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Four Angels and a Cigar – Part 1 of 4

{After I read this blog yesterday: Finding Your Voice, I was inspired to publish this series of posts that I had started writing last year.}

No this is not a joke post, although you may find a few things funny on the way to the cigar.

And so here we go…

Let’s start with a little background:

Approximately 7 months ago I started having some strange symptoms.  I was off-balance – almost falling over if I bent down and had a hard time walking a straight line.  I was getting a head rush/woozy feeling when I stood up, sometimes when I sat down, and sometimes in the middle of walking.  My heart was racing at random times throughout the day.  I was experiencing muscle weakness upon lifting things (as light as 5 lbs) that I never had a problem with before.  And I was having hearing issues in my left ear that was accompanied by a high-pitched hum.   The local clinic did a great job running me through all the tests that they could.  A couple of them turned out a bit wonky…my oxygen level dropped when I walked for 5 minutes…the holter monitor test showed quite a few moments of sinus tachycardia (fast heartbeat)…and the computer report said the EKG was abnormal.

Let me pause for a service announcement:  TAKE CONTROL of your own healthcare!  Like I said before, the local clinic was great, but they weren’t sure what was wrong and thought it just had something to do with my body’s resident auto-immune disease: Sjogren’s Syndrome.  I needed answers, I needed to know if I could move, period.  And, I needed to know what to do to make it all better.

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I was lucky in the fact that I’ve dealt with all the specialists I thought I might need help from, so I contacted all of them and set up my own appointments.

The Neurologist said it didn’t fit any of the ‘typical’ diseases and that if we weren’t able to pinpoint what the cause was, she wanted to send me to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN for testing for POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome).  The Rheumatologist checked my breathing which turned out fine, and then she said she agreed with the Neurologist about the Mayo.

The Cardiologist is one I hadn’t actually met with before…as a patient.  However, he was my Dad’s Cardio Doctor whom I’d come to know as I had walked through many procedures with Dad, including 3 open heart surgeries (2 bypasses and one valve replacement, plus 12+ angiograms, angioplasties and a couple stents thrown in).

Add in the fact that two of my brothers have had heart blockages and stints, and you can see why I might be concerned about my heart.  The Doc remembered me and ordered a stress-echo – my heart was determined to be healthy (thank God) and he said I’m ‘prone to sinus tachycardia’ – he also mentioned the possible diagnosis of POTS.

The ENT ordered a hearing test which showed permanent moderate hearing loss in the left ear (not the typical hearing loss that happens with age).  The diagnosis after a clear ear/brain MRI…Meniere’s Disease.  He recommended a hearing aid and low salt, low caffeine diet.

Whew…

So with prayers for answers, off we went to the Mayo Clinic…

Patty O

Featured picture from Pinterest.  Please comment if you know the artist so I can give proper credit.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Melody #

    Came here through your comment on Faith Barista. I’m curious to read the future posts to see what you’ve learned. walking through some medical complexities with one of our children.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 19, 2015
    • Thank you for reading Melody! Part 2 will explain everything about the health side of things. I’ll keep you and your child in my prayers.

      Like

      January 19, 2015

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