A health update – and a trip cancelled

As some folk may recall, last July 20th I had to go to the doctor and emergency room – see vertigo with nystagmus – not fun.

The vertigo symptoms have continued in a mostly mild way – I feel almost dizzy all the time – more like the top of my head is seasick or something, and have been hearing a wind sound in my right ear. Yes this is a long time – four months now!

I’ve been I have been seeing my family doctor and my neurologist. They had me on two rounds of antibiotics and the July ear swelling and pain subsided but the vertigo continued (without the nausea and tiredness).

My neurologist recently had me get an MRI, and then he refer me to an ear, nose & throat doctor.

In the meantime, Beth at Safe Schools Coalition had asked me to go to Washington DC for an upcoming meeting of the National Safe Schools Roundtable. I’ve done some website consultation with them already. They were going to pay for my hotel and reimburse me for my flight and I arranged that I got. A friend in DC sent me money for an extra night at the hotel (thanks Dave!) and it was all set.

I was supposed to leave the night of Monday November 26th arrive on the late morning of Tuesday the 27th, and then fly home on Friday November 30th.

A good friend from when we lived in Mississippi was going to drive from Raleigh NC to Charlotte NC to have breakfast with me at 6am during my layover changing planes on the way to DC. Another friend was going to take a bus down from New York City to see me Tuesday for a few hours before my first meeting Tuesday night at which time she was going to bus home. And several good friends in DC were planning to see me too.

So on Wednesday Alec and I went to see the ENT doc. He said I have chronic mastoiditis with bone involvement. Its an infection in the mastoid area of my ear and since the infection does involve the bone it is also known as coalescent mastoiditis. Here’s a webpage I found with information on Mastoiditis including coalescent mastoiditis.

He told us that it needs to be cleaned out with surgery before there is more of a problem. He’s contacting the University of Washington Hospital in Seattle to do the surgery and said that will probably happen in a couple of weeks.

But in the meantime he said that I shouldn’t fly because the extra pressure the flight would put on my ear could cause more problems.

So I had to cancel my trip. Damn, damn, damn. I let Beth and someone from PFLAG involved in NSSR know, and also told the friends I was supposed to see.

Luckily I had taken out trip/flight insurance when I bought my airline tickets. That was a good thing since the flights were nonrefundable. The insurance covers things like missed connections, lost luggage, emergency medical, and luckily – having to cancel the trip for medical reasons. The ENT doc said he would be glad to fill out paperwork for that.

So, I’ll be having surgery sometime in December. I’ll post more when I know more.

1 thought on “A health update – and a trip cancelled”

  1. As horrible as surgery sounds, I hope that this will quickly resolve the vertigo. I’m sorry you had to cancel your trip, however. I can imagine how hugely disappointing that is. I’ll look for an update to learn that your diagnosis and surgery resolve this for you and keep my best thoughts on your very quick recovery.


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