Penn Update – Stroke Neurology Appointment

Yesterday, I got a phone call that blew me out of the water.

Dr. Messé’s office [the stroke neurologist Dr. Zager wanted me to see] called me at work around 10 a.m. and said they had two appointments to offer yesterday. In the event I couldn’t take one of those, I was still scheduled for November 8 and could wait until then.

I jumped at the chance to go. I talked with my boss, called M, and got everything arranged. By 11:45, M and I were on our way to Penn for a 1 p.m. appointment.

I pretty much love Dr. Messé. First I talked with one of the residents working with him. She did a basic neurological exam and asked me to run through my history for her. After I gave her copies of my MRI and MRA to view [and told her the problem Dr. Zager’s office had run in to], she stepped out. About 20 minutes later, Dr. Messé came in.

We talked for a bit, and he essentially said the same things Dr. Zager said, and backed up what Dr. Satti at Christiana said about missing branches to assist with blood flow at the front of my brain. He also described to me the different between Moyamoya Disease and Moyamoya Syndrome, which is what he actually thinks I’ve got. The disease is something you’re born with, and no one really knows what causes it. The syndrome develops as a result of something, and to determine what that might be, he ordered a lot of blood work. He also ordered a repeat MRI and MRA, both of which can be done the same day, and the day I do the blood work [because I need to have the blood work done at Penn]. After that, I’ll need an angiogram, which I was fully expecting.

I’m not allowed to take decongestants or certain types of migraine medications. I have to stay hydrated. I can continue to take percocet when I get awful headaches that Tylenol won’t touch, but he mentioned that he doesn’t want me taking it all the time. I felt a spark of pride when I told him I usually only ever take half and I won’t take it if there are no other adults around and he told me that was really responsible of me. M always tells me how good that is of me but for some reason, coming from a doctor it sounded a bit better. It’s okay, I’m weird. I know this. He also asked me how I felt about closed MRIs. I told him I prefer open. He said he prefers closed because you get a better picture. My response was, “Well, can you give me Valium? I can do them with Valium.” I have a prescription for two pills. One to take about an hour before the test, and another to take just before if I need it. I took both the last time I had an MRI.

I feel like this is starting to make a lot of sense. The migraines/bad headaches I get started somewhere between my senior year of high school and around the time I met M. I remember working at Starbucks and thinking there was no way I was going to be able to get through the shift, but I did it somehow. More than once I worked through a headache so bad I couldn’t turn my head too quickly at Joe’s, because I was the only bartender in the building [aside from the managers].

So right now, I’m waiting to hear back from Radiology at Penn about when I can have the MRI and MRA done. I also need to speak with Joanne about scheduling the angiogram. None of this doesn’t worry me. But I feel better than I did a month ago, because I’m finally getting some answers. It can only get better from here, right?

2 Replies to “Penn Update – Stroke Neurology Appointment”

  1. Goid luck with the testing. I hope they can diagnose the problem and give you a cure our at least a way to deal with it. I’ll keep you in my prayers. Please keep us posted.

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