Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Auto-Immune Update

It's been a month and 10 days since I first posted about my lupus diagnosis. In some ways, I can't really believe it's been that long, in other ways, I can't believe it's only been that long. Weird, huh?

I've been in and out of hospitals and doctor's offices ever since the diagnosis and basically my symptoms are centered around two areas of concern:
- My vision changes (complete blurring in my left eye - if I close my right eye, it looks like everything has a cloud over it - like I'm looking out into fog)
- My unexplained abdominal pain and digestive issues

Add those symptoms to my blood test results and that's what's adding up to lupus.

So here's what's been going on since July 10:
- I visited the hospital in Veldhoven for a MRI scan and a visual evoked processing test. Clicks on both links will take you to info pages on both procedures. Both came back "normal" - meaning I don't have any structural brain problems (tumors, major aneurysms, etc), nor do I have MS. Awesome news!
- Follow-up visit with the neurologist (after both above procedures) led to concerns that I might have been exposed to a kind of meningitis that can cause brain inflammation or Lyme disease, which can also cause brain swelling. Only way to diagnose those for sure is to do a spinal tap - yikes! Luckily, my neurologist agreed to wait until after a visit to the opthamologist to make that call.
- Another ultrasound, to continue to checking the area around my pancreas for possible problems.
- Two additional visits to my internist to discuss aforementioned appointments, add additional bloodwork, a stool sample (yep, that's a gross as it sounds) and schedule a CT scan to rule out any major abdominal issues.
- A visit to an opthamologist this morning - he found inflammation on my cornea - consistent with a lupus diagnosis and migraines, but (thankfully!) inconsistent with meningitis and Lyme. Whoo hooo! No spinal tap!!
- I've successfully cut straight sugar from my diet (following the plan outlined in Dr. Susan Blum's Immune System Recovery Plan). 
- We also found out that we'll be moving within the next year. We have no idea where we'll be going, or even exactly when, so I'm doing my best to trust in God's timing - that He'll help me find a stable place with my health before we make our next major transition!

Coming up in the next week and a half or so:
- A CT scan on Thursday.
- A follow-up appointment with my internist a week from Thursday to discuss recent bloodwork, my appointment this morning and CT scan results.
- I'll be cutting gluten from my diet. On Friday. Gluten is a major trigger for autoimmune diseases and going gluten-free has been shown to massively alleviate autoimmune symptoms. I love bread and this is going to be a huge challenge for me. Keep me in your prayers!

Thanks to all for your support! I really appreciate it!

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