Friday, February 24, 2012

Detective Work Finds Treatment for my Partner

Last Friday, I had to bring my partner to the hospital because his condition had gotten to be so bad, he needed treatment -- at least to get him to be able to sleep, which he had not been able to do. During that day-long hospitalization, he was anesthetized and given many more tests, including an MRI, CT, and a spinal tap. They took more blood than I thought he had.

Tuesday evening, his primary care physician called and said that he wanted to see my partner -- at home! Imagine: a house call in 2012.

The doc arrived and explained the results of all those tests. It's complicated. My partner has several things going on simultaneously, but the doc thinks, along with the opinion of many specialists, that a small spirochete is behind it all.

This little bugger is a microscopic one-celled bacterium. It is spread to humans via a bite from a tiny tick. Apparently, my partner has been infected with these spiral one-celled monsters for well over six months, or perhaps a year or more. They have played havoc with his body, causing dizziness, vertigo, confusion, and a feeling of arthritic pain in his joints that has been, on some occasions, so severe that he has been unable to move. Worst of all, this late-stage disease has caused a significant sleep disorder.

All because of a tick bite that he (nor I) did not notice. However, I kept asking questions, interacting with his doctors, and pursuing the matter to make sure that they ordered appropriate tests. I swear, my partner has had so many tests over the last several months that he was glowing in the dark.

But doctors do not routinely screen for spirochetes in usual blood panels (tests.) However, a top-notch ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specialist told us that with unilateral hearing loss, then requesting a panel for this monster should be routine. However, all of my partner's previous doctors missed that.

Further, when we spoke with an environmental health specialist and described that my partner often spends hours in our backyard forest, and explained that we have a lot of deer, that doctor put two-and-two together and suggested a blood test for this tick-borne disease. Together, those docs figured it out -- but not for continuous pushing on my part.

The doc thinks that if we get that disease under control, that his other symptoms of disabling and bewildering syndromes may abate. So on with the antibiotic meds, and out with the monsters!

Life is short: keep pursuing health issues until you find the truth, then fix it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well, I am glad that the work that you and your partner have been doing has finally resulted in figuring out what has been going on with my favorite brother-in-law, and that you have a treatment plan.

In other news, plan for me to fly back home next year, as soon as your state's same-sex marriage law takes effect. I will be, without question, your Best Man as you were for me in my wedding. I bet you will require every man in the wedding party to wear boots, right?

Love you lots, ore e sempre,