Friday, March 22, 2013

Psuedopapilledema - or what I like to call "An Outie"

You ever hear of a particular medical anomaly and wonder "What the.. ?" Well I have.. and Psuedopapilledema is one of them. I call it an 'outie', you know.. like a belly button? innie vs. outie?

Let me give you a link:

There are many definitions listed there from many different medical dictionaries, but the most common definition is : anomalous elevation of the optic disk. Typically the back of the eye has a valley in it, that looks somewhat like a drain. That is where all the nerves come together and exit the back of the eye. Sometimes, usually if there is something pushing on the back of the eye, this valley turns into a mountain

A few years ago we switched eye doctors for my daughter. I was a bit grumpy about it because I liked the one we were using, but this new one (we'll call him Dr. I) was covered by her father's insurance. The first visit was very thorough. They even did a scan of the back of the eye. That's where the fun started. The tech did the scan, but when the doctor looked at it he said it was inverted and needed to be redone. So they re-did it. When he viewed the correct scan, the questions started, and my fear increased. The main question was about headaches. Did she have a lot of them? Did they not like to go away? Thankfully, the answer was no. Headaches are very rare, and are usually fully explainable (like when she was hit in the head with a rifle).

So Dr. I was majorly intrigued and excited. You ever see a doctor get excited about something? It's kinda fun.. and scary all at the same time. He said he had heard about this but had never seen it in real life. He also said that for the next few years we would run a new test each year and monitor it to see if there was a change, but that for the time being, there was nothing to worry about. If persistent and frequent headaches started to call him IMMEDIATELY. We have done five different tests and the full scan twice now, and nothing has changed. Not the shape or size.

THIS is what got him so excited:

This 'mountain' is normally a 'valley'.

We talked a lot with the doctor as to why this happened, what causes it, and what we can do about it. Since she is not showing any signs of a brain tumor (the typical thing that pushes on the nerve), he figures it is a genetic condition. More than likely, her optic nerve is longer than normal and ran out of room behind the eye, so it's pushing into the eye.

To put is simply... my daughter has a lot of nerve.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Bad day

Yup.. Wordless Wednesday.. with words. 

Kelly over at Diabetesaliciousness coined a term "Diabetes WTFedness".  I can relate.  This absolutely hideous gorgeous CGM graph is my last 24 hours.  This included two rage boluses (boli?), a new infusion site, and new insulin.  It'll come down.. and be normal, eventually.  Not sure how long it'll take, or how long it'll be normal.  However, in the meantime, I'll take comfort in knowing that I'm not alone. 

Yup.. 24 hours of my Diabetes WTFedness

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pain in the butt.. I mean hip.

You know those never ending cycles that annoy us all?  The ones where if you do something it causes something else which makes you do, or not do, a third thing and that leads you back to the first thing which leads you back to the second and the third time and time and time again?  Ya.. those. 

Mine is this:  I walk.  My hip hurts.  I stop walking.  Blood sugars and mental state are affected.  I walk.  My hip hurts.  I stop walking.  Blood sugars and mental state are affected.. etc. etc. etc.

Let me explain...

I have trochanteric-bursitis in my left hip.  It reared it's ugly head after my family trip to Disneyland in 2001.  At first I thought I had gone on too many roller coasters and was dealing with sciatica pain.  My entire leg ached all the time, and if I moved it just right (wrong) I would get a stabbing pain that ran down the outside of my leg, circled my knee and ended in my ankle.  It felt like it 'twanged'.  To get in and out of my car, I had to sit down and swing both legs at the same time.  Quite the sight, let me tell you.  

Figuring it was a result of too much roller coastering, I went to the chiropractor.  I don't go too often, but when I do, I really enjoy it.  The warm towels, the zappy muscle relaxer thingy (..side thought.. how does this interact with a Dexcom sensor? anyone know?) , the feeling better afterwards.  Everything was good the first few visits.  I still had the twanging though.  One visit, it didn't go so well.  One movement just to stretch my leg sent a twang that instantly brought tears to my eyes.  I may or may not have screamed.  OK.. I did.  IT HURT!!

I went to an orthopedic to determine the real problem.  That's when I was diagnosed with trochanteric-bursitis.  I tried telling the doctor that I was too young for hip problems, but he just laughed.  I think he said something like, "Well.. you're just mature beyond your years."  We also discovered that my legs are different lengths.  Not by much, but enough to cause the problem.  (My left leg is about a 1/4 inch longer than my right.)  I have an insert I put in all my shoes to help compensate.  This had helped immensely!  I can really tell if I haven't been using it.  I also take naproxen sodium twice a day to help with the inflammation and pain.  If I don't take it.. it is only a matter of 2-3 days and it hurts to walk, sit, drive, move, etc.  There are different exercises and stretches that help.. and I do them.  They make me look like a pretzel lying in the middle of my living room, but they help.

Now jump forward 12 years...wait.. don't jump, it'll hurt.  This pain has been rearing it's ugly head again.  I am still taking the naproxen and still doing the stretches.. but the pain is back.  I have been walking more, and really enjoying it.  The walks help clear my head and get me through the afternoon at work easier..not to mention they do GREAT for my post lunch blood sugars.  But are the walks causing the pain?  According to everything I've been reading.. and remembering.. yes.  So here's my dilemma.. do I stop the walking to stop the pain?  Do I dose up on more naproxen, or something else (not a good choice for my working organs)?  I don't consider either of these options workable.  I'll be meeting with my doctor the beginning of April.  Hopefully she will have a suggestion. 

In the meantime, I sit here on a block of ice (..having insulin home delivered is beneficial, those ice packs come in handy..) deciding if my lunch walk today is worth it.

Friday, March 8, 2013

He's a keeper

We've all experienced the bad doctor.  You know the one.  They either lecture you because your A1C isn't below 7.0 or they don't listen when you explain something or they diagnosis you wrong.

Then there is the good doctor.  They give you a gold star sticker for any improvement or are genuinely interested in your newest technology.

I have many good doctors.  One in particular I really adore and would love to clone, but I really can't complain (too loudly) about all my others. 

Every now and then, though, even one of the good doctors goes the extra mile and makes me smile.  Yesterday I had my annual appointment with my gynecologist.  Not an appointment any woman looks forward to, but we do what we gotta do.  At my last appointment I didn't have George (my Dexcom 7+) or Daryl (my Dexcom G4).  This doctor is awesome when it comes to my diabetes.  Last year when I had surgery I talked to him about wearing my pump during, or at least as soon after the surgery as possible.  After explaining that they would disconnect during, but hook me back up as soon as I was awake (this worked very well for me and I didn't go high either) he said, "After all, you can take care of that part of you better than we can."  So yesterday when he noticed my sensor (hello!! it's not like it's huge or anything) he said, "Don't tell me.. does that track your blood sugars?"  He was so excited and had TONS of questions about it.  He had never heard of a CGM before.  I was excited too, after all, someone was genuinely interested and excited for me.  After all the 'real' questions, he did ask if it had a playlist on it too.  It does... all the greatest hits from Blunt Lancet.

I think this doctor is a keeper.  What do you think?