Monday, February 27, 2012

It all started when...

News of this incident has spread and there are people who are reading my blog and wondering "How in the world did this happen?" and "How the heck did you know you had this condition?" And, in thinking back, I never did answer these questions on the blog. I just said, "long story short" and moved on to the diagnosis. Here I hope to answer those questions...

I was teaching (Feb 6th) and I felt a stabbing pain in my shoulder.  When I reached up, I felt a huge lump and then I felt it travel up my neck and into my head. It was then I lost my vision in both eyes, partially, for about 20-25 minutes. Silly, naive me thought, "I must be dehydrated." It was the end of the day, I was wearing a bulky, warm sweater and I just assumed that I had not had enough to drink that day (Heat stroke from my XC days was on my mind). I wasn't confused or disoriented, so I kept teaching through it. When my vision cleared 20-25 minutes later, it was the end of the day. 

I lay down in the nurse's office and a coworker drove me home. I had a headache from the moment it traveled into my head on. I took one sick day and then taught that whole week with a headache. The headache still didn't go away, so I went to the doctor one week after it started (Feb 13). They referred me for an MRI and MRA and to a neurologist. Insurance wouldn't cover me for the tests (As they were "not medically necessary"...still so absurd to recall!) and the neurologist called and asked me to come in 4 days early during his lunch break (Feb 15). Even with the neurologist's scripts sent to my insurance, they refused to accept that I needed an MRA and an MRI.

After much discussion and conversation, the neurologist told me he was either going to admit me to a hospital or we'd have to go through the ER. Since he thought the ER would be the cheapest route for me, he sent me directly there and that's where my blog picks up.

The suspicion as to how this happened has been traced back to treatment I have been receiving for TMJ. In these treatments I have had manipulations done to my neck. That is what the doctors are crediting as the "trauma" that occurred. I will not be receiving any more treatments like this for the rest of my life. Nor will I be allowed to have massages, etc. This is a very rare case and there is a very small percentage of people who are predisposed to this possibility.

We're grateful that this was caught when it was. There are a great many things which could have happened and didn't.

As always, we really appreciate your thoughts, prayers and well-wishes! Today, at 5 PM, we have an appointment with the neurologist credited with saving my life. I may just give him a BIG OL' HUG!!!! I'm told that he may do the same, but he seemed far too reserved and calm to do that :)
Found on

1 comment:

  1. When I had a regular checkup with my Dr. last week, I told her a little bit about you. Here's something that she said. She thought that maybe the pain that you had been feeling as TMJ could've been the start of this. And that what took you to be adjusted was the artery beginning to dissect. Of course, she doesn't know your story. She said that an adjustment would've have to been really a violent one to cause the tear. It's just another thought. We or you may never know.