I know I’ve written a great deal about Sophie’s various appointments over the years — neurologist, neurosurgeon, ophthalmologist, geneticist, etc. But for the first time I’ve now had my own appointment with one such specialist — the neurologist.
This little Irish man entered my exam room and wowed me with his knowledge of neurology. Very impressive indeed. He listened. He thought. He showed compassion. He explained. He ordered tests. He referred.
He listened to my entire history and asked me many questions about my dizzy spells as he tried to help me pinpoint when this stroke may have happened. The verdict is still out on that one. He did conclude that it was likely a pregnancy related stroke (not sure how to feel about that), either when I was in such poor health at the end with Sophie, or when I experienced my first (and most extreme) vertigo while early in my pregnancy with Micah. My bet is on the latter because it was the very first time I experienced anything like that, and it was extremely bad, though I was also borderline pre-eclamptic with Sophie at the end, so we can’t rule that out either. The stroke, however, was about the size of a pen tip. Very small. Very minor. Even so, he has ordered many blood tests, and an MRA to rule out serious problems that could also have caused the stroke. More tests. Fun, fun.
And he does not conclude, interestingly, in spite of the unifying diagnosis theory, that the stroke explains my symptoms. The timeline, we have all concluded, just doesn’t fit. My dizziness that began in September has been completely different from all that I experienced beforehand. In previous episodes of vertigo, my wold spun, I felt nauseated, I had to lay down. This most recent issue with dizziness leaves me feeling more like a drunkard, stumbling around, feeling like I’m trying to walk on a boat out to sea. NOT a cool feeling to live your life with. This, in conjunction with my hearing loss and crackling sounds in my ear, led the neurologist to conclude that I may have a problem with my inner ear. Hence the referral to ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat).
My doctor actually said to me, “If you were my sister, this is the doctor that I would want you to see.” I was very impressed with the compassion in these words. To this doctor, I felt like a person, not just a weird case, a mystery to be solved. My neurologist has personal experience as a patient of this ENT and claims his excellence, can pull strings to get me in soon, and has his own hearing because of the handiwork of this physician. So, I will see this amazing ENT sometime in the near future.
In the meantime, I will undergo all my tests, and I will begin a type of physical therapy which he says has “high efficacy” with vertigo sufferers. (I learned that whether your world is spinning or you feel like you are moving, off balance, etc, it is all classified as vertigo.) My hope is that the tests will reveal no serious issues, that the PT will help me continue to overcome my dizzy spells, and that the ENT will have further wisdom for me. I will also follow up with the neurologist in four weeks.
As for how I’m feeling, my dizziness continues to decrease. Praise Jesus! I am to the point now where most days I feel pretty normal. Occasionally, I will have mild moments where I feel dizzy, but they do not turn into full blow dizzy episodes. I am still being careful to avoid my triggers, but I find that many of them no longer trigger dizziness.
*I CAN once again walk and push the stroller
*I CAN get down on the floor with my kids, even in the mornings
*I CAN turn back and forth quickly (as when going from the fridge to the stove to the sink, etc)
*I was ABLE to RUN down the hill with my kids at the park this past week, which is an awesome blessing! (Slopes, stairs, and uneven footing have and still do cause some trouble for me.)
In addition, I threw caution to the wind last night at our church chili cook off because I desperately wanted to take Sophie on her first hayride. I admit, I did not feel awesome while on the hayride or thereafter, but the effects were so much less than I anticipated! Plus, Sophie keeps asking me today if we can go on another hayride and hear Mr. Shane and Mr. Todd sing again. It was well worth any consequential dizziness that I may yet experience!
Thank you Jesus for your healing touch!