I learned two things at OSU's MS clinic this morning:
1) My optic nerves are beautiful.
2) I almost certainly do not have multiple sclerosis.
I feel like my life was just handed back to me, in its entirety, fresh and new.
(Gratuitous daylily from last July's garden, just because I am so happy.)
As in Cleveland, I had a wonderful experience with the doctor at OSU. He was smart and kind. He had a great sense of humor. His wife studies the social history of medicine (which is my research field, too); I'd love to have dinner with both of them.
He spent an hour talking with me and performing a neurological exam that involved vibrating tuning forks and the Ministry of Silly Walks. All normal except that my reflexes are a bit exaggerated.
He looked at my brain MRI and told me that I also have a beautiful brain - and that my scan is normal. Normal. Those extra spots? A mystery of nature. He showed me pictures of brains afflicted with MS, and the difference was evident even to me.
I don't have to go back again unless I have a repeat performance of my symptoms, which the doctor thinks is extremely unlikely. I don't have to get a spinal tap. I'll get a repeat MRI sometime six or twelve months from now, just to be safe. That is all.
I feel incredibly lucky. Incredibly blessed.
So what went kaflooey with me? Maybe a virus; maybe the Bactrim after all; maybe something wonky with my thyroid (and I'll still talk to an endocrinologist about that). As long as I keep getting slowly better, I can live with the mystery.
I may still blog about some of the thoughts I've had lately about disability, "passing" as normal, and the relation between body and mind. But I hereby declare an end to blogging about my day-to-day health (unless I get an answer someday, after all).
You can assume, along with me, that I'll keep getting better, and that I'm wallowing in the amazing good fortune of having a beautiful brain.