The last week has been ROUGH for poor Chris!

Here’s a basic timeline of his mystery illness that I kept for the doctors:

Friday 11/8 – 9:15 am, Episode 1

Friday 11/8 – 8:00 pm, Episode 2

Sunday 11/10 – 6:15pm, Episode 3

Wednesday 11/13 – 2:45pm, Episode 4

Friday 11/15 – 11:15 am, Episode 5

After we went to the neurologist on Thursday (11/14), he asked me to keep a journal of these “episodes” so he could have detailed, minute-by-minute information. So here’s Episode 5 (which I witnessed first-hand)

11:15 am = onset of symptoms:  tingly/weak, targeted primarily in left leg

11:20 am = vomit

11:25 am = tingly/numbness travels through body

11:30 am = left arm very weak, lacking coordination and strength; sluggish movements, pale face, cold sweat

11:38 am = facial paralysis on left side, difficulty with speech, swollen tounge sensation

11:41 am = use of facial muscles returns; weakness and tingles persist, still having difficulty speaking.

11:50 am = most tingles have subsided from legs. left arm still weak and uncoordinated. Tingly sensation still persists in mouth and tounge still feels swollen

11:55 am = No more tingles. General weakness continues; migraine headache occurs; mouth back to normal.

****

During these “episodes” it was also common for Chris to have blurred vision, and he always suffered from debilitating headaches afterward (and sometimes before, too).

The two primary concerns of the neurologist were 1) multiple sclerosis, and 2) TIA (mini strokes), in that order. But all the tests looked “normal” and doctors were totally stumped.

****

Fast forward to today (Sunday 11/17).

Chris had been up all Saturday night sick. I could hear him throwing up multiple times and knew he had moved to the guest bedroom. When the girls and I woke up in the morning, Chris said he’d been suffering with a terrible migraine headache all night long. At 7:45 am he asked me to call Urgent Care. They didn’t open until 9. I asked if he could wait an hour and 15 minutes. He said  he could not, that his head literally felt like it was going to explode.

So I told him to get his things and get in the car. We’d (once again) make the all-too familiar trip to the hospital. Our 4th ER visit in the past week (not counting the trips to Urgent Care and the Specialist, too).

THANK GOODNESS WE DID!!!

And thank goodness for the team of doctors who took his symptoms seriously this time (not that they hadn’t before…but they certainly didn’t have any urgency in the past). For whatever reason, someone today ordered a different test…. a spinal tap.

The results of the test FINALLY yielded a preliminary diagnosis. After 9 L.O.N.G days, we finally knew. Chris has meningitis.

He was admitted immediately and put into isolation, since meningitis is infectious.

We’re still waiting for the results of a culture, which will let us know the specific type of meningitis (bacterial, viral, fungal, etc.), but now we FINALLY have a diagnosis and can start thinking about TREATMENT!

I am so, so, so glad for our persistence. Bacterial meningitis, for example, is extremely fatal if left untreated. And I’m also so, so, so glad the doctor today ordered the spinal tap. Had we continued on our old “course of treatment”, the plan was to do another MRI on Tuesday, meet with the neurologist on Wednesday, and he “might” have decided to do a spinal tap depending on the outcome of those tests. It could still have been another week or more until we found a diagnosis! I don’t want to think about what could have happened in the meantime.

So thank you to all who have been calling, texting, and checking up on us! As of right now, it looks like Chris will be in the hospital for at least 2 days (potentially longer, depending on type of meningitis). In the meantime, the girls are not allowed there (no children are allowed), so I was not able to go visit today. Tomorrow the girls have daycare so I’ll be up there first thing in the morning. Thank goodness for camera phones and facetime, so Dad is always just a phone call away!

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