Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Update on Beth

Beth loves butterflies so I thought I would put some on display here. Many of you have asked what her status is so I will attempt to update you thoroughly. I have waited a little bit so that I could have some remarks from her most recent appointment. She met with the neurosurgeon. He does not feel that all of her symptoms can be attributed to Arnold-Chairi Type One. He ordered 2 MRIs. The first she has already had done & the second will take place on the 30th. It will show if there is obstruction of the cerebral spinal fluid. The only way she would be a candidate for surgery is if there is obstruction of some kind. If there is no obstruction, there will be no surgery & she will just have to manage her symptoms (say it with me people, complete misery!). This week she saw a neurologist at IU. He seemed to be very interested in her because her symptoms read like the complaints of a 70 year old person who has had diabetes for decades not a presumably healthy 32 year old. He performed the regular in-office tests for reflexes & strength which she passed easily. He also does not think that the Arnold-Chairi is responsible for all of her symptoms. All of her complaints involve peripheral nerves (except for the tongue weakness) rather than central nerves. So he ordered lab work. Beth has had lots of blood draws since this all started but this dude ordered much different tests - from the order sheet it looked like he ordered some way out of the ordinary stuff. He wants to test for autoimmune disorders that attack the nerves (both my mom & her sister have Lupus, an autoimmune disease) & who knows what all else. He was very reassuring in letting Beth know that he does not think she will have any dramatic loss of function or onset of pain. This booger is a progressive thing & shouldn't land her in any kind of emergency situation. However, he did tell her if certain things happened that we should bring her to the E.R. at I.U. & contact him so that he could come evaluate the situation. This is a relief because no other doctor would offer that assurance. She has a follow-up appointment with him in six weeks - once again, nobody is in a hurry but us. *sigh*

So, how is Beth today? I spoke to her on the phone a little while ago & she is really feeling weak. Even though the doctors have not restricted any activities, she hasn't driven in several weeks because of this persistent weakness. Their home is out in the country, about 15 miles from my parents home, & she doesn't feel capable of making the distance. She is sad, in pain, fighting anxiety, & feeling like a burden. Please pray for her spirit & soul as much as you pray for her body. She is making a valiant effort to trust the Lord in all of this. She has dug deep into His Word & posted promises that are a blessing to us all throughout her home. Please also pray that we can all rally around her family & help her husband as well. My parents are all trying to juggle full-time jobs with many responsibilities as well as do what we can to be there for them.

That's the status of things in a nutshell. God has been very good to us this far. We're just waiting, praying, & praising Him for all He has taught up to this point about His grace, His peace, & His sustaining strength. We also are so grateful for the people who love Him, who have helped so much. Our church family & friends have really gathered round & been so warm & loving to our family - God bless you all! Thank you so much for your continued prayers on Beth's behalf.


Michele said...

Sorry to hear about all of this Mary Ann. I am thinking about Beth. I know how scary it all is. When I was diagnosed with Trigeminal Neuralgia last month, they thought I might have a brain aneurysm or cancer and it was sooo scary. I also know what it's like to not be able to function to care for your family while I was sick with that. Let us know if we can help.
Michele Franklin

Adele said...

I am glad you are getting some answers and hopeful that all the other questions get answers too. It sounds like she has some drs. who are willing to dig deep to get to the bottom of this.

I'm sure she so appreciates all of your support and help through this time. It is so great to have the help of family in time of need!

jill said...

thank you for the direction to your blog--super good writing. also for the great update. i cannot believe. i cannot believe. i cannot believe (yes, i wrote that three times) that they are making her wait till the end of july. that seems ridiculous. my opinion. i am not a doctor. kudos to the guy who wants to stay involved, esp if she has to go to the emergency room.

praise God that He is always good. i am thanking Him for your testimony and your continued reliance on Him. tell beth that even when she doesn't have words to pray, we will be upholding her and begging God on her behalf. for all of you, too.