Some days I feel sick. Some days I feel tired. Mostly, I am just sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I can't remember the last time I went an entire day without having a headache. It seems like a daily thing. For a while I thought perhaps it was due to my back/neck (supporting the weight of the "girls") that was causing the headaches. However, I see my chiropractor religiously. I do have trouble sleeping, and thought perhaps lack of sleep was causing the headaches.
Then the bouts of dizziness started to occur. By the way, try explaining to a Doctor what "dizziness" feels like without using the word "dizzy". For me, it's like the start or end of an elevator ride. Just a brief wash of dizziness across my forehead and behind my eyes, if that makes any sense.
Rewind about a month ago, I am at Big-D's house watching the game. By the 3rd quarter my head was pounding, and I was feeling dizzy and our beloved Blue was getting crushed by the Red anyway. Big-D suggests I take a nap. I didn't argue. I am not sure how much time passed, but soon I can tell someone is standing over me; creepy. I practically jump out of my skin. It was Big-D checking my pulse in my wrist. I asked him what he was doing. He told me that while I was sleeping he could hear my body working hard to breathe. So he checked my resting heart rate and declared it too fast. He really wanted to take me to the ER. I didn't think that was necessary. I instead decide to call my parents and get a professional opinion (from another state, mind you). My dad was an EMT for years and my mom is a Nurse (hence the nickname, NurseMom). I ask my mom "when is your resting heart rate too fast?" She asked what mine was, I told her. She did her "hmmm" that didn't comfort me at all. She asked me what other symptoms, if any I was having. I told her heart palpitations, chest pains, dizziness, shoulder pain, and a migraine. She gave me her advice. I hung up the phone.
"Well," asked Big-D, "What did she say?" "She told me to have someone drive me to the ER," I replied. That settled it. I was going in.
Thankfully, they quickly ruled out Heart Attack and Stroke. The Dr. said the first thing to do when treating for pain is to get the patient to sleep. So, he gave me a shot of Toradol for the migraine and a prescription for Xanax to help me sleep. He also gave me a referral for the Hearing and Balance center, which I called the next day.
They wanted to do a series of tests for something called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). Since I had an inner ear infection last year, it would make sense that this could be the culprit of my pain & dizziness. In [very] Lay Man's terms, BPPV is when certain debris, sometimes called ear crystals or rocks, fail to migrate in the ear canal because of damage to what's called the utricle (possibly caused by injury or infection). I was able to get in that same week. They did all sorts of tests purposely making me dizzy so they could determine if BPPV was the source. At the end, that Dr. informed me that she was able to rule out everything except Central Nervous System. So, no BPPV, but I was to contact a neurologist.
I called my primary care to get a referral. After about 4 days of talking to nurses, who would in turn talk to my doctor, who would then get info from the doctor and call me back to ask questions, get my answers, tell the doctor, call me back, and round-and-round-she-goes, where-she-stops-nobody-knows type of phone tag (talk about dizzy!), The Dr. wanted to have me checked out for 2 possibilities. 1) Neurological Syndrome (a fancy word for "migraines" and 2) Acoustic Neuroma, which is basically a benign tumor that leads from the brain to the inner ear (again affecting the balance nerve). Tests she wants the neurologist to consider are an MRI, CT scan, and perhaps PET scan. Apparently these tests can determine or rule out the aforementioned conditions.
But, first, like everything else...blood work! ugh. So they did a Chemistry Blood Panel and Urineanalysis and checked hormone levels as well, since hormones is the #1 cause of migraines in women. After being in the lab for most of the day, I felt sick and had a migraine for a good two days. Finally, around 3pm the next day I felt better. That is when I had to put everything into high-gear and motivate (bribe/threaten) my kids to help clean the house since my parents would be getting in that night.
I wasn't able to get everything on my list crossed off, however, thanks to my slave-children and Anna's idea to shove things in closets (hee hee) I felt at least it was good enough for my family to come for a visit. Luckily, for the weekend, I was able to put my thoughts regarding my health on the back burner and enjoy my family. Though I did end each day with a full-on head-ache.
So, we still don't know the cause/source of my pain or the dizziness. But I guess as long as it isn't life-threatening, I just have to play the waiting game and work on the Dr's time table.
My wish for this holiday season and the new year to come? Good health for me and my family definitely tops the list. I'll be sure to keep you all posted!