Real Diagnosis

July 21, 2008

In June 2006 after an unsuccessful year of pursuing some treatment with three different neurologists, I hit the jackpot with Sis’s neurologists (one fellow and one Multiple Sclerosis specialist). From June until early August I went through MRIs, blood tests for a whole lot of different diseases, and lumbar puncture.

When these test results came back to Dr. Kindhearted (my primary neurologist) and Dr. Caring (the MS specialist), Dr. Kindhearted called informing of these results. Unfortunately, they all came back normal. Now I say unfortunately only because this delayed diagnosis; and I thought they would stop treating me. I had only just begun the baclofen but I felt some improvement in my legs.

I followed up in August 2006 and was sure Dr. Kindhearted and Dr. Caring were going to say, “Well since all the tests are normal except for that small white spot on your MRI which we are pretty sure isn’t causing all your symptoms there is nothing more we can do.” But they didn’t.  In fact, Dr. Caring said the normal test results just makes their job harder, but that is ok because they like a challenge. He also said that even normal test results are helpful to them because it points them in different directions or helps eliminate other diseases. Multiple Sclerosis is really a disease of elimination: other diseases must be ruled out to rule in MS. We were still on track, they were still digging.

They increased my baclofen again at this visit in the beginning of August. They put me through the litany of neurological tests in the office. They then conferred and returned to the exam room. Apparently, my eyes were getting worse. The abnormal eye movements were more pronounced, incoordination worsened in both hands and legs. The spasticity worsened, worsened from mid-June to early August. That was disheartening to hear. Although I knew my eyes were not right. It felt as if I was losing coordination of my eyes, like my eye muscles were weak and didn’t seem to do what I wanted them to do.

In addition to increasing the baclofen, they did genetic testing for CADASIL. As you may know my two sisters were already diagnosed with RRMS. MS is one of the differential diseases when diagnosing CADASIL (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy). WOW, what is that?

Well according to the Genetics Home Reference (Click for the long story) website it is an inherited condition that causes strokes and other impairments. That’s they short story. 

I was sent home with the appointment for the end of September still in tact. It was then that I would get the results from the genetic testing. Yikes! Although the docs didn’t seem to think that it was CADASIL, but due diligence must be followed. Ok, I guess I can deal with that, I mean after all these docs were traveling down roads of which I am sure the buffoons I had previously seen never even heard about.

Hubby and I went home relieved. We survived a second appointment and these docs and Dr. Kindhearted and Dr. Caring were still busy searching for answers.

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4 Responses to “Real Diagnosis”

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  3. atypicalms Says:

    Thanks, Anil.

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    Your Blog is very interesting and nicely written.
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