Thursday, 20 June 2013

Not Crazy, Just Lupie

I've had an ongoing problem with brain fog for ages.  About six months ago it got so bad I had to stop work. Then my GP referred me to the Neurology Clinic at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital.

I was put on a waiting list.  Of course, I could have been seen by now if I went to a private neurologist. Having had to stop work, I couldn't afford to keep up my health insurance, so when I most need to see a doctor urgently, I can't.

But just last week a new symptom occurred, one that my GP says the Neurology Clinic will definitely find "interesting", and which might get me bumped up the waiting list a bit.

I had an hallucination.  There was a blonde woman, wearing a pink shirt, and white skirt, in my bedroom.  I came in from taking the dog out for his middle of the night toilet trip, and there she was, leaning over my bedside table, as if she were putting something down on it.  I realised it was an hallucination, not someone having broken in, when I saw she didn't have a face.  (Something of a give-away right there.)  Then she vanished, which is also something I think a burglar would be unlikely to do.

My GP tells me that visual hallucinations are very rare in mental illness, so it's very likely to be organic (translation to non-doctor-speak: I'm not crazy, just lupie.)

Lupus can affect any organ, including the brain. Other lupus patients have told me about having hallucinations, seizures, all kinds of neurological symptoms that I don't want.

This new symptom does mean my weaning off steroids has stopped. The GP's not making me go back up to the old level, just not reduce them any further, until I've seen a specialist. We're not interfering with any medication until I've seen a specialist.

In the meantime, I'm left wondering how much of what I see is real.

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