Midweek Update: UTI symptoms seem to have subsided. Headache - dull, all over/including back of head headache - really only present every morning upon getting up. Goes away for the day with 1 dose of over the counter pain meds. Lower right abdomen pain more noticeable. A sore pain, like a pulled muscle or something, when pushed. This morning I've talked to the nurse at my neurologist's. She didn't seem all that concerned, as other signs of shunt malfunction not present. But I am being seen by them, this Fri. morning. In the meantime, I'm continuing to monitor as well as eat healthily and drink plenty of fluids (since taking my evening job 3 days a week I've notice my system has been different/backed up, if you know what I mean. Hoping to get things going again. Maybe that's my problem!
For all my readers who wonder where's all the "Spina Bifida" in this here Spina Bifida Moms blog... hold on to your hats, cuz here it comes!
Sore neck for the last 3 days.
Weird sort of pressure-y headache/neck ache, but (for the headache part) really just on the right side of my head when I move a certain way/too fast. Masked by pain meds, but returns every 4 - 6 hours.
UTI symptoms continue, even after being 1/2 way through my antibiotics. My second round of antibiotics.
Sore abdomen, right side. I think. Or am I imagining this one? I don't know anymore...
I think I had a spot of double vision the other night. But then again, I was walking through a winter wonderland of, basically, a tunnel of holiday lighted trees everywhere you looked. Seems to me such an environment could make anyone wind up with funky vision in the midst of all that.
Really sore shoulders and arms muscles, but that does seem like a rather random symptom to add in to the mix of otherwise neurologically-themed goings on.
Oh yeah. And crap health insurance. Crazy high deductible crap health insurance.
But at least it's the end of the year and not the beginning of a new one. Or is it? Yes, end of the actual year. But my new plan year just began in October. Crap.
And at least I have some sort of insurance - crap or not.
No, but really... I don't get sick very often. And whenever I do - from a bad cold, to the flu, to migraines, whatever - I admit that I really do tend to take the "oh my God, this is something TERRIBLE! I'm going to end up in the hospital. I'm going to DIE!" camp. That's just how I roll...
.... and then I'm fine.
So. I'm really probably just fine. Stop my worrying, take more Advil, finish out my antibiotics, and get over myself while I naturally get over whatever this is that's going on with me.
At the same time, I suppose a trip in to the doctor wouldn't hurt. Other than the fact that it would hurt my bank account. We just paid off the dentist, now have added back on almost the entire cost of the dentist in this whole UTI detecting scenario. Why not go full out with yet another trip in to the doctor where - yippee! - they (I'm betting) wouldn't really be all that informed about the signs of shunt malfunction and would send me right to the hospital.
It's happened before. Years ago I had a simple case of mono. The doctor was overly cautious with me, though, and was concerned it might be meningitis. Sent me for an overnight stint in the hospital. Nope. Just mono. Go home and sleep. You'll be fine.
Anyway. Ching, ching! Can you here those medical bills just go up and up and UP?!
So, yeah. I'm a tad bit concerned I'm experiencing a shunt malfunction.
But then again...
My mood has not changed, nor my speech pattern or my intellect. My walking/gait is the same as it's always been. I don't have a fever at all, or vomiting (last night I thought I felt a tad nauseous, but not that bad.) I don't have redness or swelling along my shunt catheter tract, and I'm breathing and swallowing just fine.
Plus I've, of course, mentioned my symptoms and concerns to Hubby. He assures me that he's had before the exact type of headache I've been experiencing. Also, my sore neck is a relatively frequent problem I've experienced from time to time and have mentioned to my neurologist before, as I've been concerned that my Arnold Chiari Malformation was worsening/becoming a problem. Her response? No - you're fine. We all get stiff/sore necks from stress and such. Don't worry.
And lastly - really, what have I done/been through lately that would cause my shunt to malfunction? I've just been living my little life, with no major bodily upset. And I know, from my last shunt revision probably 15 years ago or so, that the surgeon then put in a very extended length of catheter tubing - enough so that I could literally grow to be over 6 ft. tall and still have plenty of tubing to spare.
I'm not even quite 5 feet tall. I haven't gone though any grow spurts of late. And I'm hardly expecting to. So I think I'm good.
And as far as these UTIs possibly/maybe expending undue trauma to my shunt... well, I've had UTIs before. LOTS of them. And some that just won't go away. Like this one. Granted, I haven't had a UTI (documented, at least) in several years, up until now. So that is a weird thing, yes. But something that would expand to and affect the shunt as well? Hmmm... I just don't know.
But I'll tell ya... I've looked up the treatment for shunt infection (as opposed to shunt malformation) and it's not just as simple as taking a strong dose of antibiotic. No, it's actually quite complicated and means a long stay in the hospital.
Merry Christmas to me and my family!
And that's another thing. I can't imagine being in the hospital, leaving Hubby to fend for life in general, essentially as a single parent, taking care of all of his and Sweetie's needs. Her baths, lunches, hair combing, picking out outfits, making sure all school assignments are getting done on time. Not to mention getting her to school in the morning - during a time when he should be well on his way to getting to his work. Or getting to the hospital. To visit me. And not working. Much like I'd not be working. Thus, neither of us earning money (as neither of us work for places that provide any amount of sick time pay whatsoever.) And Sweetie's birthday is coming up! With a birthday party! Right before Christmas! I'm not done getting ready for Christmas! Aaaaahhhhhh!!!!!
Ahhh... it's all snowballing now. Yep. One thing effects the other and leads to worse and worse things.
Much like leaving a possibly serious health problem unchecked for too long can lead to greater and greater problems.
So. That's where I stand. I think the thing to do, for now, is call my mom (a retired pediatric nurse) to let her know my concerns. Then continue to monitor everything. Finish my round of antibiotics. And take it easy while still living my life.
And do go to the doctor if that's what my gut is telling me to do. Whatever may follow from that - come what may. Better to be safe - and in worse debt - then sorry and dead. That's what I always say!
I'll keep you all posted, of course. For now, let's just all chalk it up to my being my usual overly dramatic, Doomsday self. Yep - I'm sure I'm majorly in trouble here....
.... Ah, no. Oops. False alarm. I'm fine. Of course I am.