Saturday, January 24, 2009

What the Hooman Vets Told Me

Reluctant patient kitteh from I Can Has Cheezburger?

So Thursday night I got sprung from the hospital, once the ER doctor called my regular doctor and got him to promise to see me the next day. Feeling much like this LOLcat, I dragged myself to the hooman vet. He examined me pretty thoroughly. All my reflexes appear normal. Nothing seems to be bulging in my eyeballs. My grip strength is just fine.

Both doctors seem to agree that I've got some weird neurological thing going on, but it's subtle and almost definitely not due to a stroke. In fact, I seem to be perfectly healthy except for an unexplained tremor, a sense of heaviness, wobbliness, and clumsiness in my limbs, brain fog, overall fatigue, and - for lack of a better term - a trippiness in my view of the world. Regrettably, it's not a good trip.

My family practitioner seems to think my crackpot theory is probably the leading one: that I'm having a freaky drug reaction. No, I haven't been promiscuously digging into unmarked vials of pills again. The day before I started feeling bad, I was prescribed Bactrim for an infection. Among its side effects are some neurological ones, including peripheral neuritis, ataxia, dizziness, and more. These are pretty rare, but they've been reported. The timing in my case is highly suggestive.

So we're going to wait and see what happens and not spend thousands of dollars on testing just yet. The next test would be an MRI, and we decided to hold off on that unless I get worse. Yesterday, I actually felt better. Ditto this morning. Then I took a Bactrim and within an hour I felt worse. Just now, I began to feel a little better again. I'm thinking this weighs in favor of Bactrim being the culprit. Unfortunately I have to take it for a few more days because the infection is better but not gone.

Now, in the bad old days, I might've been diagnosed with hysteria! At least I'd have a name for it ... But I'm grateful that some seriously scary stuff has been pretty well ruled out (stroke, brain tumor, any kind of bleeding in my head). If I don't feel better once I'm off the Bactrim, then I'll have to get checked out for MS and possibly other conditions that whack the myelin of the peripheral nerves. I'm trying to stay calm about all those possibilities, because logically I really do think it's a drug reaction.

Anyway, thanks to all of you who've sent well wishes. I'll let you know how this turns out. In the meantime, between my clumsy brain and fingers, my blogging may range from sporadic to stupid. (Then again, that can happen anyday!)


John Pine said...

My own GP encouragingly calls everything he prescribes 'poisons'. I bet it's the Bactrim.

Sungold said...

Thanks, John. If enough people believe the same theory, maybe that'll make it true!

hesperia said...

I'm betting on the Bactrim too sungold. Be well.

Sungold said...

Thanks, Hesperia. I do think there's a rhythm to the symptoms that fits with the schedule of taking the pills. We shall see.

Carla said...

I think you're right on the money about the drug side effect. I'm curious whether anyone at the hospital even asked about it. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery. Glad all the scary stuff was ruled out.

Henry said...

Be glad they didn't subject you to the rectal thermometer. Did they rule out hairballs?

Sungold said...

Hi Carla! Thanks for the good wishes.

I volunteered the drug theory. The ER doc was not impressed - but then his job was to rule out the stuff that could kill me on his watch. :-) He was good - thorough and a careful listener. But an ER doc can only do so much, and there's still a universe of possibilities, some of which would still be rather nasty.

Henry, they had me slurp down a large tube of Laxatone. Just in case.