Hold Your Breath! Okay, Now Breathe!

I was going to start with the (not quite so obvious) explanation of my title there, but then I realized I never actually told the greater population how we got there.

Okay, here we go…

Last week, I saw the ENT again to hear about my temporal bone CT and vestibular testing results. Doctors are funny. I know of many really, really great doctors who do not seem to have the time of day for a patient if they don’t immediately see something wrong in their area of expertise. Thanks to Dr. J’s awesome summary (well, not awesome in subject matter, but nicely put forth) I got a good hearing (hah!) from the ENT. I know she wasn’t expecting much – possibly something on the CT.

So I go in, and she’s going through… I’ve got right sided arthritis like stuff in my temporal mandibular joint. Could explain some of the pain or swelling. I have enlarged salivary glands (I know not how many or anything) on that side, but when haphazardly compared with past MRIs, nothing seemed radically different. They are noticeably larger, just not… suspiciously so, I guess. Bone, including the ones in the ear, all look just dandy. Okay, then.

Then she notices, hey, more paperwork. Did I order an ENG and audio testing? Yes, yes you did.

Okay, she says, the CT looks, you know, pretty okay (her words exactly) and your vestibular testing looks…

Ah, that pause. The one that makes your stomach lurch a little, because you have no idea what the hell she’s going to pull out of the results that you were already told were a little off.

Evidently, maybe they were slightly more than a little off.

…my vestibular testing was interesting. Unusual. Not logical with what was on the CT, but certainly consistent within itself.

Left side: I have some kind of nerve damage to the vestibular system (as well as some minor hearing impairment at higher decibels.) Because the vestibular weirdness and hearing weirdness are co-existing, same side, behaving the way they do, there are any number of causes.

Sometimes… Most of the time… They don’t really know. She says to go get an MRI, however, of my inner auditory canal (I found out they shoved a better look at my eye sockets in too). She says (and I knew this) that while it is really very, very, exceedingly rare, sometimes tumors grow on nerve sheaths and blah blah blah. Very rare. One percent chance.

And I’m like, you had to say it, huh? The last four times I was told that something was so out there the world’s most reckless gambler wouldn’t take that risk… Guess how those turned out? I truthfully have no idea… I imagine that if anything is seen, it’ll be where not at all where they would have expected it or the type of lesion they’d think it’d be. And truth is, it would be weird.

I went for the MRI yesterday (yes, Sunday). I almost got a chest MRI. I was told as the port was put in for the contrast that I was going to have to hold my breath here and there. I thought it was weird, but, hey, inner ear, pressure… I figured maybe it was to help visualize something better. Nope. Mixed me up with someone else. Good news was I needed the port anyway, and they caught that before I had the wrong test done.

I also was told that vestibular rehab might be a good idea. I don’t know if it will help, but you know, I can’t do much of anything… I don’t know how much might be related to this part of things, but if it helps in even a tiny little way, it beats where I am now. So hell, I’ll do it.

Next transmission… don’t hold your breath.

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