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Monday, June 13, 2011
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo @ 12:24 PM

So it’s been almost a month since I have had any sort of income what so ever. I’ve had it for as long as I can remember; you stand up and the world spins for a minute and you feel light headed, it passes and you move on. Well a few months ago it got worse, so bad the room would not stop spinning. My parents came over to my house and took me to Centra Care at 11:30 at night. Of course they were of no help; they said they could only treat the symptoms. So I returned home with four different prescriptions to be filled. After about a week or to the meds helped and all the nausea and dizziness went away. That was until about a month ago.

The vertigo first hit me at work, it was a partial hot flash then the room started spinning. Luckily I had enough wit about me to lean against a shelf before me knees buckled. After it passed I hopped back to work and thought nothing of it, till Friday night when I started throwing up for no reason. Saturday morning rolled around and I was off to Centra Care once again [different location]. It had been almost two months since these symptoms had returned and the doctor told me the same thing: we can’t diagnose you- only treat your symptoms. He prescribed me two anti-nausea medications, told me to follow up with my primary care physician in three days and to go to the ER if it got worse. Last time I checked that suggestion was not a good thing.

The three days went by very slowly. The longest I have been on bedrest was nine weeks, but trust me when I tell you these three days drug out. Finally it was time for me to visit my PCP and get some answers. Now within this three day span one of these medications was having some really bad side effects. One was that I was super sensitive to light and sound- thus causing some major migraines. Second Eitan was in town and I was driving us over to my parents house when I almost rear ended some guy. I was looking right at his car when it stopped and for some reason it didn’t register to hit the brakes, luckily Eitan had been with me. Secondly I had been seeing bugs that weren’t there. Now Paul and I live on the lake, we have lots of bugs, but when you tell your roommate to kill a spider that isn’t actually there- there’s something wrong.

So I explained everything that had happened to my doctor and she prescribed me an anti-vertigo medication and a migraine medication. I was on a total of five prescribed medications [including my regular medication for some other stuff]. Well the anti-vert helped with the hallucinations and the migraine medication made my headaches go away. Following up with her again she suggested that my issue may be an inner ear problem. When the inner ear is thrown off balance it causes vertigo and dizziness; that vertigo and dizziness can in turn cause nausea. So I was off to the Ear, Nose and Throat doctor next, but not before she prescribed me a migraine preventative medication [turns out it used to be used for anti-depression, but there are better drugs out there for that so it’s used for other things. Needless to say I had some killer mood swings when I was first on it.]

So at this point I had been out of work for three weeks and was paying tons of money in doctor’s bills and prescription fees. The thing about money going out is that you have to have money coming in. Regardless, we were finally getting somewhere after almost a month of not knowing what was going on. They did an audio test- my hearing was fine- and sent me back to wait for the doctor. Turns out I have what is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo; basically it means that it’s a non-life threatening vertigo that happens when I move my body in different ways. Basically there are crystals in your inner ear that help you keep your balance. There are a number of ways these crystals can come loose, but when they do it causes the vertigo and dizziness. It took four doctors to finally figure this out.

So they took me into another room, moved my head and body in certain ways to put the crystals back in place and gave me a paper with all the information on BPPV. They also told me I had to purchase a soft collar neck brace and wear it for the next week- even while I sleep. I couldn’t lie down, I have to sleep sitting up and if for whatever reason I do lie down it has to be on my right side. Here is where the fun begins: Paul and I went to the medical supply store that they suggested- they didn’t have the size that would fit me but they said they would order it and it would be there the next day at two. Now on the sheet it said it was imperative that I wear the collar within the next 48 hours so that the crystals would go back into place. So we go back the next day, and the stupid store doesn’t have it! They called and said they would get it in the NEXT DAY. You would think that as a medical supply store they would be on top of this kind of thing. I told them forget it and went somewhere else- they had my size.

Four weeks have passed since this thing first started, and this neck brace gets to come off in three days. I will tell you what, being sick/injured is not fun. The financial trouble is not worth it.In the end I’m ready for this crap to be over so I can get back to normalcy.

i shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:

two roads diverged in a wood, and i -
i took the one less traveled by,

and that has made all the difference.

the art of uncertainty.