Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rocks in my head!! Rocks in my head! Lookin' like a fool with the rocks in my head!

Since roughly mid-October, I've been having a really fun time with persistent dizziness and vertigo. It started out pretty strong--no matter which direction or how quickly (or slowly) I moved my head, I got SERIOUSLY dizzy and off-balance. It was scary and it made me super nauseated to the point that I felt like I was always on the verge of throwing up, but never quite able to seal the deal--a lovely, lovely feeling. I got some motion sickness medicine at the drug store, and although it helped with the nausea, it made me insanely sleepy. So yeah, not much help. After a couple of weeks of dealing with this bullshit and it only getting moderately better (i.e., looking side-to-side didn't bug me as much, and I wasn't about to puke all the time, but the rest of it was still present), I went to see my family doctor. She gave me a shot of steroids in my ass (to help with the nausea) and some well-known prescription meds for this type of thing that, guess what, make you sleepy as Hell and lists "dizziness" as one of its side effects. She also told me, "If this hasn't gotten better in a month, come back and see me."

Well guess where I was a month later. That's right! Back in her office where, this time, she prescribed some transdermal patch thing that they give to people when they're going on cruises to help with dizziness and motion sickness. The patches didn't do a damn thing for me except for accidentally dialate one (yep, just one) of my eyes for two days and make me look an awful lot like David Bowie and/or a psychopath.

So then in December, I go to my semi-annual cardiologist appointment and tell him what's going on and he(finally) refers me to an ENT who can help. But they can't see me until mid-January. Which was today.

The diagnosis: Begnign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. It's basically caused when debris known by the highly technical name "ear rocks" that's supposed to hang out in one part of your inner ear, decides to get crazy and wander to another part of your inner ear and fuck around with your sense of balance and spatial relativity. It's awesome. The treatment? The ENT and an assistant put you in a chair and basically move you around and position you a dozen different ways in order to see how they can make you the MOST dizzy. Once they figure that out, they can guesstimate which ear and what part of that ear these renegade "rocks" are partying in, and then move you around/position you in a sequence that, hopefully, sends the rocks back to where they should be. And they hopefully get grounded.

So yes, I did this. And yes, it appears to have worked. However, I did barf (twice) at the ENT's office and must sleep on my back and elevated for the next two nights, and not bend down to pick anything up or lie on my side or do any sudden up/down or side/side head motions until Friday. Piece of cake.

The other things they discovered during my exam is that I have excellent hearing for someone my age (which is a minor miracle considering how I've totally abused my ears with The Rock and Roll for many years) and that I have a "nodule" on my thyroid (probably nothing) that I'm having ultrasounded on Friday morning.

So yay.

I have much, much more to tell, friends. However, I'm emotionally and physically sort of spent for the day. So I'm going to go read and listen to some music while I'm propped at a 45% angle in my bed.

More soon--including Intention #3--very soon.


Marti said...

That is so odd, my friend called me yesterday and she was just diagnosed with the exact same thing. Feel better soon! BTW, love the blond hair!

hotpinksox said...

So glad you are feeling better. I have a nodule on my thyroid too. Hopefully yours is nothing, just like mine.

Malarkey said...

A friend of mine had this. It's automatically what I thought of when I read your post. Silly doctors, shouldn't this be their first suspicion when someone comes in with unmanageable dizziness?!

Mandy said...

Urg. I have had a sinus infection for the last 2 weeks that gives me the same sort of queasy, dizzy feeling when I move my head or bend over. I hope you feel better soon--that is one of the worst feelings ever, and I am Queen of Motion Sickness (I get it even on a raft in a pool!), so I know it well.