On Monday night I got home for Christmas :) officially no more work until the 9th January - hurray!! It has been a very busy few days, the first of which was Tuesday. I had my appointment for my 'second opinion' on my ear/vertigo troubles, at Leicester Royal hospital with a specialist named Mr Peter Rea. I was dubious to say the least, as I had really given up all hope of ever being 'normal' again. I have lived with ringing in my right ear and on/off vertigo for over a year now!
Our dear friend Lynn took me and my mum to the hospital for 10.40 on Tuesday morning. We waited for a short while, before I had a hearing test. I was in there for a while and apparently (as Lynn and mum were watching) the lovely man who was carrying it out kept trying all the sounds I couldn't hear but should be able to again, just to be certain! After what seemed like another very long wait indeed, I was finally called in to see Mr Rea.
Mr Rea asked me lots and lots of questions, where it all started (suddenly with a bout of labrynthitis last year before Christmas), what happens (continuous right ear ringing, and bouts of dreadful vertigo/sickness, lesser bouts of dizziness) and so on. He asked about all of my other health issues too, such as my B12 deficiency, headaches. He asked about a lot of details, so I felt he was being very thorough. He said my hearing test was all wrong, he jokingly wanted to cover the top half and diagnose me without it haha. I have low frequency hearing loss in my right ear, which is very unusual! Mr Rea asked me to do a number of different things, such as closing my eyes and marching on the spot (I moved, significantly!), walking in a straight line (badly), leaning my head off the edge of a bed (don't worry I'll catch you!) and so on. He decided that I need balance tests, and a CT scan to look inside my middle/inner ear, and I will get the appointments in the post. He said he can't decide which of two ways it will go at the moment, but the tests will decide that. He also said he has a lot of conditions/diseases in mind, some very rare, that he would like to investigate. He was 90% certain he will be able to diagnose me, and do something in the way of treatment/easing my condition. I am going to meet with Mr Rea at the end of February, after my tests. It was all so hopeful, and he said not only am I intriguing but also a challenge. I feel very lucky that he has taken on my case, and am crossing my fingers for some kind of conclusion rather than the "it just happened" I got from the previous consultant.
One thing I was shocked by, other than the lack of enthusiasm and total disregard to how this condition affects my life, was also a total lack of intelligence on behalf of doctors I have seen previously. Just last week I was diagnosed with an ear infection in my left (good) ear, and given Otomize to spray in my ear. Mr Rea said those were not the symptoms of an ear infection, and I should stop using the spray immediately! Also, I was given a hearing aid for my right (bad) ear, and Mr Rea said I should never have had it as hearing aids don't work for my type of loss (which of course, having never used the thing, I already knew). It's only now I'm reflecting on my appointment, that I realise how awful this is. Not only do hearing aids cost the NHS a lot of money, but there must be people in the area where I was being 'treated' previously that are going on suffering in their lives because they have had to accept that 'it just happened' to them too. So, anyone with any similar problems, or even any problems in general that you can't get to the bottom of, I urge you to continue seeking answers :)