Wednesday, December 12, 2012

BPPV, Still

At the end of November, I went to my monthly oncologist visit. I was a bit scared to go. The reason was that Dr. K had given me a referral for my vertigo, but I had not even called the office to make an appointment. I know, I know. And yes, she was very frustrated when I went to see her. But, I had heard a story of someone with vertigo going for physical therapy and throwing up and not being able to leave the office because of the nausea. It scared me dizzy!

I have had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) since October 9th. I am so thankful that it has gotten so much better, but it is still with me. There are three semi-circular canals in your inner ear which contain little crystals. When you get bopped on the head or move your head in a funny way, those crystals can come out. Then, your world begins to spin, you can't keep your balance, and you feel so much nausea. Physical therapy is the only treatment for BPPV. There is no medicine that will drive those crystals back where they belong.

BPPV is so common that they have physical therapists that specialize in this.  I went to one of these BPPV physical therapists. I had to wear these special glasses so she could see my eye movements. She made me lay down, wait a little, moved my head to the opposite side, wait a little, made me get up, and put my chin down against my body.

They can tell which canal the crystals came out of by watching your eye movements. During a dizzy spell, your eyes will move in specific directions that will show the therapist which canal the crystals came out of. Once they figure out which canal it is, they do specific exercises to get the crystals back into that specific canal.

During my session, I only had a very mild dizzy spell. I closed my eyes when I shouldn't have so she couldn't see which canal it might have been. She kind of got an idea and proceeded with the exercises. Funny how you have a problem and when you get to the doctor, the symptoms don't appear. When I got home, I lay down on my bed and I got another dizzy spell.

One thing that came to light was that my hearing isn't so sharp on the right side. I had been noticing that  when talking to someone, I kept tilting my right ear towards the person. When the PT did a slight hearing test, I had a hard time hearing with my right ear.

Please pray that I will be back to normal soon and that they will figure out what is going on with my right ear.

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