Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Doctor's Appointment on Tuesday

I had my appointment with my doctor, this afternoon.  My appointment was scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and we got there in good time.  My daughter drove me there and back.  I told my doctor that my daughter was my advocate and asked if she could come in with me.  The doctor was agreeable, so we both got to talk to the doctor. 

One of the questions the doctor asked me was if I've ever had "cold sores", which I have had in the past.  Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus.  According to the doctor, the body's stress response to the Covid vaccination can reactivate the herpes virus which reside in the ganglia ( a group of nerve cells), which can cause an inflammation.  She suspects that the sciatica pain was due to inflammation brought on due to reactivation of the herpes virus in response to the  Covid vaccinations!  If so, then, it was a rather delayed reaction, making itself felt four weeks after the second dose.  But, maybe the weeding I did prior to that also had some impact?  In any case, the anti-inflammatory medications she prescribed have reduced the inflammation and thus, the pain.  She has also prescribed an anti-viral drug to be taken for 7 days to deactivate the herpes virus!  We are waiting for the pharmacy to fill that prescription.

In the meantime, I am to resume normal activities, doing what I can as long as I am pain free.  But, I need to take care not to over do things!  So, baby steps - do a little, rest, do a little more, stop well before any pain starts again, and build up stamina.  

She didn't think that I needed an MRI, but, my daughter insisted, so, a referral has been submitted for authorization.  I think both my daughter and I will be happier with an MRI, if only to rule out other reasons such as a herniated disc.  

My foot is still swollen and I still feel some numbness in it, but, I am not in pain and that is a blessing.  

Other than the sciatica issue, I am in relatively good health.  My pressure was quite low (the nurse was a bit concerned when she checked it and asked if I was feeling alright and I was); my weight had gone up as well as my blood sugar reading (but, the doctor stated that was due to the Prednisone I've been taking), but the other blood test results were within normal range.  She does want me to redo the blood test in one month's time, just to double check.  I have a follow up appointment with her in three months' time.  

Afterwards, on our way home, we stopped to pick up some lunch from a Japanese take out place, close to home, as a treat, and daughter picked up a Starbucks coffee for the first time since last year March!  

After lunch, daughter went back to work and I decided to rest.  I don't want to do too much on the very first day and suffer a set back!

I think I need to plan my daily activities a little differently from now on.  Work smarter, not harder.  So that I can accomplish all what I feel I have to do, in terms of household tasks, without aggravating existing conditions.  I haven't quite figured out what I should do to accomplish that, but, it will be something to think about in the days to come.  

It was a rather warm day, today, with the high being 87F.  I wore a skirt and short sleeved blouse to the doctor's appointment.  I took a cardigan with me, but, I didn't need it and left it in the car (I know that a couple of my readers are interested in knowing this!  LOL!)

Today, I am grateful for:

- The doctor's appointment, access to medical care, medical insurance
- My daughter being available to drive me there and back and advocating for me
- My bloodwork, etc., were mostly normal
- A safe drive to the clinic and back
- Being able to buy take out for lunch

Today's joyful activity was being seen by the doctor and receiving the all clear to resume daily activities.

I've planned a quiet evening of reading and knitting, with maybe some easy cooking (daughter had taken out some chicken to thaw, which needs to be cooked).  

Plans for tomorrow include having M tend to the garden and some paperwork (month end bills have come in and need to be paid).

How was your Tuesday?  What are your plans for Wednesday?

20 comments:

  1. I'm glad all went well today. It concerns me a bit thinking docs can just be thinking things are from the vaccine right off the top, I get that it can happen but I'm glad you are getting the MRI too. Really as far as the vaccine is concerned we are all just guinea pigs at this point, but what choice did we have?!

    I didn't even think of Japanese food when planning my menu this week, now I need to have that too! I hope you enjoyed.

    Please take it easy Bless and don't over do things!

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    1. Thank you, Martha. I have no way to prove or disprove the doctor's theory. Hopefully, the insurance will authorize the MRI and that will be one more cause that can be eliminated.

      The Japanese food was delicious and I had some of it for dinner, as well!

      I am resting in bed, again. I promise I will take it easy. :)

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  2. Just several minutes ago I commented on your previous post, asking about your doctor’s appointment. Then I saw this post. Now I have the answer. 😃

    It’s interesting to know how COVID vaccine reactivates the herpes virus. I have a friend who got vaccinated recently, and had cold sores a couple of days later.

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    1. Thank you, Nil. I haven't had a cold sore in years, but, I guess different people react differently. One of my daughter's colleagues said that someone she knows came down with the shingles after the vaccine. We all take our chances, I suppose.

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  3. Good to hear your doctor was so helpful. And MRI scan will provide reassurance. Today we are expecting friends from Dorset to call in, on their way to visit their son. They are kindly bringing a parcel delivered to our old house AFTER we moved. Its rechargeable batteries for Bob's power drill, and you are not allowed to put them in the regular mail, couriers would cost a lot, so we are very grateful. And it will be lovely to see them and catch up with news.

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    1. Thank you, Angela. Yes, I think an MRI will be helpful. How lovely to have your friends visit you and bring the parcel of batteries that were delivered to your former residence with them. Sounds like you are having a very active social life in retirement. I'm sure you are enjoying it. :)

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  4. Like the others, this is the first time I've heard about the activation of the herpes virus. I'm lucky that that didn't happen to me. Hope you continue to improve. I know you will enjoy more activity.

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    1. I was rather surprised by the doctor's diagnosis, myself, June. But, my daughter did some quick research (online, of course) and found one or two articles that had stated that it is a possibility! I still believe that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the side effects, and I have no regrets, but, it was a side effect I hadn't known about or anticipated.

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  5. I'm glad your appointment went well. Interesting you should mention about the herpes virus. My friend has cold sores shortly after receiving her second vaccine.
    I like the idea of working smarter not harder :)

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    1. Oh, that's so interesting about your friend! I didn't get any cold sores and had no sign that the virus was activated! No regrets about taking the vaccine, however. Will just have to make adjustments and carry on. If you have any ideas on working smarter and not harder, please let me know! :)

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  6. It's interesting that your doctor related it to the herpes virus but I am glad that your daughter insisted on the MRI. Is that a definite or will it depend on your insurance agreeing to finance it.

    Please make sure you take it easy, but you must be relieved that you can start increasing your daily activities. I was pleased to read that it was just about warm enough for you to go without a cardigan - at the opposite end of the scale, I needed a thick jacket to be out in the garden this morning!

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    1. I think both my daughter and I were a bit taken aback by the doctor's diagnosis, without the usual, "Let's run some tests to rule out other causes". Yes, the MRI will depend on insurance authorizing it, but, I am hopeful that it will be authorized. We shall see.

      I am very pleased that I've been given the OK to do more things. But, I've already found out that I can't stand for long! I am hoping that things will improve over time. I did start a load of laundry, this morning!

      I'm sorry you needed to wear a thick jacket this morning. If it is any comfort, today is a cooler day, here, too. Only 68F currently (at 10:30 a.m.) and the high is supposed to be 79F.

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  7. What a fascinating diagnosis. Did she specifically mention the swollen foot? I can see the nerve pain part of the herpes virus causing your pain but what about the swollen foot? And I think you said your leg was swollen at one time too.

    (Ha Ha - listen to me questioning the doctor like I have any idea what I'm talking about.)
    I'm glad you are getting the MRI just to rule out something else. Does the inflamed sciatica reveal itself on an MRI?
    So does your doctor think it wasn't a bout with sciatica pain at all?

    Sorry for all the questions. I'm really glad you have the all clear to resume your daily life and I think it's wise to do that resuming at a lesser pace. I'm sure you will figure things out as far as what works for you. I know you don't want to go through this again.
    Take Care.

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    1. It was an interesting diagnosis, wasn't it? My daughter was a bit skeptical of how the doctor arrived at that particular diagnosis without running any tests, which is why she insisted on the MRI.

      The MRI is to see if I might have a herniated disc, which often results in "pinched" nerves and triggers sciatica pain.

      The doctor thinks it is sciatica pain caused by inflammation (as opposed to a herniated disc) and the inflammation is due to the herpes virus. She also thinks it will be a recurrent thing. If that is so, then, I guess this will be my "new normal".

      Herniated discs aren't fun, either, so I guess it is a case of "six of one and half a dozen of the other". Inflammations are probably easier to deal with in the long run?

      What ever it is, I'm grateful that I am relatively pain free at this point! I will take baby steps and pace myself. And pray that things don't get worse any time soon!

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  8. What a strange diagnosis! I guess some news has come out about other patients who have had that vaccine. I'm glad your daughter insisted on the MRI as it will either give information or put your minds at rest regarding other possibilities. Anyway let's hope your "work smarter not harder" approach will help in future and you are wise to listen to your body and take it easy after the appointment.

    We had a lot more rain but it cleared up during the morning and the sun is out. I went grocery shopping but have been fairly lazy since, apart from going with DH to drop off the car which lost most of its brake power on the way home! We didn't have far to take it and I drove the truck so we both came back in it.

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    1. It was a strange diagnosis, wasn't it? As I mentioned in my response above, my daughter was a bit skeptical. But, I guess it is all in the realm of "possibilities". Hopefully, insurance will authorize the MRI and that will be one more step in clarifying the diagnosis! It can, at the very least, rule out a herniated disc as a possible cause.

      I am trying to figure out what "work smarter" would mean for me! Need to think this through a bit!

      Glad you received both rain and sunshine! We could do with a little rain, ourselves! I think relaxing after grocery shopping and taking the car in for a service is perfectly acceptable. The car losing even some of its brake power must have been scary! Hope the service won't be too costly.

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  9. Tuesday came at last! It must be so good to have seen the doctor, finally! Well, that whole vaccine link wasn't something I'd been expecting to hear! I guess if she's right and her antivirals do the trick, so much the better, but I agree that the other possibilities should be checked and appropriate action taken.

    Nice to see that the post has been properly compiled with all salient information included. (I was perturbed that a recent report failed to mention whether your neighbour needed a jacket when she delivered your dinner 😜) It may interest you to know that we have had no rain for two whole days! But it is freezing (for the end of May) and I need three layers on, inside the house! And a blanket over my knees, while watching TV or reading. And I took a hot water bottle to bed on Monday!!

    Hope you got the paperwork done and enjoyed the time knitting, Bless.

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    1. Yes, it was an unexpected diagnosis, but, within the realm of possibilities, I guess. I do hope the MRI will be authorized; even if it doesn't show anything, it would be one more test to rule out a different cause.

      Ooh, glad to know that the post passed the disclosure requirements! :D Sorry, I didn't see my neighbor when she brought dinner over the other night - my daughter met her at the door and as she was in the middle of playing a computer game with friends, didn't report to me about what neighbor S was wearing (or, even what was brought over for dinner, until much later!) I will, however, report here that I went out into the garden, this morning, in a short sleeved blouse and felt quite warm. I'm sorry it is so cold over there. But, at least, it's not raining!

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