Friday, June 12, 2009
My friends, it's been a hard week and an even harder day. As you know, today was the big day with all the tests.
First up was the MRI. Well, apparently, I am severely claustrophobic--because I freaked out within about 10 seconds. Now mind you, I am not a drama queen, nor do I like any kind of drama, but you surely wouldn't have believed that if you'd seen me today. I honestly felt like I was being buried alive--it was the mother of all panic attacks! It's been over 10 hours and I am still tormented by it. The poor technician didn't even get to leave the room before I started praying LOUDLY and demanding that she get me out NOW! She tried to calm me by getting my husband, but I truly have never felt such fear. Irrational? Absolutely. And I know that intellectually, but emotionally I believe I have been traumatized for life. Needless to say, I did not follow through with the MRI; instead I stood there shaking and crying while my poor hubby just hugged me. Apparently, this happens frequently--the technicians were neither surprised nor upset.
Next were a series of balance tests, which were rough, but I made it through them. The results showed that I do have Meniere's Disease in one ear, plus Benign Positional Vertigo. The bad part is that the doctor insisted that I MUST have an MRI. I refused in no uncertain terms to ever go through that again. He kept insisting that I really needed it and I finally asked him point blank WHY it is so important if the tests showed Meniere's and BPPV. He reluctantly told me that my balance tests also showed a 39% loss of balance on one side, which is a very high number, and indicates a great possibility of a tumor. So, we negotiated a compromise: he will let me have an open MRI (which he usually will not agree to because he feels gives inferior results) and I will be sedated with 10 mg of valium beforehand and I will attempt it again. Apparently, you cannot be put to sleep for this or the results won't be accurate. I asked to do it in my hometown, but he refused, saying it has to be in Birmingham where he can be in close contact when they do it. That alone scared me, but I didn't ask him to explain.
The good news is that Dr McGrew has a wonderful reputation; he is at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, a teaching hospital; and he seems sincerely concerned--enough that he spent a lot of time with me, explaining the situation and making it clear that he wouldn't put me through it unless it was absolutely necessary. Now, I just have to pray for God to give me peace, both about the MRI and the possibility of a tumor. Nobody in my family has ever had tumor, even a benign one, so it's pretty scary.
He also doubled the strength of my diuretic, gave me bunches of balance exercises to do, and greatly increased the valium I take daily--trying to break the cycle of vertigo. I don't know how I can function taking 15 mg a day; I normally take 2.5 mg and if it's a bad day, another 2.5 in the afternoon. But I have to function somehow, because I'm not willing to quit my job--it's my ministry in a lot of ways.
I know fear is not from God, and I have got to get a handle on this. Please pray that I can do what I need to do and this will all be used for God's glory in the end.