In my last post about Fabgrandpa’s health issues, I left off when we were referred to the Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist, Dr. G. Dr. G was quite pleasant and to the point. We went in telling her that Fabgrandpa had been having some issues with being off balance, and other symptoms like tingling on the top of his head, lots of cramps (in his neck, chest, legs and feet), numbness in his legs and feet, and other things.
Dr. G said that a lot of patients have dizziness or vertigo due to problems with their inner ear, so she would be checking his inner ear for any abnormality or infection. Although Fabgrandpa has never called what he has been experiencing “dizziness”, every doctor we have seen so far has called it that. It is very aggravating to say “I’m feeling off balance” and have the doctor interpret that as saying “I’m feeling dizzy.”
So, on the first visit to Dr. G., she did a very thorough examination of Fabgrandpa’s ears, sinus cavities, and throat. After she was finished looking in all the holes in his head, she did an air and bone conduction assessment of hearing loss and speech recognition. In other words, she tested his hearing. He has some hearing loss, but he is a 65 year old man. That seems to be a normal thing.
Next, on the same visit, she did an assessment of eardrum and muscle function. This test is to measure how well the parts of the inner ear are working. None of these tests showed any reason why Fabgrandpa would be having a feeling of being off balance, or dizziness. So, Dr. G. scheduled an MRI.
We went to the hospital in Carrollton to have the MRI done, and a few days later we were again sitting in Dr. G’s. office. She told us she did not see anything abnormal about the MRI, and could find no reason for Fabgrandpa’s dizziness, or vertigo. She said she was sending us to another office to have some more testing done.
About a week or so later, we were in yet another doctor’s office, having another round of testing done. These tests were doe abnormal eye movement; assessment and recording of balance system during irrigation of both ears; and use of vertical electrodes during eye or balance evaluation. I think by now they have done every test in the medical encyclopedia of ear testing. We had to go back to Dr. G’s. office for results of those tests. Again, she found nothing to indicate why Fabgrandpa should be feeling dizzy, off balance, have vertigo, or anything else they want to call it. While we were at that last office visit with Dr. G., she did an x-ray of his sinus cavities. Still nothing.
Just in case you haven’t been counting, we were now up to nine doctor visits, two medications, six tests, an MRI, and an X-ray, and still had no answer to why the man is feeling off balance. The first doctor visit was on September3, 2014, and the last one up to this point was on November 26, 2014.
Next time: We meet the neurologist.