person can’t tell anything is wrong by looking at me and I was able to keep my situation a secret. My eyes move together, and my pupils still react pretty much the same. 
Reading music with just one eye took some getting used to, but it really wasn’t too bad. My right eye was a little tired of pulling all the weight after three hours and I had a bit of pressure behind my bad eye,  but I was relieved by how well it all went. Maybe if I had used a patch over my eye, my brain would have been able to sort through it all a little better, but because I knew it was imperative, my increased concentration level made up for the confusion.
I have a son-in-law who lost the use of one eye when he was 16-years-old. He copes so well. The only thing that is a little off is his depth perception; a person really needs two eyes for that. I soon found this out when I accidentally knocked my stand partner’s bow off the stand and whacked the viola player next to me with my bow. I’ll just need to keep myself in a tidy little package. Oh, and when I left the studio, I thought there was a step, but alas there was none. That was a bit awkward.
I was a somewhat nervous about my appointment with Dr. Digre. Today I will find out about my MRI. Of course my blood pressure sky-rocketed. Why do I have such a white-coat problem? 
I saw the familiar face of Dr. Adesina first thing. He is a kind and compasionate Afro-American optic neurologist working with Dr. Digre. He made an appearance in the ER on Monday to confirm Dr. Tabin’s opinion. For the next four hours I went through various eye tests and balance and strength tests to rule out a stroke. They checked my field of vision and the inflammation in my optic nerve. Dr. Digre came in and did the same tests to confirm Dr. Adesina's opinion. 
They feel strongly that I have Optic Neuritis. The protective insulation around my optic nerve is being attacked and is deteriorating leaving my optic nerve bare and vulnerable. They let me view my MRI which showed five or six other lesions in my brain also; this is indicative of Multiple Sclerosis. I am scheduled for a spinal tap and a slew full of blood tests on Monday morning bright and early. If Optic Neuritis is truly the case, it is likely that my vision could return partially or maybe even completely with “weeks or months.” To treat this they first give me a high dose of steroids through an IV for three days in a row. I will begin this treatment tomorrow. No sense in wasting any time.
Dr Digre was very kind and mentioned that the two of us were going to become very good friends in the next little while. I will be spending a lot of time in their clinic.
We came home hopeful and grateful that it was not a stroke or tumor and that there is a possibility that my eyesight will be restored. Randy has been such a brick through all this - calming my fears and all, but tonight at dinner he broke down and sobbed. We hugged and cried together. We are SO relieved and grateful. 

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