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LIFESTYLE

My Strange Condition - by Teresa Hodge

 

In January, 2010 we were deep into a home remodel as well as deep into a Colorado winter.  Just living amidst the dusty, torn- apart  work-in-progress was depressing enough, but adding to the turmoil was a very unusual medical condition that came upon me as I sat nightly surrounded by the displaced furniture and open walls and plastic covered wood floors.

 

To this day I still find it difficult to describe the strange feeling that came into my head.   Words fail me.

 

Yet, I will attempt it once again.   A buzzing.   A painless wave of electricity.  Vibrations.  An internal shaking, a shock, a sensation that crawled across the back of my head, deep inside.   That is the best I can do.

Buzzing in my head

 Every day I felt it.   Not all day.  Not continuous.   Usually, it came in the early evening while I tried to relax after a long day at the office.   Sometimes it came as a sudden jolt out of the blue in midday. 

 

Finally, I discussed it with my doctor.  She envisioned some type of headache and prescribed non steroidal pain killers and wrote me a prescription for ibuphrophren.  It did not lessen.  Instead, the condition only occurred on a more regular basis.  It seemed that every night when the hands of the clock approached 5, it started up again—and kept up into the night.

 

I bought a special pillow with a hole to support my neck as I thought it could be that my sleeping position was a possible cause.  That did not work.

I had an MRI.   Never having had one before, I was nervous about getting claustrophobia, but went through with it as I was, by then, fearing the worst.  Did I have a brain disorder?

 

 

However, the MRI on my head showed nothing unusual.

MRI for neck disc condition

The strange feelings in my head continued and a co-worker suggested I try an ear doctor.  Perhaps there was something wrong in my inner ear?  So, I visited an ear specialist and found out only that my hearing was better than the doctor’s.

 

 Another dead end.

 

The Internet beckoned me.  I googled my symptoms.  I searched under known medical conditions relating to the skeletal or nervous system, such as “rheumatoid arthritis” and “osteoporosis.”  Close, but none of these results were an exact match to my condition.

 

Searching under symptoms was no easy task as they were almost impossible to accurately define.   The search results brought me to obscure sites where other tortured souls like me struggled to find answers for the unusual feelings from which they suffered.   I found some similar conditions.  People had buzzing, “electrical” sensations but provided no official diagnosis.  They offered up long, Latin-sounding names for a large variety of illnesses.   It did help to know that others out there somewhere on the World Wide Web were experiencing strange things in their heads along with me, but it could not solve my problem.

 

By April, I desperately returned to my doctor, telling her with tears in my eyes that this vibrating in my head was driving me insane.   She suggested an x-ray of my neck this time.  Now we were getting somewhere.  The x-ray showed two collapsed discs in my neck and the doctor gave me several long- named conditions that existed in that region.   She scheduled a second MRI.  This time, my neck was the target and I finally believed that I was not dying from a brain tumor or some equally fatal monstrosity.

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