- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Still dizzy, the MRI
Hammock swaying in the breeze, eyes closed, I could almost feel the warmth of the sun on my face, hear the waves crash along the nearby beach. I imagined the palm trees, the sand, and the sound of gulls screaming through the air. I just knew if I opened my eyes, I would be there. Suddenly my peaceful afternoon was interrupted as the heavy equipment moved in. I had been expecting it. The sound of chainsaws, jackhammers and the rumble of huge engines ripped through my skull destroying my island paradise. The imaging had begun.
Far from the shores of my imagination, I was instead laying on the cold hard table of an MRI machine. The construction crew in the background was the very large, noisy magnet employed in scanning my neck. It was looking for an upper level radiculopathy, or compressed nerves in my neck, in an effort to diagnose my dizzy spells. The swaying hammock, I must admit was a surprise. I really felt like I was swaying back and forth, but I had not been advised that the table would be moving once I was securely inside the machine.
I asked the tech about the swaying as I exited the machine. The table does not move. Apparently my mind had decided to play tricks on me. Until last night, I have not been dizzy at all for the last six weeks. I had once again decided that this was all in my head and nothing was wrong. I had even wondered if the MRI was a waste of time. Even my spell last night was so quick I thought I was imagining it. But I had been dizzy several times this morning, including right before going into the MRI machine, and again as I was exiting. I had trouble walking at first and decided I was dizzy enough to try and see the Neurologist again in case he could learn anything by examining me while I was actually having a spell. Of course, I couldn’t get in to see him until the next day.
The follow-up, sleep deprived?
Naturally I was pretty stable by the time I got to my appointment. I was briefly dizzy as I lay on the examining table. It was enough for him to rule out an inner ear problem but not much else. I’m not sure it should have been ruled out entirely. An ear issue may explain my vertigo, but I didn’t have vertigo while I was in his office. I have been told several times that I may have more than one issue going on.
It was too early for the MRI results to be back, but he did suggest that I have a sleep study done. He is concerned with how tired I am during the day and suspects that sleep deprivation may be the cause of my symptoms. I am often tired, and didn’t realize that it was so unusual to need a nap during the day. I just thought I felt tired because I didn’t drink caffeine to wake up in the morning like the rest of the world does. It is exciting to think that I don’t have to be so lazy. I will get a lot more done if I don’t need to sleep every afternoon. It will be a bonus if it explains the dizzy spells. I left the office happy to have a possible solution to all my problems.
I was dizzy almost every single day for the next seven weeks. It was a very discouraging time. Before this, I had never been dizzy for more than four or five days at a time. Fortunately, it was usually in the early morning hours and didn’t affect most of my days. I could still function normally most of the time. There were some differences though from previous clusters. This time I kept a journal of my symptoms every day. This made me realize that I was getting up and walking like a drunken sailor every morning. I also noticed a buzzing sound in my ears on occasion. I learned that a dizzy spell was most likely to occur when I moved my head or rolled over in my sleep. I even had a couple occurrences of my vision going dark. I found this all to be more annoying than alarming and began to think it would never end. I looked forward to my sleep study in hopes that it would provide the answers and the solution I was looking for.
Though it all, I would remind myself that God was in control. He knows what is wrong with me and what I need to resolve it. Perhaps this is happening to discover a sleep problem so I can have more energy the rest of my life. If that’s the case, it has been worth it. I trust Him to know what’s best.