Posts Tagged ‘vertigo’

Let’s erase today and start over

May 3, 2015

Well.  The week hasn’t started out as well as it could have.

I got a call from the clinic.  The VNG machine has broken down, so my tests scheduled for two days away have been postponed.  They have no estimate on when repairs will happen, so we can’t even set a new time, they’ll call when the machine is up and running again.  When I expressed my dismay, the receptionist promised to talk to the professor and see if we can get permission to do the tests at the hospital instead.  She’ll call me back when she has more information.  Luckily, the past week has been pretty much OK, but the week before that the vertigo was really making itself a nuisance.

The socks have been sailing along.  Finished both heels and started up the cuffs.

toe up taat flkh finished

The fit is amazing, and the socks are very comfy.

toe up taat starting cuff

(Partner made the comment that these are much too pretty to wear on the feet, they should be hung on the wall as art!  I refrained from making a rude retort and kept on knitting…)

Knitting well up the cuff I again tried one on…and disaster.  Somehow on one cuff I managed to make not one but two accidental yarnovers – just a couple of stitches apart, and it looked like a vampire had made two little holes above my ankle.  I was already inches past that point, and I hadn’t noticed the change in stitch count.

I tried dropping one of the stitches down to the yarnover hole, hoping that I could ease the slack from the resulting ladder into the stitches alongside it.  No such luck with this fabric.  Plus the other yarnover is only two or three stitches to the side, and dropping that stitch as well would make the ladder impossible to smooth out.

toe up taat cuff disaster

So….nothing to do but tink.  In the picture above I’d tinked a few rows already.  From both socks.  Since they’re two at a time.  I’m considering somehow just tinking the one sock, but that would require careful counting, and concentration is not at a high right now.   But still – better one than two, much less discouraging and less chance of error as well.

The momentum has definitely been disrupted.  Dagnabbit,  Fie.  Piffle.

Yes, I could have just ignored it and carried on, but those two holes would have driven me batty.  Battier.  Hmph.

Let’s see the week getting better, please.



Running to stay in place

April 21, 2015

Time is again moving much too quickly.  Events, experiences, the days just crash and blur and pile up upon each other in an untidy mess.

The vertigo is back.  Not as bad as the episode that put me in the hospital for four days last summer, but enough to disrupt plans and activity.  Because all of the tests that were done in the hospital and since – like CT scans, MRI, Doppler, etc – have been just fine, my doctor sent me to an otoneurologist, a specialist in all kinds of vestibular disorders.  I was lucky enough to get an appointment with the top guy in this field in the country, a professor who has spearheaded the study and treatment of vertigo and other balance dysfunction and dizziness.  So…he was very nice, very serious, asked good (and thorough) questions, and actually listened to my answers.  A rare breed of fellow.

From all the data available, he is pretty sure that we’re talking about MAV – migraine associated vertigo, or vestibular migraines.  The migraine headaches are hitting more often than usual as well.  Still, he has scheduled me for an additional series of tests – VNG, or Videonystagmography.  (Don’t ask me to pronounce that…) That’s in another couple of weeks.  So we’ll see what comes of it.

I had a really nasty bout of cold/flu in the midst of all of it, too.  I was in bed for the whole week preceding Pesach.  It was, I think, only the second time in my life I didn’t make it to Seder, which made me feel very sorry for myself.  I’m not a very… um, pleasant person when I’m sick, and this was enough for me to consider putting up a storm warning sign on the front door.  Niece was worried, sent Partner home from the Seder with a big food package for me, which was really a life-saver.  And I think it was the first time since I’ve had my own place – which is (ahem) quite a while now – that my house and kitchen were not ready for Pesach.  All the Pesach dishes and stuff stayed in the cupboard – I cleared one table for Pesach foods, we used plastic plates and utensils, and got through the week.

The worst part of all?  I wasn’t even up for knitting or reading.   So you can imagine what sort of a grump I was.

So I’m glad that’s behind us, and I’ll tell you soon what I’m up to these days!  If they’ll just slow down, sheesh.

The Patient Diary

August 23, 2014

Last month we had a bit of personal drama when I spent a few days in hospital.  I’m fine now, but it was a bit worrying at the time.  Having nothing much else to do while there, I jotted some thoughts down when I could.  Presenting you with a wee glimpse into the health system.

The Patient Diary

So it seems that the national drama being played out isn’t enough, my body has to create some of its own.  While sirens wail and missiles fall,  I get to deal with my own crisis.

Woke up with vertigo so bad I couldn’t even sit up.  Very disconcerting when the body is lying flat and the mind is absolutely sure you’re in freefall.  Scary as hell.  When I finally managed to get up with kid’s help, the nausea took over.  Partner decided not to take any chances.

Bad side:  the gurney the ambulance team brought in scared the cat badly.  Good side: one of the very nice team was a sweet immigrant trainee from the US.  Bad again:  I may have been too out of it to thank her/them properly.

Bad:  spent the next 6 hours undergoing a whole lotta uncomfortable tests.  Good:  was wheeled around to many of the tests by a funky funny dude with dreads who made me laugh.

Good:  brain CT was OK.  Partner was somewhat surprised by this.  Told her that until she does one and it’s OK she shouldn’t make remarks.

Bad:  blood pressure is high for me.

Was admitted for observation overnight in the Neurology ward.

Good:  room is clean and comfy,  roommate is nice.  Bad:  I really really don’t like the backless fashion statement.  Does nothing for me.

Good:  I finally managed to eat a meal and keep it down.  Doubtful:  this  may be due to all the Pramin they pumped into me earlier when they got tired of my throwing up spectacularly every time they tried to do balance tests.  (The Ear doctor holds the record – he succeeded in making me throw up once more than anyone else.)

Good:  they let me go to the bathroom.  Finally.  Holding the  infusion pole on wheels helped me stay on my feet, as did the two strong nurse hands at my back.  This was much better than the (bad:) wretched bedpans I had to use until then.  Somewhat bad:  they didn’t allow me to lock the bathroom door and it wouldn’t stay closed.

Bad:  kid is pretty freaked out by all this, especially my staying overnight. Good:  managed to convince her to sleep at home with partner instead of in the armchair in my room.

Bad:  no TV, no news.  Good:  no TV, no news.

THE VERY WORST:  Too dizzy to knit!!!  Can’t yet wear my glasses without random things like walls and furniture spinning, so no reading either.  I do have my kindle with me, so may try later.

Day 2.

Good:  night was quiet and uneventful.  Bad:  kept waking up every couple of hours, mostly due to the infusion doohickey taped in my arm.  Couldn’t get comfy with that jabbing me.  Good:  roommate said I didn’t disturb her, so either she’s a very deep sleeper or I didn’t snore.

Annoying:  had to get up at 6:30 to pee in a cup.  Even more annoying:  they can’t use the existing doohickey to take blood, since it was used to give me various concoctions the day before, so they had to jab the other arm.  Ouch.  Pfui.  Not fair.

Bad:  Still having dizzy spells, but good: only when I move my head too much.  Or stand up.  Or look or bend down.

Took me for Doppler/ultrasound tests (neck and head).  Orderly parked my wheelchair in the hallway,  handed me my paperwork, and left.  Lots of hall traffic but no one came for me.  Finally snagged a nurse who checked on things.  Bad:  doctors were in a meeting so no telling when they would get to me.  Good(??):  only had to wait an hour.  Funky dreads dude came by and we joked a bit.

Came back to my room to a worried partner and a now-cold breakfast. Good:  nurse was happy to reheat everything.  Bad:  reheated oatmeal is truly disgusting.

After breakfast they took me for X-rays.  Right next to the ultrasound room where I was before breakfast.  Seems kind of inefficient, but hey, it gets me around more.

New doctor joined old doctor on rounds for more tests.  Wobbled around for her flashing my backside. They’re keeping me here for another night.

Sigh.  Good?  Bad?  Routine tests are discovering little things unrelated to the vertigo but needing to be followed up.  Consults with other doctors who come dropping by.

They start me on fluids again.  I ask about the possibility of taking a shower.  Nurse says maybe tomorrow.  Ick.  I feel icky.

Good:  partner has brought me toothbrush and toothpaste and shampoo.  Bad:  can’t use the shampoo.  Very bad bed hair.

Try to knit for a half hour before dinner.  Good:  I knit English style so I’m not moving the left arm with the infusion too much.  Irritating:  the tube still seems to get in the way.  Manage about 3 rounds.  (Hey, they’re long rounds.)

hospital knitting 1

Nurse comes in for more tests so I park my knitting on the infusion pole.  Nurse is not amused.

hospital knitting 2

Partner and kidlet come after dinner.  We ask for an extra hospital gown I can put on “backwards” over the other so my backside is decently covered.  Kidlet is mortified by my unshaven legs.  I tell her to get over it.  Good:  I can now walk (slowly) with them down the hall to the ward lounge to watch TV.  Bad:  news on TV.  First cease fire attempt- one side says yes, one side says no – it all continues.

After visiting hours, knit some more. Very good.

Day 3.

Bad:  the extra fluids In the infusion kept in overnight caused me to run and pee every hour.  (Well, shuffle…can’t really run while wheeling the pole.)  Around 2 or 3 am I head out to the nurses station to ask if this will continue all night.  Bad:  they tell me that that’s what happens.  I say I would really like to sleep for more than an hour at a time.  Good:  one of the nurses says let’s try this and sets the drip for much faster.  He says this way it will finish much sooner.  Bad:  one of the other nurses clucks at him in disapproval so I guess he shouldn’t really have done that.  I thank him.  After a half hour I’m up to pee again.  There’s still more to drip so I decide to wait instead of going back to sleep.  Do puzzles on my phone for another half hour then give up and go back to sleep.  Good: sleep through until 7.

Good:  Shift change:  I am now described as “independent”.  I am inspired.

Good:  morning nurse unhooks the damn tube when she comes to measure blood pressure.  Bad:  blood pressure is still higher than usual.

Small victories:   I succeed in raising the head of my bed by myself.  I can take my empty breakfast tray out to the nurses by myself for the first time.  Only very slight flashes of dizziness.  I’m making progress.

Bad:  slight headache, can’t knit.  Good:  doc says more tests today with the ear doc and I can go home tomorrow.

Excellent:  doohickey is out!  Bad:  removing the tape left two bare strips in my arm hair.  Which wasn’t so noticeable before but now is.  And it hurt.  Good:  now I can finally take a shower.

Ah.  The pure simple pleasure of a shower.  Partner hypothesizes that the earlier headache was caused by dirt.  I’m not ruling anything out.

Off to more tests.  Weird:  for some odd reason the orderly brings a child’s wheelchair for me…slightly tight fit, sitting very low with my knees up.  Not amused.  Not comfy.

Ear doc thinks vertigo may be migraine-related.  A new theory.

Good:  blood pressure is down.  Bad:  headache is back and worse.  Nurse brings meds.  Feh.

Headache causes me to leave a meal unfinished.  Meals have been pretty decent.  They always ask me in the morning what I want for lunch.  Usually choice of beef, chicken, fish, or veggie.  Bland but not bad.

hospital meal

Roommate is released, many good wishes all around.  I take a nap, wake up when new roommate arrives.

There are many instructions posted all over about hospital procedure.  I must say I appreciate the diagrams in the bathroom that teach how to wash hands.  Not counting the two pictures how to apply soap and the final picture of rinsed, dry and clean hands,  there are six pictures showing distinct motions one should make to ensure hands are properly cleaned.  I begin to pay attention to a routine I do numerous times a day so automatically.  I am horribly ashamed to admit that I only do 5 of the specified motions.  I’ll have to concentrate on adding the missing motion to my routine.  See?  One is continually learning.

hospital washing hands

Headache returns after nap.  I ask for more meds, idiot nurse (the first person who hasn’t been wonderful) tells me the headache must be from the high cholesterol that tests have shown and that when I start taking meds for that the headaches will go away.  (!?!?)

Bad:  When dinner tray arrives I am in tears with pain.  Good: In front of others, idiot nurse is sympathetic and brings me meds.

Chat some with roommate’s parents.  They are very busy calling in influential connections to ensure preferential treatment for their daughter.  As far as I’ve seen here, everyone gets very good treatment,  but I understand them as a parent.  Even so…

Family and friend arrive and we proceed to get rowdy.

hospital rowdy

We move to the lounge to avoid bothering roommate.  Friend brings me a new murder mystery and partner rolls her eyes.

Day 4.

Didn’t sleep well.  Ear doc recommends I sleep at a 45° angle.  (He explained it all with diagrams of the inner ear, etc.). He told me at home to use pillows or sleep in a reclining chair.  Good:  I have a comfy reclining chair.  Bad:  I prefer sleeping in my own room, but I don’t know how pillows will work on the waterbed.  Anyway, hospital bed is set at 45° but I couldn’t get comfy.  Stayed awake much later than usual.  Knitted some, did puzzles.

Bad:  Headache and nausea are kind of hovering around the edges of how I feel.  Bending and standing still bring a second or two of dizziness but good:  it’s not too bad, and definitely better than it was.

For lunch I order chicken for the 3rd day in a row.  Not feeling adventurous in regards to food at all!  Although after two days of thigh/leg, today we are to get breast.  I suppose that counts as variety.

Negligent:  while making myself tea (see how independent?)  I notice for the first time that there’s a menu posted.  Good:  haven’t missed much with my meal choices.

Roommate’s mom arrives and we all chat some more.

Talk with doc.  Good:  steadily getting better.  She asks if I feel ready to go home and says I can stay another night if I prefer.  I decide to go home later today.  We discuss follow-up.

Doc tells me to take sick leave for another week.  I tell her I have a mean boss.  She says she’ll write a letter.  I explain that I’m self-employed.  She laughs and orders me to give myself a week’s vacation.  Hm.

Good good good:  after lunch I remove the hospital gown and put on my own clothes.  Bad:  I discover that no one folded or even rolled them when they were stuffed into the plastic bag that held them and they are now shockingly wrinkled.  I decide I don’t care.

Relax and knit. I have challenged myself to see if I can finish the drop-stitch cowl I’m working on.  28 more rounds to go.  I manage to finish 20.

Late afternoon/early evening release papers are ready.  Letter and records to my family doctor with copies of everything for me.  Follow-up appointments and tests to have done before them.  Prescriptions for over-the-counter vitamins??  Contact names and phone numbers.  I gather my things that have been ready to go for a couple of hours.  Say goodbyes to roommate and mom.  Get to the ward exit and go back because I forgot my water bottle.  Get back to the end of the hall and nurse comes hurrying up to me to make sure they took all the needles out of my arm.  (?! –  I do think I would have noticed and mentioned it…but I guess they need to check it off the list.). Head out to the street where partner is waiting in a taxi.

Home.  Frantic catbeast sniffs me over carefully then ignores me in a major display of huff.   Gets over that surprisingly quickly and follows me everywhere.  Seems worried that I will disappear again.

welcome home

Kidlet makes me tea and runs out to the market for a few things to tide us over until I can order groceries online.

And it’s back to the real world.