Diana's vertigo: the revenge

posted by Jeff | Friday, November 7, 2008, 7:38 PM | comments: 3

Diana started out the week struggling with the vertigo issues again. She did the maneuvering to get the crystals rolled around to the right places where they can harmlessly dissolve, then she slept upright again for two nights, as prescribed.

But she continued to suffer from a headache and dizziness... all week. I don't know how she can function like that. Regardless, she called Dr. Neil Cherian at the Cleveland Clinic and got in to see him today. Again, we're surprised that the diagnosis is not as simple or straight forward as you'd expect.

Chances are good that she did have the nasty positional vertigo issues prior to the maneuvering to get the crystals moving, but the web of symptoms lead to other problems. In this case, the doctor first checked to see if she did in fact have the "stones" floating about. The way to truly diagnose this is to observe what the eye does when the head is positioned or quickly moved. He straps a goggle contraption to her head that has a camera and lights over the eye, and he views the eye on a monitor. He then manipulates her head in certain positions, and does a quick motion that reminds me of a forceful baptism. The things her eye did were strange, but apparently not symptomatic of the BPPV. Remember that the ear, eyes and muscles in the neck are all working with the brain to try and normalize or counteract dizziness, regardless of the cause so observing the eye tells the story of what it's trying to achieve.

He concluded there were no stones floating about in her ear, but the migraine experience was likely caused by the last bout of true vertigo. These kinds of headaches can even perpetuate themselves for extended periods of time and, oddly enough, cause dizziness. Throw in the normal changes of hormone levels at the end of the menstrual cycle, and it only aggravates the situation. So yeah, vertigo caused dizzy caused migraine caused dizzy. I'd never even consider that line of thinking. This guy is brilliant at conducting diagnostics and putting together the puzzle.

Anyway, the treatment is to get her head chemically right and break the headache. That involved about two hours on an IV with three different drugs. She's supposed to do it Monday and Tuesday as well if she does not improve, and is on a steroid for the weekend.

For as much as I'm down on Cleveland lately, and strongly desire to get the hell out, I can't help but be continually impressed at the resources and talent associated with the Cleveland Clinic. Frankly, if it weren't for the organization, Cleveland would be pretty much useless. And while there, I was able to use their wi-fi with my iPhone to mess around, and I'll likely bring my laptop if she goes back next week.

More than anything, I just hope Diana can get back to being herself. We're both not having the greatest time with life lately, and desperately seek some level of normalcy. I'm hoping this gets her to a better place sooner than later.



November 8, 2008, 1:49 AM #

Just out of curiosity, what steroid is she on for the weekend?

As for the wifi, I've killed many of hours using their connection.


November 8, 2008, 12:48 PM #

I'm on methylprednisolone for a week.

Confessions of a Yarn Slut

November 8, 2008, 1:04 PM #

My new best friend

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