Health Stuff

Well, I’ve finally decided to take a step…towards the doctor’s office. I’m not a fan. I’m not a person who gets sick a lot. For the most part when I am sick, I debate about going to the doctor. I hate going and paying to see the doctor only to have them tell me to go home, rest, drink fluids, and it will pass. I have 3 kids, I school at home, I work part-time. I don’t have to “rest” as it is intended to mean. I am fairly good about the maintenance doctor visits, though.

So since I had a horrible case of vertigo May 2007, I have never felt quite “normal”. I always felt like the world might want to spin – even if it didn’t. And since this most recent case of vertigo a month ago, I am not even close to the “normal” I was before.

I’m thinking I have a long-standing history of oddities in my wellbeing that maybe somehow are connected. So I made an appointment with a D.O. I’m hoping that maybe he provide some insight into my issues. Here let me list them:
1. Vertigo with other associated ear symptoms (head CT scan normal).
2. Goiter with nodules (lab work normal)
3. Minor neck injury as a teenager which left calcifications on my cervical vertebrae (seen on x-ray 12 years ago).

Is there some bigger picture that somehow connects all these pieces together. Maybe, say, the neck injury lead to the calcifications (pretty certain on that part) which have grown over time somehow impinging/rubbing on nerves that affect thyroid and inner ear? I know the goiter has been there for at least 4 years. We had family pictures taken and I remember looking at my neck and thinking why is that there? But no one else really thought it was a big deal, so I never mentioned it to the doctor.

After last May’s vertigo and the normal CT scan, my primary care physician (PCP) sent me to an ENT to make sure my ears were normal. The ENT essentially told me there was nothing to be done. I was fine, and to not do the things that cause the vertigo – his diagnosis – benign positional vertigo. When during a routine exam, my PCP thought my thyroid seemed enlarged, she sent me for an ultrasound, which showed and enlarged thyroid with 2 very small nodules. So I went to the endocrinologist who told me yes, your thyroid is enlarged, yes you have nodules, but your lab work is normal so don’t worry about it. Come back in a year so we can monitor the nodules.

Okay, as I said above I don’t like going to the doctor and having them tell me that my cold is just that, a cold. I definitely don’t like knowing something is wrong inside my head and neck (otherwise why would I be having these symptoms?) and yet being told nothing is wrong with me.

I’m fairly normal, healthy person other than these things. But when these things are part of my every day life, they matter. So Monday morning, I’m off to the D.O. I’m hoping the mantra of a D.O. of looking at the whole picture and not just a piece of it may offer something. If not, I’ll stick with the PCP I currently have and cope.

Okay, so enough of my bitching. Treadmill here I come.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by I, Rodius on September 8, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    So how’d it go at the doctor? I know how you feel about hating to go and then finding out your cold was just a cold. I was actually quite proud of myself for going straight to the doctor after coughing up blood rather than waiting and seeing if it got any better on its own. Vertigo would be troublesome. Here’s hoping your cold is just a cold, even if you did go to the doctor!

  2. Posted by Living In a Girl's World on September 8, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    Twitter kind of summed it up. The doc was nice. He spent about 40 minutes with me and thought it was odd that I didn’t want to see a specialist. He said he is always getting requests for that from his patients.

    He told me that MAYBE my body finally has (after 15 years of living here) developed allergies, and this is how it manifests in my body. Also my left ear has been felt plugged up the last couple of days – well my left tympanic membrane looked fine, but my right one was bulging a little. Go figure. He also said that he had luck using amitryptline (very low dose) on other patients with vertigo. It’s an antidepressant, but effective dosages in adults is at least 5 times what he has prescribed for me. I haven’t decided if I’m going to take it or not. He also wrote up orders for an MRI of my head and neck just to look for any abnormalities.

    Essentially he told me what all the others have told me, except that he was willing to “experiment” and see if we found something that works. I told him that I felt too damn young and relatively healthy to be having “chronic” problems.

    Here’s hopin’!

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