Hi everyone, I am writing to this forum to get some guidance from others who are suffering similar symptoms as me.
I hope that someone can please read my story and at least make me feel a little better about my whole situation at the moment!
Since August last year, I Have been suffering vertigo every two to three months. I have vertigo and then for four to five days after the initial vertigo attack, I am very dizzy, my head feels like its in a different position to what it actually is and I have a lot of difficulty walking and very unbalanced. I sometimes have more than one vertigo attack in the four to five day period. It is quite debilitating, and I can’t go to work or function normally.
I have been to my GP who has referred me to an ENT, however I cannot get in to see her until the 7th January 2013. Anyway, Monday night this past week, I went to bed at about 10PM, spent the next half hour trying to sleep and at 10:30PM had a Vertigo attack (one of the worst I’ve had). I spent the night having difficulty sleeping, my head spinning everytime I rolled over. WHen I woke in the morning, I got up to go to work, however fell straight out of bed, unable to walk without falling. My mum took me straight to the emergency room where I waited five hours before being eventually admitted.
The emergency doctor thought the best option would be to give me some stemetil, and to continue to take this whenever I felt the vertigo, however, a physiotherapist came and saw me, performed the Halpike movement (Which showed nothing). They then tried to walk me and deemed me unsafe to go home as I couldn’t walk without falling and veering to the right. I was then visited by another doctor on the neurology team who checked all my reflexes etc, said my reflexes were fine and wanted me to have an MRI, she needed to wait for the Head Neurologist to give permission for me to have the MRI done. They said I had truncal ataxia. I was visited by another on the neurology team the following day, who was quite interested in my family history of vestibular disorders.
(My grandmother and her brother both had Menieres DIsease, and my mother has tinnitus, vertigo and hearing loss. Mum has had the Caloric test which shows that she has 68% bilateral weakness in her left ear, therefore, her left ear is only working 32%).
The three neurologists I had seen had told me that once I had had the MRI, if it was clear that I should then go home once able to safely walk and that I should see an ENT. The physiotherapists during my hospital stay helped me to retrain my balance and each neourologist (all three, agreed I should visit an ENT).
On my second day in hospital, I was visited by the head neurologist, who spent less than 8 minutes with me, he cut me off when I explained my symptoms, didn’t care about the family history and told me that if I had a clear MRI, he would give me migraine treatment and I could go. I was really upset, because he didn’t listen! I was further visited by the others on the neurology team, who had told me that my MRI was clear and that they thought it would be best to see an ENT. One of the neuros said that while the head neurologist thought it was migraine, she believed that I could keep migraine in mind for in the future if an ENT appointment doesn’t show anyway. She didn’t believe it was necessary at the moment to persue the migraine theory until other ENT conditions were ruled out. This neuro referred me to an ENT. (I was unable to walk properly at the point, but with the assistance of my family, the neuro agreed I could go home with an ENT appointment which would be traiged. (This was yesterday). Anyway, minutes before I was thinking I would go home, the rude, abrupt head neurologist comes in the room, tells me its migraine, I’m not going to an ENT and he’ll give me migraine medication. HE told me the Physio is wrong, I don’t have nystagmus (even though I have occasionally had nystagmus in the past and I know that I had it when I looked to the right when I saw the physio). The rude doctor left the room. He very rudely said “So what??” When I mentioned the family history, I was devastated that someone who had spent less than ten minutes with me during my whole hospital stay was telling me that I wasn’t seeing an ENT. Isn’t it my right to see one if I desire to rule anything else out!
The Pharmacist then came to see me to inform my of my new drugs. She was concerned however, that the rude, head neuro hadn’t looked at the drugs I was currently on, because she believed my current antidepressents and the medication he prescribed for migraine shouldnt be given together. She advised me to see my GP regarding this once discharged from hospital.
So that was the previous four days of my life, its been so stressful and painful, I am home but I am still having difficulty walking. I am upset that the head Neurologist beleives I shouldnt see an ENT and that I have migraine. I am happy to accept a diagnosis of Migraine, however, I want to see an ENT! Because of his advice to not see an ENT, I am afraid that my appointment with the ENT may be triaged and I may not get in for months. And because its the weekend and it all arrives via snail mail - I have no idea when any of my appointments are and I can’t see my GP until Monday…
So my questions for you all:
I have every right to see an ENT if I want, don’t I? Four out of five doctors beleive that I should.
If it is MAV, can an ENT help with any treatments? Is it still worth seeing an ENT?
Am I doing the right thing by not starting this medication that the doctor who spent less than ten minutes during my hospital stay, with me has prescribed? The Pharmacist was genuinely concerned regarding the medication mix, and I would prefer to not start treatment until an ENT has seen me.
My mum has had the Caloric test, is this a test that would be worth having?
I am feeling quite depressed at the moment - I am sure those of you who suffer from these types of illnesses understand that it is very upsetting and depressing. I probably have other questions but can’t think of them at the moment. I really appreciate those who have taken the time to read this. I really appreciate it. I really want to feel better!
Krista from Queensland Australia.