Friday morning, I had my first visit with an MS specialist at the MS Center of Atlanta.
- I was not the youngest person in the waiting room by 50 years — more like 5!
- Several of the other folks walked just like me! (drunk-ish and weavy)
- The chairs in the waiting room are super comfortable, and there's a beautiful tropical aquarium, too.
When I met the new doc, Dr. W, he first said that the old doc's office had not sent over my records. I had requested them, by fax, a week earlier, and I'd even specified the “please send by” date so they'd arrive before my appointment. Dr. W did an exam anyway, and I told him what I remembered about my lesion numbers and locations and the positive results of my lumbar puncture.
After all of that, he said that based on what he'd seen in the exam and heard of my test results, he supports the diagnosis and thinks it's correct. He could see that my left eye isn't tracking all the way when I look left, which is causing my double vision; it also tested with lower visual acuity, meaning it's still somewhat blurry on its own, and colors are a little weaker, too. No guess as to when that might clear up, if at all.
He also said I made a great choice of meds to start with (Avonex), as that's what many of his newly-diagnosed go with and it works well for them.
Speaking of which: my first-month-free trial pack of meds arrived last Thursday and is resting peacefully in my fridge. I'm just waiting to hear from the Avonex nurse to schedule a time for her to come out and show me what to do.
Dr. W shook his head disgustedly when I told him about the
“prescription” I'd been given by Dr. O's office for “shorter Avonex
needles.” Vindication! He also assured me my bones weren't dying and that the deep hip pain I've been having is just an unpleasant part of the disease, not a side effect of the (one) steroid treatment I've had. I figured as much, but it was nice to hear anyway.
Overall, I like the new guy and his office. It was bustling busy and professional. They also participate in a lot of clinical research trials, so the day may come when I can do my part for science. And they have their own pretty infusion room, with lots of windows and comfy recliner-type chairs, so if/when I do need steroids again, I won't have to rot in the hospital basement. Yay!
My next appointment is in three months, barring any unforeseen complications.
In unrelated news, last night I saw the first lightning bug of summer, right on time! And I can't wait until the pool opens next Monday.