Friday, August 24, 2007

What's Up, Doc?

Yesterday and Tuesday were medical days for the W household...

The Muffins had a check-up on Tuesday afternoon and it was...interesting, to say the least. Usually, our ped's office is pretty good about getting us right in once we've checked in at the reception desk. We were a bit early for the appointments, so I figured we'd have a bit of a wait. 15 minutes after our first appointment was scheduled to begin, I went to the secretary and politely told her that we'd been waiting for quite a while and was wondering if we'd be taken in anytime soon. She checked and we were taken back to the exam room about 8 minutes later. By this time, the kids had been in their stroller for quite a while and were eager to escape. However, #2 seems to have developed some doctor-office-induced PTSD since our last visit in early May. (We're blaming it on the excruciating blood draw that saw #2 vomiting on the phlebotomist and gave us pause for the slightest moment to consider not having any more children just so that we could avoid the hell that was the one-year blood draw.)

The second that the stroller was pushed over the threshold of the exam room door, the poor thing started screaming bloody hell. I kid you not. The very second. J and I went about the business of stripping the kids down, I answered the nurse's questions over #2's wailing, and we got measurements on the kids (which was a bit of a challenge with the screaming girl, but the nurse finally wrangled her enough to get the numbers down). #1 decided that something must be wrong if his sister was crying, so he decided to start crying, too. Fortunately, this didn't last terribly long. I know that the staff have dealt with screaming kids before, but still.

Aside from the doctor declaring, upon entering the room, that he'd called a priest for an exorcism, all went well and the kids are in great shape. #1 is above the 50th percentile for height, slightly below on weight and his noggin is big, as always (hovering in the 75th percentile range). #2 is 50th for height and weight and just slightly above for head circumference. #2 even decided that El Doctor wasn't so bad and determined that he clearly wasn't the mousy, pasty-faced woman who had tortured her so mercilessly a few months ago and she started trying to get him to pay attention to her. That is, until it was time for him to examine her. Then it was time to scream again. The screaming continued during the shots...and the redressing...through the lobby - where every head turned as J walked out with the kids, each parent silently thanking God that those weren't their children - and out into the parking lot. I had to stay behind to make our next appointment. And that was that.

Yesterday was the big day for me as we were hoping to get some final word on what the hell happened to me in late January/early February. The short history is that I had my first ever migraine(s) combined with an episode of total-kick-you-in-the-ass vertigo. The migraines went away, but the vertigo lasted for a very long time. Months. I ended up being hospitalized and having a head CT, an MRI and a MRA of the brain, but nothing showed up. Always a good thing. For good measure, I went to physical therapy throughout March to try and kick the vertigo, but nothing doing. There's a family history of Meniere's disease and migraine, so it was assumed that I presented with some weird combo of both and have been being treated for Meniere's since May. So...I was referred to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center (it was there or Boston, and I chose the route with less traffic). I've been feeling pretty good for the past couple of months, but kept the appointments (had to see another physical therapist, get my hearing checked and then be seen by an ENT - and, holy hell, is it ever hard to get into that place!).

The vertigo finally went away competely by early July (I thought it had gone away by mid-May, but I had a smaller attack in mid-June that lasted until just before July...I've been vertigo-free since then). The specialist declared that it was not Meniere's, but that my symptoms are "all over the place" and he wasn't comfortable nailing down one diagnosis for me. His best guess is that it was some sort of migraine-related vertigo, perhaps crossed over with benign positional vertigo, but the main culprit, he thinks, was vestibular neuronitis, an inflammation of the vestibular nerve (the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain). I think, though, that it sounds more like this. I have a follow-up in November, so hopefully I'll keep feeling well from here on out. In the meantime, the ruling out of Meniere's means we can progress with the baby making discussions for this fall (apparently, Meniere's can get very bad during the first trimester and J was a little nervous about the prospect of me being out of commission for 3 months - or more). Bonus!

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