Monday, October 20, 2008

Be still my room

Well, Be Still My Bedroom would've been a more accurate title because that's where I spend the better half of last week, but then I could've been accused of false advertising techniques and undelivered promises of racy posts. And there's nothing racy about this post, so... I think I am already blabbing uncontrollably...

So what am I trying to say? I got vertigo again. On Yom Kippur, after particularly easy time fasting. So now I have good news and bad news. Good news is that I do not have Meniere's, as originally suggested by my ENT, but BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). That means that I am not going to prematurely lose my hearing. That also means that I do not have to spell it to medical personnel in hospitals any more (I was once chided by a PA during an emergency room visit for misspelling Meniere's. All those ER doc's couldn't spell it either, and thus couldn't find it in their database and put it in my chart. Basically, her point was that their having advanced medical degrees doesn't absolve me of my responsibility to know how to spell my own diseases. It's your disease, you should own it.) Bad news? It changes little in my day to day life. I might still get dizzy out of the blue, and my life would have to be put on hold until this vertigo resolves itself. There are other measures, but all of it gets complicated due to time sensitivity of the treatments and rehab centers not returning calls promptly...

And I have a problem with the name of my new found malady. If that is "benign" then I don't know what malignant is. I was completely out of commission for three full days, had to walk with assistance for another one, couldn't keep anything down for 96 hours, water included, and only fully regained my balance 7 days after the whole thing started. Up until then, I couldn't walk in a straight line even if someone paid me. Heck, I would pay someone to make me do it!

The whole thing also brought me to thinking about switching to another ENT or neurologist. Even though this one came highly recommended with fancy titles to his names, he somehow misdiagnosed me two years ago. Not because he was lacking in knowledge; I think we are simply not communicating properly. Half the time I simply didn't understand his questions fully knowing the meaning of every single word in them. As it is, my case turned out to be quite simple, so I don't need a fancy specialist. But as a human being I require someone more, well, human. Because a fancy degree in medicine not only doesn't guarantee the knowledge of disease spelling, it doesn't require its bearer to have empathy and compassion towards his patients.


  1. I think I mentioned it before? that a vestibular PT may do you good (unless that's what you ment by 'rehab centers not returning your calls).
    Also, these days, people go into medical field because it pays well not because they want to heal. Please lower your expectations...

  2. You did mention it before. Funny thing is when you mentioned it, we all thought it was Meniere's, and PT doesn't help with that. This time, I had a misfortune of getting vertigo on Thursday, and rehab center returned my call only Monday afternoon. By that time those vestibular exercises wouldn't do my any good.

    Re: lowered expectations. I might do a separate post on that.

  3. I'm sorry I missed this one! I deal with Meniere's (and I even know how to spell it!). Luckily, so far it has been sporadic. Still, just knowing that I could have an episode at any time whatsoever is enough to make me a hermit!

    Isn't BPPV caused by calcifications in the inner ear? I thought there were exercises you could do to make the calcifications shift and thereby stop the vertigo attack?


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