The good news.

Well, so the good news is…the sun came out today! I saw its bright glow shining on the wall of my bedroom closet doors as I woke up about noontime after I had slept a few hours since arriving back at my apartment around 9am from my all-night vigil at Södersjukhuset’s ER.

The other good news is that I am not dying. My dizziness wasnt because I had a stroke. The wonderful ER doctor subjected me to all manner of stroke tests which you have to do and I passed with flying colors. It was sort of like being back in kindergarten and playing follow the leader. I could touch my fingertips to my nose with my eyes closed; hold my arms up in the air for the required number of seconds also with closed eyes; I could easily move my left heel down my right shin from knee to toe and the same applied to my right heel; I followed her pen as it moved in front of my eyes, going back and forth and up and down. It was sort of fun, if playing games in the hospital qualifies as fun.

I also seemed to pass the test for what is known here as krystalsjuka or benign positional vertigo in English. The doctor did all kinds of tests moving my head back and forth and up and down and it didn’t make me feel worse. I didn’t really think that was what I had anyway since the waves of dizziness and unbalance came on me when I was not really doing much to move my head. The final episode, which sent me to the ER, happened when I was calmly sitting at the kitchen table reading my kindle – no head movement going on then at all.

I told the ER doc about the infection I had 3 weeks earlier, thinking that might be causing the inner ear problem but that infection was now gone due to a cure of antibiotics. She asked if I had any feeling of impaired hearing or pain in my ears. I have no ear pain and while I probably do have a bit of impaired hearing, that is probably due more to attendance at rock concerts long ago and age.

So…what was the result of my spending 8 hours (from 1 am to 9am) in the ER?

Well, first I got to spend some quality time with my programmer son, we got to talk and bond a bit. That was very nice. He stayed with me till the ER doctor told me at just after 6am that she recommended that I stay the additional 2 hours until 8am when the hospital neurologist came on duty. After all, she said I had been there so long already it was worth it to stay another 2 hours and talk to the specialist. So I sent Bevin home and asked the nurse for a pretty, dark blue hospital blanket and with the room light turned, off I settled in for the wait.

At a quarter after 8, neurologist Jonas (doctors here in Sweden always just introduce themselves with their first names. Sweden is very informal that way) came in and turned on the overhead lights. He seemed to have already read the detailed report that the ER doctor had written up and proceeded to ask a few questions of his own. He did a few of the stroke tests with me and shook my head about to test for that positional vertigo thing. And then he told me that in his opinion, I was perfectly fine. I had just had a case of unexplained vertigo and that it would probably be fine. He suggested that it might also have been due to a bout of low blood pressure, which was something I had thought too. In any case, at that point of the morning I had to admit I was definitely feeling mainly just tired and no longer dizzy. So he sent me off with a Good Luck and a paper describing exercises for positional vertigo, just in case.

So the second and probably most important result of my hospital adventure, is that I am fine. I am not dying. Well, we are all dying eventually but I am not doing it today. And that is nice to know.

When I got there, I posted on Facebook that I was sitting in the ER waiting room. My son who despises Facebook and wants to have nothing to do with it, thought my posting was too much public information. But as most of my friends know by now, I’m a blabbermouth. I like sharing about my life (just as much as I like reading friend’s posts about what is happening in their lives. I am not so happy about people just posting impersonal stupid memes, but that’s another story) I have to say that the response I got back from people offering their concern and care was heartwarming. Is that too cliché to say? Whether it is or not, what I want to say is that I really appreciated it. So that was the third result of my ER adventure. I found out that friends actually read my posts and what’s more, care about me and what I write. That was much more effective than “copy and pasting” stupid texts about Facebook restricting my wall to only 25 friends and then asking friends to write something like “hey” to get around that particular algorithm and see them on your wall. To misquote a movie I never really liked, “If you write something, people will come.”

So a big thank you to everyone, family, friends and even the doctors for all you do. And while I am not a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, mainly because I know they rarely get followed up on, I am hoping that this year I do a better job of getting out there and interacting more with you all.

Happy New Year 2019


5 Responses to “The good news.”

  • Ron Pavellas Says:

    Hilarie, It good to know that you are not dying any more rapidly than the actual tables might indicate is appropriate for your various parameters. I am the same. I had a few nervous system fluctuations in recent years, and they all resolved without anybody doing anything, other than ‘wait and see.’ Meanwhile, life is good.

  • Linda Rosen Says:

    Hilarie…so glad to hear about your diagnosis. I know all about the vertigo exercises since I have had dizzy spells and been disoriented (maybe age?) . Also I like hearing about health systems from different countries which are far superior (and less $$$) than ours. Today we are snowbound here in VA, getting through a huge weekend storm and wondering what will be open tmmw. Big lines at the food stores yesterday. So relax, enjoy the quiet time, and be glad you live away from our mentally disturbed leader.

  • Joel Klein Says:

    Really happy to read that you are feeling better and are home again with your family and cat. And good luck in the wriing contest !

  • Hilarie Says:

    Hi Ron,
    Glad to hear that the “Wait and see” advice worked out!

  • Hilarie Says:

    Hi Linda, Thanks for responding to my blog piece. The dizziness is mostly gone now. Thank god it wasnt that posisional vertigo that so many I know have had and which seems like hell. But now Im better…unless it comes back again.
    Our health system definitely costs less money. But as with everything there are good and bad sides. But no matter what I might complain about here it beats the US by miles.

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