And Now We Wait…

I find myself waiting for lab results this weekend. I recently had extensive bloodwork, based on having an elevated red blood cell count and an elevated hematocrit.

Due to these elevations, I was diagnosed with polycythemia. My most recent bloodwork is being used to determine if I have primary or secondary polycythemia. Secondary polycythemia is a less serious diagnosis. Primary polycythemia is a rare form of blood cancer.

Unfortunately, my results don’t support secondary polycythemia as the etiology of my symptoms. Therefore, I’m anxiously waiting to find out if I have primary polycythemia.

I’m waiting to find out if I have a specific genetic mutation, JAK 2, that is associated with primary polycythemia, which is also known as polycythemia vera.

After all of the medical challenges that I’ve had, I find it surreal to realize that I’m waiting to find out if I have blood cancer.

It’s Been Too Long

It’s been way too long since I’ve taken the time to write a blog post. My days have become extremely busy with building my private practice.

I continue to see clients with very diverse clinical conditions. This makes my work very interesting, but emotionally draining.

For the past ten days, I’ve begun to aggressively clear my throat. This almost always is prodromal to requiring another throat surgery.

I see my ENT tomorrow morning, for a bronchoscopy. Based upon my symptoms, he’ll most likely perform in-office steroid injections in my neck. While very unpleasant, this is preferable to having yet another throat dilitation surgery.

I’m so thankful for work that provides the flexibility to take time off to care for my medical conditions. I’ve been having some therapy sessions via messaging, which is less of a strain on my voice.

It’s Been a Long Time

It’s definitely been some time since I’ve written a blog. I’ve been very busy with providing online psychotherapy sessions.

I’ve recently been diagnosed with polycythemia. This means that I have excess production of red blood cells. I don’t yet know if this condition is primary or secondary. If primary, I’m dealing with a bone marrow cancer. If secondary, my condition may be treated via blood letting.

I have an appointment with a cancer care center,to determine the etiology of my polycythemia. Honestly, I feel bone weary. I’m already trying to manage multiple chronic conditions.

Stable Subglottic Stenosis

I just finished a follow-up appointment with my ENT. I completed a bronchosopy. My subglottic stenosis is currently stable, at 20% occlusion.

This morning, I started to take Premarin, a low dose of estrogen replacement therapy. My ENT is concerned that this new medication could worsen my subglottic stenosis.

I’ll see my ENT in three months, for the same procedure. Should my stenosis worsen, I’ll again receive in-office steroid injections.

It’s now been close to two years since my last dilitation surgery. Previously, I had been having throat surgery every six months. I’m deeply thankful for this improvement.

Even though my blurred vision has now resolved, my eyes remain extremely sensitive to light. It does take up to three full months to fully recover from an episode of optic neuritis.

Optic Neuritis, Again

Over the decades of living with relapsing-remitting MS, I’ve encountered multiple episodes of optic neuritis, inflammation of my optic nerve. It’s always painful, with varying degrees of vision loss.

I’ve contacted my neurologist this morning, to ask if she’d be willing to prescribe a course of steroids for this recent episode of optic neuritis. I really don’t want to take steroids again, given their adverse side effects. Nevertheless, I really crave relief from this intense discomfort.

I needed to cancel all of my online counseling sessions for today. Thankfully, my clients were very understanding and willing to reschedule.

I take comfort in knowing that so many people are praying for me at this time. I’m going to just take today very easy.