Friday, July 26, 2013

What an interesting few weeks it's been...

What a shitty few months it's been. Starting with that calf strain/tear back in April, then the tightness, then weakness, then numbness, tingling. Sounded like a nerve root compression to me. But I've had other weird neurologic symptoms not limited to my lower extremities over the last few years, including the tinnitus I developed at the end of 2012.  I decided I finally needed to see a neurologist. We ruled out some autoimmune things, myelopathy, and Lyme. We had to do an extra test for Lyme, because the first one came back positive. Knowing that there were a lot of false positives, I dropped some more blood, and the more specific test came back negative. I had an EMG done which only detected decrease muscle activity that is supplied by the L5S1 nerve root, although the MRI did not show anything at that level. The doctor feels it could be some stenosis or perhaps a bone spur. This is actually what I was hoping to hear. It certainly is better than the possible alternatives. 

So, during the last few weeks while all this was going on, my vision started to change in my left eye. Thirty years ago I had a detached retina, and that was promptly repaired with a scleral buckle and some laser treatment. It seems that now, as a common side effect of this past surgery, I've developed what is known as a macular pucker. The vision in my left eye has developed less acuity. When looking at an Amsler grid below, I have a combination of areas on the grid that resemble the blurring and curvy line effect. Because the brain is adept at using the better visioned eye when seeing, there is really only a visual disturbance when looking out of the left eye only.  When my vision gets worse so that the brain can't compensate with the right eye enough,  they will consider going into my eye again to remove the scar tissue that has formed over the retina. The doctor says this can happen in less than 5 years, or not at all.

Here are the pictures of my eye. The right eye, (the left pic) is normal.
The other picture shows the puckering and fluid behind the retina, which unfortunately happens to be in the center of my vision. Ugh. The thin white line on top is the scar tissue.

The bottom line: Can I exercise? Yes. I'll have to return once a year to the specialist, and once a year to my regular eye guy. The sensory problems in my leg have abated about 50% - I continue to stretch and watch my posture. I'm going to try to get out for a walk/run tomorrow. The last run I did, I had some increased visual disturbance. Even though the doctor says I can run, I'm going to be careful and not overdo it.

Now, hopefully, back to blogging about running.


  1. That is a bit of a suck...'its always something'. Thank goodness for two eyes and two ears.
    Good idea to see a neurologist.

    ..glad you are back on the road..

  2. Thank you, Paul. I'm going to need patience. I feel like I'm starting running all over again, from the very beginning. *sigh*


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