Sunday, June 03, 2007

sign me up for medical school

After four days of mostly lying flat on my back (and not in a good way, believe me) I thought a second opinion might be in order and sought the advice of my favourite ENT (ear, nose and throat for those of you who never get sick) doctor on Thursday afternoon. An ENT is called a HNO in German. Hals-Nasen-Ohren means throat, nose (well, noses actually. What's up with that?) and ears. Funny how those things work. Who gets to decide on the body part order?

In dealing with German doctors, I find it useful to do some research beforehand so I can go in and say "Guten Tag Herr Doktor! This is what's wrong with me and this is what I'd like you to do about it." They like the directness and I get out of there faster. Some have even asked me if I'm a medical professional to which I reply "Well, no, but I do have an internet connection and a brain."

Dr. B, who is a pretty nice guy as far as ENT doctors go, heartily agreed with my BPPV self-diagnosis but wanted to do a balance test to rule out any other nasties having to do with the brain and such.

Have you ever had a balance test? It's now on my list somewhere between giving birth and jet lag.

If you enjoy having electrodes glued to your face, this test is for you. There's also the hard stream of warm air that they blow into each ear in turn to stimulate the organ responsible for balance. Whoah! If you weren't dizzy before, that'll do it for you. After that they check for nystagmus (involuntary eye movements that often go along with a vertigo attack) by giving you a pair of funny glasses to wear and making you do contortions in the examining chair. Mr. M, who more or less patiently stuck it out in the waiting room for an hour and a half, thought I'd never get out of there.

They did eventually release me from the torture chamber and yeah, it was BPPV all right. Dr. B gave me a spiffy brochure detailing the exercises required to dislodge those little calcium crystals. The various maneuvers involve flinging yourself about on the sofa three times a day to put the little beggars back where they belong. I'm feeling much, much better now. Still a little lightheaded however that should be over soon, I'm sure.

But take a look at this. Poor, poor Tommy Roe. Is it really just the girl or could it be BPPV?

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At June 03, 2007 12:17 p.m., Blogger Elemmaciltur said...

Glad you found out what it is...and that it's getting better!

At June 03, 2007 1:02 p.m., Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

That's good news. But does this mean that you'll keep having these vertigo attacks anyway, or will it settle down with time?

Glad you're feeling better, Dr. Christina ;)

At June 03, 2007 2:19 p.m., Blogger Ginnie said...

You are so good, Christina. Um...Doctor Christina is right! Well, let's hope this does the trick. We fly back to Amsterdam today, after which I'll look at the YouTube video. Knowing you, it's a good one. :)

Hang in there, dear Lady!

At June 03, 2007 4:20 p.m., Blogger Rositta said...

It does go away, I know those exercises look ridiculous, my sweetie had to do them too. I feel sorry for you but it does get better...ciao

At June 03, 2007 7:14 p.m., Blogger Jul said...

So good you found out what it is! I hope the crazy flopping around does its job. :)

At June 03, 2007 7:33 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Elemm - Yes, I'm really happy that it wasn't anything more serious.

CSwiss - Well, he said I probably wouldn't have another one but I keep reading that it can come back at any time. :-O We'll see. :-)

Ginnie - I'm feeling waaay better now. I need to keep doing the exercises until I've had no more dizziness for 24 hrs and then I should be in the clear.

rositta - They look funny but they sure do work wonders.

jul - Thanks! Weird how such a little thing can make it all better, but it seems to have done the trick.

At June 03, 2007 7:53 p.m., Blogger Maribeth said...

Feel better sweetie!

At June 03, 2007 11:19 p.m., Blogger Thimbleanna said...

You're too funny with that video. Hope you feel better soon!

At June 04, 2007 1:05 a.m., Blogger Runaway Rubber Duckie said...

That is great that there's a cure for it!! I'm still trying to wrap my head around the little crystals and how it all happens... but am curious to see the execises!! (don't have enough bandwidth to watch the video unfortunatley!) Hope you feel better soon! :)

At June 04, 2007 10:14 a.m., Blogger womanwandering said...

Oh man ... Gert gets something like this, the name escapes me for the moment. He just has to lie still and wait for it to go away ... different name though.
Good luck!

At June 05, 2007 1:30 a.m., Blogger Mike B said...

Well, a little balance can be a good thing. But my german doctors seem to hate it when I come forearmed ... remember, they don't take your blood pressure, they "control" it.

At June 05, 2007 6:23 p.m., Blogger mar said...

Well, well, the video is no longer available but I hope you are doing better!

At June 05, 2007 8:31 p.m., Blogger christina said...

maribeth - Thanks so much!

thimbleanna - I've always liked that song.

rubber ducky- I don't really get how it works either, but you have to turn your head to one side until you don't feel dizzy any more and then switch sides and apparently that shifts the crystals.

wandering woman - Oh yes, I think there are a lot of different kinds of vertigo with different causes.

mike - Well, these are doctors I've been going to for years so they know me by now. And it helps if you make them believe the treatment was THEIR bright idea. :-)

mar- Thanks! Darn, they always remove the best videos. I replaced it with another version.

At June 06, 2007 12:08 a.m., Blogger Dixie said...

It's good to know you got a diagnosis and will be getting some relief.

And I love that song. I'm all about the cheesy pop music.

At June 06, 2007 3:04 p.m., Blogger christina said...

Dixie - I'm still feeling a bit weird but it's getting better! :-)
Oh yeah, Cheesy pop music is the best.

At June 06, 2007 4:37 p.m., Blogger Poppy Fields said...

I hate being dizzy, I hope you are feeling better.

At June 06, 2007 7:07 p.m., Blogger Expat Traveler said...

Ouch! I'm so happy you are feeling better then!!! Yeah Dr. Christina has a nice ring to it!

Wanna help diagnose me as long as I don't have to walk into the doc's office??? lol

At June 07, 2007 12:41 p.m., Blogger cncz said...

I have been having bad vertigo too, I think it has something to do with allergies, but it has been bad lately. Hang in there.
In French ENT is ORL, or Oto-rhino-laryngologie. Freaky.

At June 07, 2007 1:01 p.m., Anonymous jessica said...

What a torturous exam! Once I had to get an MRI and the machine broke while I was in it. They had me in there for two and a half hours...with no results

At June 07, 2007 4:54 p.m., Anonymous Clarsonimus said...

Hi Mausi. Hate to say it, but "been there, done that" - altough I never found out what the dizzy thang was called - officially. All I can say is that I had it off and on for several years, usually two to three months at a time, and that no German doctor (went to about 4) had any good explanation or treatment for it. In other words, you may just have to bite the bullet and sit it out. I kind of sort of got used to it after a time and then it would just stop. Came back, stopped again, etc. Haven't had it for ages now (knock on wood and all that). Good luck. "Was dich nicht umbringt macht dich stark." <;-)

At June 12, 2007 2:33 p.m., Blogger Betsy said...

So glad to hear that they've ruled out anything more serious!

Hope your excercises lead to a speedy recovery and that you're back to your old self very soon...


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