Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sick & Tired

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!


debilyn said...

aww, emma...sorry you've been having a rough time with all this!

i'll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers =)


jori-o said...

Yeesh! I hope you're able to find out what is causing your pain and get. it. fixed! Soon! That is no fun!

RhondaLue said...

Emma lady!!! I totally feel for you!

How in heavens name do you stay so funny and entertaining whilst going through all of that tough stuff?

My Xmas wish is also for good health. When your health is iffy you start to realize how much one takes it for granted! I'm actually going in for a mini surgery type deal tomorrow to hopefully do fine needle aspiration of my pelvic mass. then my gynie gave me yet some MORE Christmas cheer: I gots ta schedule my first boob squishin...errr...I mean, mammogram. SUPER EXCITED FOR THAT. not.

Hang in there my friend. We're all in this rough gig called life together!!

Kaye Butler said...

I feel your pain. Those monster head aches ruin everything. I tried everything, keeping up with what I ate before the head ache started, trying to remember if they started right before I started.

Stress and high blood pressure is what causes mine. I hate how tired I feel after one. Especially those that are two days.

And nothing is worse than having one when you have something important going on.
I'll keep you in my prayers.

Betty said...

Sorry to hear that you´re feeling so bad! I hope "they" find out the cause soon and you feel better over the holidays. Try to take it easy!

Ruthykins said...

make sure that before you go in for all of those tests that you pray for the doctors to find out what is wrong. you may also consider asking the home teachers for a blessing.

okeydokeyifine said...

Too bad we did not have Dad and Big D do the blessing before we left town. Sorry we dropped the ball on that one.

Your house was clean and neat and comfortable. But even if things were not all in their places we would have had a wonderful time.

We continue to have you in our thoughts and prayers. Now go lay down with a cup of cocoa or mint tea.

Cindy said...

Wow! Let me tell you I suffered from migraines for several years. After admitting that I might have them, I did the neurologist thing...bla bla bla...Over a year later and too many tests and meds to mention-I ended up at a orthopaedic surgeon and had a disk removed and fusion performed over a year more migraines...
Hope you find answers soon...Feel better

TravAndToni said...

Yikes! I hope your doctors find the cause quickly and get you on your road to recovery pronto.

In the meantime, your son has a friend who's family adores yours - and they're all at your beck and call. You need, you ask. Got it? When you don't feel good, every little thing becomes a Himalayan peak, and although we can't wear down the mountaintop for you, we can certainly climb over it so you don't have to.

You know... about six months ago I had labyrinthitis, which is an infection in the bony labyrinth around your inner ear. I only mention it because my symptoms were headaches, severe dizzyness and vertigo, and horrid nausea. It can be caused by a previous ear infection. I described my dizzyness as "you know when you're on an elevator and it starts going before your body knows its moving and you get that spinny fally feeling?"

The Willeyes said...

The uncertainty often makes the problems worse as well. Doctors don't understand the stress they put us under with the waiting. Hang in there! Glad you had a fun time with your family...see you proved it're wonderwoman. Hope you start to feel better:)

Lilly's Life said...

I hope this is resolved for you soon as you certainly have been through the wringer. Take Care and here is to a much healthier 2009. the great thing is you are doing something about this and being proactive!!

Tulsi said...

I have had "something" for several years. I hate it when you go in and they say "you are fine". I hope they get to the root of your symptoms soon.

Du and MJ said...

Oh Emma, I think you are so wonderful. Even when you are going through all this you still do so much for other. I feel for you, I know what it is like (not personally, but living with some one who has cronic[sp} pain) to go to the doctor for the pain and come away without any answers. Keep looking for what is causing the problem, if you come to a dead end we have some names you could try, even if they didn't work for us, they might be able to help you. Okay that sounded dumb. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Two Blessings From Above said...

sorry to hear you are not feeling well. Keep us posted on how the test turn out. I hope you feel better soon.