Okay, first thing’s first. “What about the cat?” I hear you saying. “Is his eye any better yet? WHAT HAPPENED???” Well, I can tell you that after several long weeks filled with many treatments that required a coordinated effort with my boyfriend several times a day (he held the cat captive while I put drops and ointments into his eye), he is FINALLY getting better. There is still some cloudiness in his eye, but the color is peeking through behind it and the whiteness is fading. Now we’re down to giving him one eyedrop once a day, and the cat is relaxed enough that he’s been hanging out in his cat carrier in between vet visits. Silly Kitty!
In my own medical news, I’m dealing with a mixed bag. The primarily positive news came from my chiropractor, who told me after my last appointment that my back had improved enough that I could drop my appointments down from every two weeks to once a month. Considering that ten months ago I couldn’t stand or walk without pain and I was seeing her three times a week, I’ve made a lot of progress since then.
The “mixed” part of my news ties into my second (and presumably last) visit with the Ear Nose & Throat specialist who was trying to help me with my vertigo problems. So three months ago, she took me off of the Meclizine and decongestants that my primary care doctor had given me, and told me to do these Brandt-Daroff Exercises twice a day for six weeks, and then twice a week after that. Well, I was okay during those first weeks. Or, rather, I was shaky at first but became less dizzy as the days and weeks progressed. Unfortunately, after I started doing the exercises twice a week instead of twice a day, the dizziness started coming back. It wasn’t the full-blown room-spinning vertigo I once had, but I felt noticably dizzy for a second or two every time I had to look up at something on a high shelf or lower my head to drop a book into an outgoing bin. So I met with the ENT doctor last week, and she told me that my condition seemed to be chronic, which meant that doing the exercises wouldn’t actually get the loose doohickeys in my inner ear back to the right spot because some of them were in the wrong place (i.e. – on my nerve) for so long that THEY HAD FUSED THERE. So … yeah, that was an unnerving conversation.
Anyway, she said that for patients with chronic inner-ear conditions, the only options are surgery (which she did not recommend for me because while my condition is chronic it isn’t really debilitating) or going back to doing the Brandt-Daroff exercises every day. That is, doing them every day for as long as it takes to retrain my brain to accept that THIS is the new normal, which means that even though there are things fused to other things [*shudder*] inside my head, my brain will stop sending out those dizziness signals. Unfortunately, doing these exercises “for as long as it takes” could mean for months, or for years, or for the rest of my life. So … that kind of sucks. I mean, it sucks far less than having to undergo surgery, and it also sucks far less than having to take medication every day for the rest of my life. But still, it’s going to take some adjusting for me to get used to this and to incorporate these exercises into a permanent part of my life.
And as for the medical musings … I dunno. I had some thoughts that seemed very profound in the shower that I took after my shopping expedition today. But now that I’m out of the shower, my hair is dry, and American Idol is on, it doesn’t seem so important now. Well, the short version of it is this: I tend to put off medical appointments for even the most basic visits, like seeing a primary care doctor or a dentist. But in terms of seeing a specialist about something, those are the kinds of things that can stay on my mental back burner for DECADES. Like, since I was in my 20′s, I’ve thought “One of these years I should probably see a therapist about my screwy childhood and the effects of my upbringing on the rest of my life” and “One of these years I should probably see a chiropractor about these back problems I keep having” and “One of these years I should probably see a dermatologist about all of my birthmarks / moles / sun damage to make sure none of my spots are mutating into something else.”
Well, Dear Readers, my back gave out first. So that was how I discovered that I should have been diagnosed with scoliosis WHEN I WAS A KID, and why I’ve been spending the last ten months getting my spine wrenched back into the proper alignment.
Anyway, there’s no news yet on whether my skin or my brain is going to prove defective next. Hmmm …..