With considerable help from Mr. DayInTheLife, I've diagnosed myself with BPPV. (And "they" named it that to f*ck with people who have trouble pronouncing things - which may or may not be a symptom of the actual condition. Damn it). Or I may have had a stroke, or I may have Meniere's disease. (When you self-diagnose it's a crap shoot. But, it turns out when you pay lots of money to specialists it's a crap shoot, too.)
Regardless, I've decided to write it all down. If I am having a stroke this will be the first chapter of my yet untitled novel about my life after stroke. And if I am not having a stroke, this will just be another gratuitous blog post about nothing.
So, I woke up a few weeks ago and immediately face-planted into my dresser. This was quite unexpected and kind of unsettling. It may come as a surprise that I don't usually do this. I am quite clumsy, but I can normally maintain some semblance of balance (when not totally inebriated - which only happens at Christmas parties and other times when I invariably need to make a good impression).
If you've never experienced vertigo, it feels a little like being on a treadmill (presumably without the purported health benefits). I continued to experience dizziness (minus the blonde) and vomited immediately after drinking a cup of coffee (boo, hiss). I will spare you the medical minute by minute but I ended up at my doctor the next day.
It was determined (after a full check-up during which - thankfully - I did not have to remove my clothes and don one of those attractive gowns that don't fully close) that I had excessive wax build-up in my ears which may or may not be causing a feeling of imbalance. Sexy, I know. I had my ears plunged but alas I had wax directly on my ear drum and I was referred to an ENT.
I guess I should have said this may be more information than you will ever want to know about me. But, since my stats show that I am the only person reading this blog I figure I am quite safe exposing myself to myself.
I went to an ENT this past week. He vacuumed my ear with the world's tiniest vacuum.
|(Photo courtesty: http://metro.co.uk) No, it didn't look like this dog, "Milly" whose photo came up when I Googled 'world's tiniest vacuum.' But, I kinda wish it had?|
So, you are in a sound proof room with a headset on. I'm not sure why, but this kind of made me feel like Buzz Lightyear. Then, you have to raise your hand when you hear a sound.
What they don't tell you is that the sounds are not going to be like your kid calling you from upstairs. They are going to be sounds that only dogs (like Milly) can hear. So, it kind of turns into a Rorschach test for hearing. First if you're like me, you get incredibly distracted waiting for the test to start. Then, when it starts you immediately second guess yourself as to whether or not what you heard was a sound. Then, you begin to think you heard a sound when in fact there was no sound. Then you begin to think you are going completely mad. And deaf. It was almost as disarming as the vertigo itself.
After I convinced myself that I was totally deaf and that was the root of my fact-planting, it was discovered (thankfully) that I have hearing within the normal range. (Except for hearing hubby and my kids which I rarely do.)
So, approximately one and half weeks after vertigo, I am still unbalanced (mentally and physically) and experiencing dizziness. The experts have charged me $173, removed the wax covering my ear drum, pronounced me "hearing", and told me they are not sure what caused my vertigo, they are not sure if it will reoccur, they are not sure if it will subside, and to take two aspirins and come back in a week if I do not feel better.
Hubby and Google thankfully have been much more helpful. It seems I have something called BPPV although without further testing a brain tumor, stroke, and Meniere's Disease cannot be ruled out. Hubby is working on constructing a homemade MRI machine as I type.
I'm not worried. I have four more days to feel better before I need to consult another "specialist."
And, since I am so good at this, if you need a diagnosis, or hell, a prescription, give me a call. I'm currently accepting new patients.