For the past 6 days, I’ve been suffering from dizziness. I saw a neurologist this morning who gave a preliminary diagnosis of acute ataxia, which can include being physically unbalanced, uncoordinated, and unsteady. So, now I have a fancy name that describes what I’m experiencing. The real issue is what is causing it.
Ataxia can be caused by a virus such as chicken pox, or other illness, but since I haven’t be sick with anything like that, he feels that the problem is most likely caused by a problem in my cerebellum. As to what it is in my brain that is causing it, he can’t say, so tomorrow i go for an MRI of my cranium (that’s the inside of my head for those of you unfamiliar with medical terms). I had an MRI and CT scan of my head about 10 months ago when I started having migraines and both of those were negative. I’m obviously really interested to see what the results of tomorrow’s MRI will be. The doctor isn’t willing to guess, so we will just have to see where the evidence leads us. This is just the first step in the diagnostic process.
Of course, the first thing that comes to mind is a brain tumor. If that is the case, I at least have the knowledge that it wasn’t there 10 months ago so it would hopefully be easily treatable. If it is a tumor, then the concern is, is it benign or cancerous? In either case, there are treatments that can be taken to get rid of it.
The real anxiety I have is what if the MRI results are negative? Then we are talking about more tests, possibly different treatments over an unknown period of time until we find a cause and/or a treatment that works. I went through this last year with the migraines and it took four or five months to get a reliable diagnosis and treatment. I’m not looking forward to going through that again. I almost hope the MRI results are positive because at least then I’ll have a cause and we can get right into treating it. I don’t fear a tumor, cancerous or not, that can be treated. It is the uncertainty that bothers me.
Unlike with the migraines, this condition makes it very hard for me to do my job as a UNIX Systems Administrator. While much of my work can be done from my desk, a fair amount is hands on hardware stuff, and that just isn’t possible as long as I’m feeling this way. I’ve put in for short term disability and I’m hoping it will be very short term.
I have decided to be very positive about this. I’ve been wanting to write more, so while I’m out of work dealing with this, I’m going to write as much as I can. Since I can’t drive, or even really walk without difficulty, sitting still with my laptop, writing and listening to music, is a good way to feel productive and stave off the worries that might come with idleness. In a way, I find this a bit humorous and ironic since I was thinking a few weeks ago that I wished I had more time to write. I guess this is a prime example that you should be careful what you wish for because you just might get it!