The Eric Factor: Why I am returning to work without a diagnosis

Good morning! On social, I promised some news this morning. While you won’t see me on Good Morning Quad Cities yet, it’s my hope that I am able to d...

Good morning!

On social, I promised some news this morning. While you won't see me on Good Morning Quad Cities yet, it's my hope that I am able to do so on Friday and all next week!

Back in February, I ran into some health challenges as my level of headache increased as my short-term memory was decreased. I brought it up to my doctor and she vigorously began doing tests.

I quickly learned that in medicine, vigorous is sometimes not fast enough to keep working while symptoms worsen.

The long testing process
In the middle of March, I took a leave which would allow me to see numerous doctors for blood tests, MRI's, CT-scans, ultrasounds, a lumbar puncture, and even a sleep study.

But none of these tests showed up positive for anything that could be causing cognitive difficulty. I got to the point that I welcomed any news that could point me in the right direction.

In this process, I also learned that we have a definite shortage of specialized doctors. It took six weeks for me to see a Neurologist. It took me even longer to see someone who could give me a Neuropsychological Exam. A few weeks ago, my doctor referred me to Mayo Clinic. I was so thankful to get the call that I will be "in clinic," but the earliest opening is July.

So where does this leave me now?
I'm sure to receive some "Glad you're feeling better" e-mails, but the truth of the matter is I am not yet feeling better. I made the decision to return because I believe the support from my colleagues and viewers will help me get better. I also live to track storms and these days, that will take up time I'd be obsessing over my memory.

What is the prognosis?
I don't know if what afflicts me is related to the spinal surgery/anesthesia I had back in December or not. It could be a product of a vitamin or chemical imbalance in my brain, or something more complex like a traumatic brain injury, dementia, early-Alzheimers, or Parkinson's. But there is no business trying to forecast if you don't have enough data...so let's just deal with today and wait for the tests to come back.

What will be different?
In the meantime, my goal is to do what I can. I came in early this morning to reacquaint myself with the computer systems and I feel that I am now swimming with weights on my feet. As I type this, it's harder to get the words out of my brain and into my fingertips on the keyboard.  I remember all of the Meteorology, but coming up with the logical steps is going to be my challenge.

I completely accept this challenge but know that there will be days that are harder than others. I am asking for patience as some days, the right words may be trouble coming out of my mouth. I may need some extra help finding my way but by the number of emails, letters, and notes I've received so far, I know I won't be alone on my journey.

Thank you for everything and I hope you're able to be with me on my return to morning TV on Friday!

-Meteorologist Eric Sorensen