Saturday, October 13, 2012

An Old Friend

My vertigo came back, like an old friend – momentarily. Took me by both hands, firmly. Swung me in a wide arc, perfectly – like it knew me. Set me back on my feet, lightly. My awful friend – you look bad! and I hoped you’d stopped coming around. My stomach drops when you knock. Despite our recent separation, despite the restraining order, you siddle inside, next to deep thoughts, until you change them.

The worst thing about vertigo is the constant fear. The knowledge that you can be grabbed and shaken at any time. Sometimes it feels like (the aftermath of) being slammed against a wall – like a shock, like a bad deed. This fear turns everything an ugly color.

I decided not to get the brain MRIs done for now. I made an appointment instead with Dr. Ahern, a Cardiologist who is familiar with POTS / Dysautonomia. Lately more and more problems with low blood pressure, low blood sugar, tachybradycardia, symptoms upon standing. I am so happy to be going to see this doctor. I wish I didn’t have to wait until the 22nd. For the time being I stopped my Nortriptyline prescription and stopped going to weekly acupuncture, as I want the doctor to be able to measure my symptoms without them being subdued. So the symptoms are pretty bad right now.

On Tuesday something new, something strange: A hypo-manic episode coincided with a “silent migraine” attack. In other words a simultaneous neurologic and psychologic episode. Disturbing because it was distressful physically and mentally, and because I have to wonder what the significance of this convergence is. Things are shifting and mutating.

When I made a list of symptoms to bring to the Cardiologist I ended up with a list of 93 distinct symptoms (or distinct manifestations of symptoms) experienced since age 4 – ever since I can remember. These ongoing lists and journals can hold the key to understanding “invisible” medical problems. Hopefully soon we can use a DNA test instead, saving paper as well as decades of undiagnosed symptoms. Saving friendships and marriages, perhaps. And maybe even altering the genetic outcome of children (by manipulating specific genes for example).

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