Friday, October 22, 2010

The wonderful world of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

So here we are in the sixth week of school. The rain is inevitable. The sun has been making way too many appearances this autumn for the NW not to have a chilly winter. Positive thinking at it's finest. Yet, I welcome the climate... makes it very conducive for studying, game nights, bingo, all things Portland which I always seemed to miss out on when on tour.  Things have been just dandy, except for this condition I have been experiencing. The past few weeks, I have been dealing with vertigo, dizzy spells... mostly when I wake up in the morning, or attempt yoga moves that turn my head upside down, or by simply just moving my head too fast. Obviously concerned and admittedly scared, I looked into many sources, naturopaths, acupuncture, western doctors and finally an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist). My self diagnosis (along with Dr. Leah's) of having BPPV was correct and a repositioning maneuver, called the epley maneuver or canolith repositioning was performed on me right there in the office. Nausea inducing in itself, I felt horrible the rest of the day and was told I had to sleep at a 45 degree angle for a few nights and not to exercise, nor any sudden movements for a week that might knock the rocks back out. I implore you to learn something new and read just what BPPV is exactly. It might save you some research should you ever wake up with it one day.

The stress of not knowing what caused this or what exactly was wrong with me led to a bit of melancholy this week, yet it reminded me how no one modality is the end all when it comes to medicine. It also reminded me how much I have to learn and that none of us are invincible.
I do not feel 100% and hope that I do soon. It is a bit boring. Sitting in class staring at power point lecture slides is a challenge at the moment and the overall pressure does not help with having to learn bony landmarks like the lateral epicondyle or relearning phospholipid bilayers along with protein synthesis. The good news is I am retaining the information and although I had moments last week of 'what the hell am I doing again?', I realize it stemmed from the frustration of being ill and losing the rhythm of my routine and just having sensations I would never wish on my worse enemy. I continue to love school and I look forward to learning all that I can about something completely new.

Twas a great lesson though about the inner ear, otoliths, vestibular canals and such in my desperation to figure out what the hell was going on with me. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to learn so much about this condition. I am not thankful for the 150.00 appointment with the audiologist and another 150.00 to see the doctor and have him spin me around and my ear rocks, but so it goes. At least I was able to test my hearing (probably a very wise investment after working for musicians, including quite possibly the loudest guitar player of all time). Perhaps all the traveling and live music has finally caught up with me and my inner ear and equilibrium will never be the same? Who knows... I just want it to stop. Never liked those spinning tea cup rides anyhow.

Acupuncture treatments and herbs have helped and I find it equally interesting how over the past two days I have learned some of the most powerful acupuncture points for vertigo as well as one of my professors randomly sharing a herb formula for tinnitus and vertigo along with offering to align my axis. Timing... it is interesting.

I feel that this posting is not as fluid, witty or informative as I wish it could be, but again I am just focusing on not falling over these days or floating away. I know people pay good money to ingest substances to feel these sensations, but I am ten years older now... ten years gone.
(yes, long live Zeppelin)

1 comment:

  1. Actually, this post is very informative. The phrase, 'physician, heal thyself' comes to mind. I am sure that you will be that much more effective as a learner, and then as a healer, through going through the angst you've suffered in these early weeks of training.

    It is bold of you to share your inner fears and anxieties - but positions you well for the future!

    Thanks for letting us see inside the process of healing and learning to heal others!