Friday, May 12, 2006

Rocks in my head

My Mama always told me if I didn't pay attention in school, I'd grow up with rocks in my head instead of brains.
I shoulda listened to my Mama.

But hey- at least now I know why I've been dizzy for the past three weeks! BPPV is an inner ear disorder in which otoconia, or "ear rocks", small crystals of calcium carbonate, break loose in the ear canals. Symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, imbalance, and nausea- all of which have been my contast companion for the past few weeks. At first I thought I had an ear infection, because I had a lot of pain and pressure on the left side of my head, but my initial doctor's appointment ruled that out. The MRI ruled out tumors, and audiology ruled out any hearing loss. Now I know that I have a calcium carbonate crystal free-floating around in the canals of my left ear.

Today, the ENT had me turn my head to the right and slowly lay down on my back with my eyes open. Not too bad- walls were a little jiggly, but that's it. Then he had me repeat it on my left side.


HOLY SMOLY! I could not believe how dizzy that made me! I wasn't able to do it- I felt like the table was falling out from underneath me, and I was blacking out. I grabbed out for something- ANYTHING- to pull me back to Earth. The poor doctor- he kept trying to reassure me and get me to open my eyes, but I just couldn't do it. He had to sit me back up almost as soon as he started to lay me down. I swear, that has got to be the closest thing to free falling or zero gravity I have ever, and ever want, to feel. I was NOT cut out to become an astronaut or sky diver. No way... not this girl. I like my feet FIRMLY planted on the Earth.

Next step: Physical therapy for an Epley canalith repositioning procedure in which I will have to go back down into the offending position and let them move my head to get the crystal to move out of my ear canal. *Shudder* I am NOT looking forward to it, but hey.. after 3 weeks of this crapola, I'm very happy to know that the end is near.


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