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update, neuro problems.... update, neuro problems....

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  #1  
Unread 06-05-2003, 01:09 PM
update, neuro problems....

hi everyone,

I haven't been around for a while, but have time to check in now for a while until I get busy again.

I feel a little guilty posting here because as before, I feel quite healthy and happy but am still plagued by a serious symptom that concerns doctors.

I have intermittent double vision episodes, that come on in times of physical exertion or increased blood flow/change in position in the morning. For instance, today I had it during my first spinning class at the gym, right at the hardest time.

I have had a number of tests now, all negative, but my neurologist wants me to see someone who's supposedly the best neuro-opthalm. in the northeast. I was reluctant to do this, because it's all making me very anxious, but she told me she cannot say that nothing potentially life-threatening or damaging to my vision is going on, even with the negative results so far. So I think that's what I'm going to do. I think I might have some vascular problem and I'm worried that since my blood pressure is generally very low that has kept the problem from occurring more frequently. I have proposed numerous more benign explanations to my doctor for what's happening, but she has (gently) laughed them all off!

Ironically, if I hadn't felt so much better after the hyst and starting exercising so much again, I might not have noticed how often this double vision occurs. I was better off as a sluggish couch potato, I guess....

The specialist I need to see is 5 hours away, so this will all necessitate a lot of time, staying overnight, etc...seems like such a pain....

thanks for letting me vent....
Clare
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  #2  
Unread 06-05-2003, 08:49 PM
update, neuro problems....

Hi Clare

I think you're very wise in trying to get to the bottom of your double vision problem, if for no other reason than reducing your stress levels. It's always comforting to have an explanation for these things.

Hopefully it's nothing to worry about, but even if it is you'll be on the way to getting it sorted.

Good luck.

  #3  
Unread 06-05-2003, 11:27 PM
This is sort of off the wall, but...

Have you had a heart ultrasound? There's a normal physiologic variant in the heart where the wall between the upper chambers of the heart doesn't close off all the way after birth. About 20% of all adults have this.

Generally, it's not much of a problem at all...most people never know they have it. But occasionally the blood flow can move from right to left, and it could carry tiny blood clots with it. It's called "patent foramen ovale", and they would have to specifically look for it.

The odds are it's nothing remotely related to that, especially as you've had normal MRI and MRAs. But as you continue to chase this down, it's worth looking into.

Another thing that may be worth looking into for you is the possibility of a true focussing problem. My eyes actually live in double vision thanks to years of uncorrected vision problems. I have to focus consciously, and when I'm tired, everything goes double pretty easily. I'm assuming this is NOT the case for you, but the neuro-opthalmologist sounds like the way to chase this down. Can you make a mini-vacation out of it? Nice time of year to be on the road, as long as thunderstorms leave you alone.

I'm intrigued by the fact that this comes on with extreme exertion, and you say you have low blood pressure as a baseline. Another suggestion -- again, off the wall -- would be to look into an exercise treadmill coupled with an echo ("stress echo"). Perhaps you're having arrhythmias that you're not aware of (doubtful, you strike me as a person very in tune with her body) or your blood pressure isn't responding properly to the stimulus of exercise. That's more common than you might think, and can point the doctors in the direction of autonomic regulation issues or sympathetic nervous system stuff. It's actually all pretty readily treatable -- and far more benign than the MS I know you've feared -- but it's devilishly difficult to find a diagnosis for some of these things.

As far as whether you "belong" on the Road -- frankly, I think anything that interferes with your health qualifies. And who is to say that this isn't hormonally mediated in some way? They need to have neuro-endocrinologists -- and they should all be peri-menopausal or post-menopausal women. They'd be wiser, for one thing, and they would certainly understand the differences between brain and true cognitive changes .

Anyway, I'm sure this is "TMI"-- but I suspect you are onto something when you think this is related to your blood pressure in some way. Stick with it, and do ask the N-O about it (not typing THAT whole word again!!). It may be that a cardiologist who is interested in the whole person -- and who has some experience in some of these regulation disorders -- may help you the most of all to get to the bottom of this.

Hugs,

Audrey
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  #4  
Unread 06-06-2003, 06:22 AM
update, neuro problems....

thank you both for your replies, and Audrey, thanks as always for the further suggestions, which I will definitely add to my list to discuss with the doctor!

I do not think it is a focus problem or strictly related to fatigue. I am able to exercise vigorously later in the day (soccer) with no problems generally. It is a morning thing and comes on during morning exertion or straining (even --sorry to be graphic--if I'm a little constipated, for example; and during sex). That would suggest aneurysm, but my MRi/MRA were negative, fortunately. However, since I wasn't actively experiencing the diplopia during the tests, I'm not sure that they can pick up what is happening, and my neuro said this specialist will have much better machines (bigger magnets....)

In the meantime, I will be going back to my primary care physician and I will certainly ask her about the heart issues. Intriguing idea.

I'm trying just to ignore these things for now and carry on, but I'd sure like to have some closure!

thanks again,
Clare
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