Mounting Health Problems
Monday, May 19, 2014
This month has been a whirlwind of doctor's appointments and lab visits for me.
On Wednesday the 14th, I went in for an optometry appointment to get my prescription updated for new glasses and contacts. At the appointment, my optometrist noted some fuzziness around my optic nerve, and sent a note over to my doctor to have me scheduled for an ophthalmologist consultation. I didn't think too much of it and happily went on with my life. The next day, I got a call from the ophthalmologist's office saying I needed to come in pretty much immediately for my exam- the referral was sent urgently. So on Friday, I spent two and a half hours having my eyes poked, prodded, dilated and flashed (so. many. bright. lights.). My final diagnosis was bilateral disc edema: basically, the optic nerves in both my eyes are more than 50% blurry around the edges, where they should be pretty sharp. This is apparently most common in young females who are overweight. Check and check. Basically, I have elevated intercranial pressure, which could be caused by one of a few things: a mass in my head, such as a blood clot or tumor, or excess fluid (possibly caused by hypertension and fluid retention in my brain).
They think it's unlikely to be a tumor or blood clot, but I'll be having an MRI sometime in the next few weeks to definitively rule it out. So that leaves excess fluid. After the MRI clears, I'll have to have a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to confirm there is excess fluid in my brain, and from there, I'm not sure what's going to happen. But I was explicitly told that if it is the excess fluid, it's being caused by my weight and I must lose weight. I'm supposed to go back to meet with the ophthalmologist sometime in August, and by then she wants me to show some serious weight loss. She suggested 10% of my body weight, which is something like 27 pounds, but she wants to make it a nice even 30 pounds. 30 pounds in 3 months seems a little crazy to me. I'm not sure if I can do that in a way that's healthy. But I really want to give it my all, especially if it's in any way related to the passing out and other hypertension problems I've been having.
I hate that it took these health problems to get me in gear, but I'm hoping that this really gives me the kick I need to change my life.