perlmonger: (eye hospital)
Yesterday I had my last scheduled test: electrodiagnosis of the state of the Jordan neural circuitry in an eyesight style.

I went in on the bus, leaving [livejournal.com profile] ramtops at home to man the phones, and was dealt with in the prompt, efficient and friendly way I’ve come to expect from the Eye Hospital; greeted by name by the receptionist in the Electrophysiology department as I arrived, and not even having time to sit down before the tech arrived to deal with me.

Seven electrodes: two by my eyes; two further round my head; three at the back over my visual cortex. Nine tests, all involving a reversing checkerboard pattern on a 22" Iiyama whilst looking in a relaxed but unblinking way at a red square in the middle. Full screen both eyes; full screen right, then left eye; left and right half screen for each eye; full screen small checkerboard for each eye. That was it, and I guess I’ll hear from Dr Ormerod at some point after he gets the results delivered.

I’d be interested in the results myself: they might help clarify how much of what I see through my right eye is down to actual recovery in my optic nerve dielectric, and how much post-processing and interpolation in my brain.
perlmonger: (eye hospital)
Belatedly, I had an appointment at BRI for an ultrasound scan of my carotid arteries by the Vascular Studies Unit yesterday; the neurologist reckoned the check was worthwhile as it’s possible my symptoms were caused by blood starvation to my brain(?) from constricted arterial flow.

Turns out my blood flow is just fine, which is good to know, I suppose; the downside is that it’s another alternative to MS excluded. Still, yer gotter larf, intcher?

Upcoming: electrodiagnosis of my visual function at the Electrophysiology Department on 19th December and, in a spirit of urgency, another appointment with the good Dr Ormerod at the Eye Hospital on... 26th July 2007. Hopefully, all the results from my bloods will be back in by then.

badger

Nov. 5th, 2006 10:58 am
perlmonger: (badger badger)
After my last post, I’ve been digging around teh intarweb for stuff about the lamented Steve Miller and, as is natural and right, followed a Lol Coxhill link along the way.

The man is 74 FFS! How is that possible? He’s still gigging though, so maybe there’s hope for me for a little bit longer yet... Maybe.
perlmonger: (eye hospital)
Well, the neurologist seemed a decent enough chap; at least he didn’t pretend to any knowledge, let alone certainties, that he didn’t have. His general approach was that my Event most likely was MS-related, but that it could also have another cause and could they do some more tests on me?

I turned down the lumbar puncture he offered - there’s no way I’m having one of those unless it’s absolutely necessary. He wasn’t pushing it in any case; it was more in case I was looking for potentially greater certainty of whatever nerve related horrors that might turn up. As [livejournal.com profile] ramtops pointed out, even if I had the thing and it turned out to up my probability-of-MS from 50ish% to, whatever, 80%, there’s still fuck all they can do about it.

I consented to the other tests: circulatory tests in my carotid arteries (it seems that stenosis thereabouts could be an alternative cause) and some flashing lights / optic nerve datatap thang to get more data on the state of my myelin sheaths (both to be dealt with at BRI when they fit me in for an appointment), and bloods, to be done straight away by a nurse. Five vials full he took, whilst chatting to me about web development and Tony Hancock, for cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid and Other Things I cannot recall. [livejournal.com profile] ramtops did the Hancock joke too when I emerged.

So, more waiting: the doctor said he’d write as each set of results came in, and then call me in for yet another appointment when they’re all in his paws. This will be some time well into 2007 by the probabilities, so I’ll just carry on carrying on largely as though nothing had happened in the mean time.
perlmonger: (eye hospital)
Phone call from the Eye Hospital today: the neurologist I was booked in to see on 14th December can, it seems, fit me in on Thursday at 2pm.

Ghods know why they picked me to fill their scheduling gap, but I’d rather get this over quickly so said yes. As previously remarked, I don’t expect anything substantive to come out of the appointment, but you never know.

More at the end of the week, if my brain doesn’t burst first or something...

oldskool

Sep. 12th, 2006 05:23 pm
perlmonger: (bleurgh)
I’ve just had reason to hack some C, for the first time in $UNFEASIBLE_PERIOD. It’s a sign of something (mental decay, probably) that I had to look up a standard function definition; that I used a copy of K&R, first edition, as a reference is probably a sign of something else entirely.

I think I’ll dig out my Algol68R reference now, before Nurse brings the tea and pills round.
perlmonger: (quartic)
We’ve just returned from a round trip to Southville (lunch, veg, green tea, G&B choccie & almond), Sainsbury (diesel, marzipan choccie bar) and Hill Road, Clevedon (Montgomery cheddar, borlotti beans, chili choccie). You may notice a pattern developing in there somewhere.

Also, I drove the entire journey; the first time I’ve driven (aside from parking a couple of times) since my optic nerve myalgic sheath went sideways. I was very stressed+nervous at first, but I seem to have got away with it without even making [livejournal.com profile] ramtops scream (much). However, I’ve ended up with toe cramp in my right foot which, I suspect, is down to being a lot more tensed up than I actually realised while we were out...
perlmonger: (Default)
Appointment with the neurologist came through this morning: 14th December at the Eye Hospital.

Just as well I’m neither in a hurry for it, nor expecting anything useful from it ;)
perlmonger: (bleurgh)
Well, that was the first evidence of chaotic incompetence in the NHS in my brief series of encounters therewith.

After a client meeting in the morning[1] and a trip to Ikeal[2], we went in to the Eye Hospital for my appointment. I was seen pretty much straight away to have a quick vision check; the nurse said she would find my MRI results, bung ‘em in the back of my file and pass that on to whoever was going to see me.

So, we sat and waited for a bit. After that bit, the doctor appeared, with a senior nurse of some description (I don’t do uniform recognition) only to inform us that, nearly two weeks after the scan, the radiologist at BRI hadn’t signed the damned thing off. And had also buggered off out of the hospital.

Since the MRI results were the entire reason I was at the Eye Hospital at all, this was a little vexing. The doctor invited us in for a chat anyhow, to talk about what the results, when they finally materialised, would signify. Or not. It seems that current research suggests that a positive result would predict an approximately 50% chance of an MS episode of some sort in the next 10 years; a negative result (from my base point) would indicate a 25-28% chance of the same - not what I’d call a particularly reliable indicator, then.

While we were talking, the nurse appeared: it seems the errant radiologist had been tracked down and, with luck, we’d get the results in a half hour or so. We wandered off to sample the delights of the newly reconstructed bus station (can you feel the visceral excitement of life in the heart of Bristol here?). After another short wait on our return, the doctor called us back in: yes, I do have lesions; these either being indicative of MS or possibly maybe not.

He’s referred me for an appointment with a neurologist, for whatever good that might do, but that isn’t likely to materialise for months. I reckon I’ll just pootle along as before: there’s not really a lot of point in agonising over something that still has a 50% chance of never even happening and, in any case, the only thing I’m aware of that increases the odds of an episode, should I actually have MS, is stress. So worry is contraindicated, I think.

We consoled ourself with a brief book fix in Waterstones (3 for 2 is a dangerous thing[3]), and Whittards for some Russian Caravan tea[4] and succeeded in hitting the rush hour at its height. Took us the best part of an hour for [livejournal.com profile] ramtops to drive the six miles home; people do this every day... Mad.

[1] we were sacked. Actually, that’s unfair; they’re spending the year migrating their web presence to an offshoot of their new CRM system - we’ll actually be doing a fair bit of work for them to help manage and stage that migration.

[2] rugs for the hallways; rather fine bright scarlet rugs with yellow stripes. Some bed linen. A corner shelf unit. Nightlights. And [livejournal.com profile] ramtops found me a little bottle of Elch Blut, complete with a MOOOOOSE!!!! head top.

[3] a bit of a Neil Gaiman fest: Anansi Boys, Stardust and Smoke and Mirrors. Also Singularity Sky, Sophia McDougall’s Romanitas which might be crap but looks quite fun, and A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian.

[4] don’t like it much on its own, but mixed 50/50 with Lapsang Souchong it’s wonderful.

[ETA minor fixen as pointed out to me by [livejournal.com profile] ramtops - an errant apostrophe(’) amongst them; I hadn’t realised I was that debilitated]
perlmonger: (cloudbase)
grzzZRRZz grzzZRRZz grzzZRRZz grzzZRRZz grzzZRRZz (tap tap tap tap)
grzzZRRZz grzzZRRZz grzzZRRZz grzzZRRZz grzzZRRZz (tap tap tap tap)

grmrRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

(THUD)

One for [livejournal.com profile] hirez, I think; someone really should record and release the workings of an MRI scanner. Sort of techno/industrial crossover, it was quite entertaining.

The process itself all went as well as it could: [livejournal.com profile] ramtops drove us in to Trenchard and we walked down to BRI for yet another incidence of the NHS doing what it said it would, on time and efficiently. I really do seem to be getting the best of things, perhaps because I’m not suffering from anything unglamorous like arthritis.

There were a couple of minor irritations: one of the techs in the MRI room asked if I’d had a scan before; I told her that I had, about twenty years ago, and she basically said that I couldn’t have (presumably because medicine in those days mostly involved bleeding the patient, and nothing as sophisticated as thermometers, stethoscopes or NMR equipment existed). Also, when the scan was finished, the other tech said he couldn’t email me the results. Feh. Though apparently I might get a photocopy or something from the eye hospital if I ask nicely. Maybe.

It was more interesting last time round in Hull: It really was new technology in those days and I was invited into the control room to watch the images appear, slowly, scan line by scan line, after they’d finished. I don’t actually remember much other than the startlingly significant snippet of information that the equipment had a Tandberg keyboard: a minor variant on the lovely TDV2200s we were using at my then place of employment. The scanner this time was a Siemens, if anyone cares.

Now we just have to wait for the results.
perlmonger: (sothoth remix)
Third visit to the Eye Hospital this afternoon, and the first actual scheduled appointment. Nothing new, really: they did a field test, the results of which showed that my right eyesight is still as bad as I feared, not as recovered as I’d hoped. I guess I’m doing a lot of extra post-processing ATM, which would explain the low framerate and interspersed random photoshop filter effects that I’m seeing.

The antipodean chap I saw after the tests didn’t really say anything new; not a lot they can say or do until after the MRI scan on Friday week provides some sort of data. He seems to be a β-interferon fan for early-stage MS, if that’s what I actually have, but beyond saying that it’s an expensive drug (no sher!), he didn’t offer any odds on actually getting it on the NHS, even should I have the disease and then choose to pursue that option. All a bit premature, really.

So. Another positive experience overall (in on time, out early, no crap from or with anyone I dealt with); I emerged with another appointment being processed for three weeks hence. We’ll see how the radiology dept. at BRI proper compares next week.
perlmonger: (sothoth remix)
Yesterday the vision in my right eye started improving. I’d been in a maybe-it’s-just-possible-there’s-some-vision-there-but-it-might-be-wishful-thinking state for a few days before, but this is now a definite perception of shape and form somewhere through the shimmering blackness of my visual field. Not really sight as such, but at least a wave in the right direction.

The downside of this is that my brain seems to be interpreting its strange, veiled, new input as a trigger for a vague nausea. Though that might just be a natural reaction to my continuing and, indeed, ever increasing existential alienation.

Who can say? I think I’ll blame Hazel Blears.
perlmonger: (skydancer)
In spite of the progression of possible causes I’ve been presented with, I’m inclined to believe the last. This is because it matches my own self-diagnosis back from when my symptoms started getting worse last weekend: optic nerve damage. That’s what I was experiencing felt (and feels) like, from the way my visual perception is operating; like data loss or noise post-transducer, not distortion or filtering inside my eyeball itself. I even Gooled for it, without success as I didn’t then know what terms to actually search for.

I should trust myself more :)
perlmonger: (pete)
Three diagnoses in a week and a half; what’s next I wonder.

Since last reported, sight in my right eye has continued to deteriorate, to the extent that I can see virtually nothing through it directly and even what peripheral vision remains is much darkened. We ventured to SpecSavers in Nailsea this morning for both our due eye tests and, we hoped, some useful extra data on my problems.

The chap I saw there decided that I didn’t have vitreous detachment, but macular degeneration instead, and booked me back in the Bristol Eye Hospital straight away; [livejournal.com profile] ramtops drove me in as soon as she emerged from her own examination.

So. A repeat of the basic tests I had an hour earlier and a week ago, so they could fill in their tickboxes, and more pupil-expanding eyedrops. 2015 minutes later, I saw the doctor (he was waiting to clock off) and much more peerings into my ocular interiors, my third diagnosis: optic neuritis. I must say, I was a little disappointed that my macules aren’t degenerate after all.

Not that there’s anything that can be usefully done about any of the three conditions bar waiting for me to heal myself over time, but this last could possibly (20% chance apparently) be an MS symptom. So I’m being booked in for MRI as soon as a free slot appears - I’ve no idea at all what the waiting list for this is in Bristol. My immediate symptoms should, with luck, correct themselves over the next month or two.

Now I’m (again) waiting for my pupils to shrink back to a more functional size, before running the bar with [livejournal.com profile] ramtops at the local LD’s sausage’n’mash evening tonight.

Indeed do many things come to pass.
perlmonger: (plugh)
...bread machines work a lot better if you remember to put their paddle in first.

That's all.

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