Today I had my appointment with the fourth family practice doctor at the military hospital. It took for.ev.er. But, I think we may be on the right track to getting things figured out!
Thanks to the generosity of a (hugely pregnant) sweet friend of mine, I didn't take the kids with me to my appointment. They waited in the van, watching movies and killing each other, while my friend made sure that nobody drove away with my van full o' kids. It was all good. (Thank you Sarah!!!!)
The doctor took a complete history from me, did another neurological exam, and looked over all of my records from the MRIs and the ER visit. She was very, very thorough. She agreed to consult with rheumatology about diagnosing a connective tissue disorder. She also put in referrals to the ENT clinic to have my hearing rechecked.
Then came the interesting part.
My initial blood pressure reading (while sitting down) was very high (for me) at 123/85. The doctor had requested that the nurse come back in and check my blood pressure again in various positions. First, she checked it while I was laying down and it was only 96/60, which is the range my BP is usually in during my past physicals. Next, she took my BP in a sitting position and just seconds later it was now 127/79. Finally, she checked it with me standing upright and it was 117/85. I'm not sure what this means, but I think it concerned the doctor.
Next, she had the nurse check my heart rate as I walked through the halls. My heart rate varied from 73bpm to 113bpm during that 3-minute period. It never felt like my heart was racing, but I was very dizzy when I was walking. I have been having huge fluctuations in my heart rate (from 52bpm up to 135bpm) without a change in my activity level.
The doctor looked over everything and told me she's referring me to a cardiologist for an exam (and echocardiogram) and a Holter monitor test. She also said that they will probably want to do a tilt table test. Whether or not this is the cause of my dizziness, nobody knows. I guess we'll see!
In the meantime, I have appointments scheduled every week in June, and referrals coming for more and more appointments. It's a good thing it's summer because nothing will be getting done at home.
I'm relieved that someone is finally listening to me! Now, I just hope the testing reveals some clues as to what is going on with my body. It's now been 22 days since the dizziness began and there is no end in sight. Every morning I wake up praying that I'll be normal again, and everyday it is just more of the same.
I'll keep cracking jokes and trying to laugh, because things like this always seem to happen to me. And in the midst of all of this, I didn't hear from Jason for a few days and couldn't even tell him about how I complained to the command at the hospital. He always misses the drama. (Lucky guy!) But I really have to keep laughing. It's the only thing keeping me from crying.
Yeah, and Leila just spilled a milkshake on my pillow. Laugh, laugh, laugh...