Temporal Artery Biopsy

If you ever need an artery nipped out of your temple, have a plastic surgeon do it. My doctor was so deft, his sutures so neat, I’m not quite sure where to slather the antibiotic ointment.

Look carefully.

What’s going on? That’s the million-dollar question. 

January of this year was a strange ride for me, as it was for many, including cohorts at misterio press and so many personal friends as omicron disrupted their lives in one way or another.

My body pinballed through a gamut of symptoms, concurrent, but seemingly unconnected. Pressure headache——pain up my neck, by my temples, all over my skull, so tender I couldn’t rest my head comfortably on a pillow. Dermatitis on my palms that baffled my dermatologist. Then my feet swelled like beached whales, turning hot and purple, my ankles non-existent. My vision shimmered.

At least a dozen doctor’s visits resulted in a blood test with off the chart platelets. A possible culprit was identified, with emergency Prednisone to avoid the risk of blindness. Then off to a specialist, a rheumatologist, followed by the biopsy.

I’ll have results soon. In some ways a positive result is preferrable. If I have the auto-immune disease giant cell arteritis, then the path forward is clearer. Unfortunately, if the biopsy is negative, it does not mean I’m free of the disease. The arterial lesions don’t form a continuous path, so the sample clipping could miss them. A negative result simply makes the way forward muddier.

Giant cell arteritis is rare. The plastic surgeon indicated he’s done many of these biopsies and guesses maybe two of them have come back positive. 

But the demographic is  1. FEMALE ♫ 2. OVER 60 ♫ 3. OF NORDIC DESCENT ♫

Wish me luck. I promise the next post will be full of positive writing news.

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