Hi, this is substitute blogger, husband Roger, for Ness, who is temporarily out of touch in southern Illinois, bed-sitting our daughter Kiereney, who is currently in the hospital again. Ness drove down to be with her yesterday, and it was really fortunate that she did. Kiereney will hopefully be discharged today, and will come back with Ness for an appointment with her neurologist tomorrow.
To bring everyone up to date, Kiereney suddenly developed a screaming headache and totally lost all peripheral vision. With Ness on the phone from here, Belleville, it was decided that her sister Kelli would take her to the emergency room of the hospital she was last treated at. After copious amounts of pain-killers, another CT scan to rule out hematoma and other possibilities, and an ocular exam, they suspected that her spinal fluid was again quite high. After another spinal tap, they found her fluid pressure was 40 (I believe - Ness can correct me tomorrow). Extremely high!
Upon re-examination of her eyes, they found that her optic nerve was swollen, probably causing the loss of vision and probably caused by the increased spinal fluid. The medication she was taking to reduce the fluid pressure takes quite a long time to become effective, so they started giving her the med intravenously to speed up its effectiveness.
She has definitely been diagnosed with pseudotumor cerebri, where the body thinks there is a tumor of the brain, due to the increased fluid pressure. The blindness is exacerbated by bending over instead of stooping to reach the floor, and, without treatment can become permanent. This illness is most prevalent in young, overweight females of child-bearing age, (Kiereney fits this description), and she was told to start a weight-loss and exercise program to lose 15-20% of her current weight.
She will be monitored by an ophthalmologist near where she lives, and if he detects another rise in spinal or interoccular pressure, he'll refer her to an excellent neuro-ophthalmologist up here in St. Louis. So, although the diagnosis is much more serious than we first believed, we're relieved to finally know the extent of the problem, and that it can be treated.
Kiereney will be strongly medicated for the trip up here today, and I'm praying that Ness will be able to make the 1.5 hour drive back up here safely even though she is physically and emotionally exhausted.
Oh, and Michael is currently half-way back to Illinois from a week's vacation in Virginia, and should arrive at our apartment somewhere around 4 pm today.
That's the current situation, and I'm gearing up to be nurse-cook-shoulder-to-cry-on to everyone as they arrive later today. I haven't heard from Ness in the last couple hours to know that Kiereney was indeed discharged, but I hope to hear that news soon.
We'll keep y'all updated, so until later, have a wonderful Sunday. And for all you right-coast people, try to stay healthy and dry! I understand Hanna is being a bit nasty. And we're all praying for everyone in the projected path of Ike!
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