Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day 660

So after blood tests, MRIs, doctors and special electric pulsating machines (and a trip to Hawaii) I am still experiencing the symptoms of my "mystery virus".  So on the referral of a GP I headed to the Neuro Physio. Who knew there was such a thing?!

My Neuro Physio says "for someone who says she is usually quite well, you're not very well."


I guess I've had my fair share of challenges but I've lived with them all my life. This new one - the dizziness type out-of-body experience is new and I don't like it and I don't want it. The rest I have learned to live with.

We flew home from Honolulu on Sunday night, and I was at the Neuro Physio by 9.30am Monday morning.  She did a lot of talking. She did a lot of probing into my medical history. And that is when she say "blah, blah, blah ... you're not very well".  And that's when I said "blah, blah, blah .... I never thought of myself as particularly sickly ... just got a few little kinks in my armor".  And that's when she smiled.

I guess the list of "kinks" is kinda long - history of encephalitis, migraine, food sensitivities, neck and shoulder problems, IBS, chronic fatigue syndrome, supposed fibromyalgia.   That all makes me look a bit sickly. But I'm not really - truly I'm not.  I am a big strong independent woman!

So anyways, she is the first person to look at my complete medical history from childhood upwards and be able to show linkages and possible causes for my new "living on the moon" type light headedness.  Everything she said made absolute sense.  And for that I am relieved.

She talked to me about the fact that I had viral encephalitis as a child. She asked me things like "how long were you in hospital" (I wasn't), "did you lose the use of any of your limbs" (no, but Mum seems to think it impacted on my coordination), "did you have learning difficulties afterwards" (um, school wasn't easy but I got through it in the upper classes).  She told me that many kids who have had viral encephalitis can be "damaged".  She did a whole heap of tests and exercises and she decided that my left side was significantly less coordinated than my right, and that my right side was over-compensating.  It seemed I didn't get out of this scott free. I was a little bit damaged. Was I clumsy? Well, yes, particularly in the last 8 weeks since the "mystery virus" began.  Was I left-sided clumsy? Well, yes, all my dropsies have been left handed ones and all my bruises are left side of the body.

Then she got onto my migraine.  What types of migraines? I listed them all - acute, food related, hormone related, stress related.  With the acute, did I get the visual disturbances and/or numbness? Yes. Which side of the body? Left side.

Was I fit and did I work out? Yes.  What are my gym activities? Classes.  Do I experience particular discomfort, pain or headaches after classes? Yes. After pump and boxing I can end up with migraine for  days with significant neck and shoulder pain. My right side is over compensating for my lazy and uncoordinated left side. I need to do free weights and weight machines that can isolate my left side of the body to be sure that my left is actually doing the same amount of work. I should also do yoga.

You see, my neck and shoulder are completely tight and out of whack.  She thinks the dizziness and light headedness is coming from my neck.  The fact that I am extremely tight and inflexible all over my body further concludes that.  She thinks it is all coming from the original encephalitis and that my body is struggling from 30 years of over compensating for my lazy and weak left side.  This is all leading to imbalance, vertigo, tension, out-of-body sensations. She doesn't think I have fibromyalgia at all.  I agree with her.  This is not seratonin based at all which is why those seratonin based pills never work for me.

She might be right. This person called a "neuro physio" might be right. It makes sense.

So she did some work on the left side of my neck and shoulders.  We had started.  It was the beginning.

Now before I tell you the side effects of that, can I just say out loud right now that I love this diagnosis because it gives me back some control. I can fix this by getting the left side of my body as fit and strong and accountable as my right side. I can do this. I can fix this.

But it comes at a price (like many things do).  On Monday night I awoke in intense pain.  My neck felt like it had been broken.  The pain transferred to behind my right eye, around my head and down the right hand side of my face. Agony I tell you, pure agony.   I was disabled for most of Tuesday and was able to stand only with the assistance of painkillers. And today is Thursday and I am still very stiff. But I have a way forward.  I am going to fix this .... we will get through.

It just may take a truck load of painkillers in the process ...


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