When It Rains…. It Pours!

When It Rains…. It Pours!

The Tin Can Travelers August 5, 2018 No Comments

Just when we thought we were getting into the groove of the whole “blogging thing”, posting regularly, and revamping our site to a much nicer one, if I do say so myself, down for the count I went with a horrific bout of Vertigo. Shortly after we arrived in Texas, I began feeling the familiar symptoms of an illness I experienced several years ago and hoped to never go through again. I wasn’t that lucky, though. Every time I wore my glasses and/or spent time on the computer or my phone, I noticed I wasn’t feeling quite “right” after standing up from a seated position. I didn’t give it much thought at first, other than the belief I was just spending too much time staring at devices. Whenever I gave the phone or computer a break for a couple of days it went away, but would resurface again after I resumed work on our blog. It soon turned into a full-blown case of vertigo. If you’ve had vertigo, then you know it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. If you haven’t, then trust that you never want to experience it. The best way I can describe vertigo is to compare it to the moment you lay down in a drunken-state and watch and feel the room spin out of control. You know, that feeling that has made us all vow to never drink again. It’s sickening. Now just imagine it happening day after day after day, and the only relief you get is when you fall asleep, providing the room stops spinning long enough so that you can.

Because I had Vertigo several years ago, I knew it would take about a week to clear up on its own. I waited the allotted time, and sure enough, the symptoms had improved quite a bit. It was nice to get out of bed, since that’s where I was confined the previous seven days, and we were able to explore some of Texas. I still felt some residual symptoms, like when I moved too quickly in once direction or the other, but I was certain the “theme park ride” in my head was well on its way to dissipating….and it did. I gave it another day or two to almost completely clear up, and then got back to work on our site and social media. Not even a day passed before it returned, and I ended-up right back in bed. At that point I believed it was my glasses, with a severely out-of-date prescription, causing the vertigo since it seemed to reoccur after wearing them. I stayed in bed another five days until it was almost gone, but by day seven, it was still lingering. On July 18th I broke down and did the thing I had been trying to avoid for the past two weeks, which we all know is make a trip to the doctor. I was assured that having vertigo for approximately two weeks when left untreated is not an excessive amount of time, which was a concern of mine. I underwent a CT Scan and the results were normal. I was prescribed Meclizine (a five-day prescription) and felt better after just a few days. Playing it safe, I decided not to wear my glasses or look at any computers for a while longer.

After a few days had passed and I was feeling completely fine, I attempted, one more time, to catch up on our blog. After all, during the three weeks I was dealing with Vertigo, there were moments when I felt somewhat better and we visited the River Walk in downtown San Antonio, Austin, and Waco, Texas. We had trips, photos, and restaurant reviews to share. I also didn’t want to get too far behind on our blog. So, on went the glasses and out came the computer, and not even thirty minutes later it was back. I was then, as I am now, convinced the out-of-date prescription on my glasses was the cause of the vertigo and its return each time. Unfortunately, however, I had to put off the blog once more.

Due to leave Texas and head for Kansas, we decided the first thing we would do once we arrived is hit Leavenworth Military Base to GET NEW GLASSES!! I never thought I would be so excited to get new specs, considering I’ve always hated my glasses and I’m sure I always will, but if new eyes will make the vertigo go away, I’ll wear four pairs! A little off subject here, but if anyone is thinking I should try contacts, I can tell you that won’t work. The thought of sticking something in my eyes is torturous enough, but actually doing it I’m sure would be impossible for me. I’m one of those people that can’t even use eye drops. I see that little drop coming and instinctively close my eyes.

Upon arrival to Kansas, we headed to the base and I had an eye exam. It was confirmed that I did indeed need a new prescription. After a five-day wait, I picked up two new pair. One pair is strictly for reading, and the other is transitional so they’re shades, too. I will admit, they’re very cute and I’m excited they double as shades since swapping the two every time I entered or exited a building was a little inconvenient. In an attempt to shorten a very long story, after I wore the new glasses for a couple of hours, the vertigo came back!! Normally, vertigo is caused by an ear infection, a granule of some sort in the ear canal, a sinus infection, or something related to an ear-nose-throat issue. Mine, I’m convinced, is related to my glasses of all things! This time, however, instead of an out-of-date prescription that was straining my eyes, I believe it’s now a matter of adjusting to the new prescription. The eye doctor stated it will take around two weeks for my eyes to adjust, so I will give it that amount of time. If things haven’t improved by then, I’ll be making another trip to the doctor.

To make matters worse, while I’ve been dealing with vertigo, our pup, Richey, began showing signs of intermittent lameness on each rear foot. We originally thought he sprained his left foot, or one of his toes, after playing with our daughter’s dog in San Antonio. We gave it a few days to mend on its own by restricting his activity, and It did, but returned after another bout of playtime. We restricted his activity again, thinking we didn’t give it long enough the first time, but it returned. About a week later, he had intermittent lameness on the other side as well.

We made a trip to a highly regarded Veterinary Clinic in Kansas, and after some x-rays Richey was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia on his left side. As a result, we now have an appointment to consult with their orthopedic surgeon. Then…. Richey was due for his heart worm pill on the 1st of August, so we made an appointment with Banfield since it’s close to where we’re camping. While there, and while the doctor was poking and prodding away at Richey, she advised the intermittent lameness is most likely caused by medially luxating patella, which she felt while manipulating his rear legs. Medially luxating patella is when the knee caps pop out of place momentarily causing pain and the dog reacts by lifting the affected leg. It usually goes away fairly quickly and the dog then resumes normal activity. That is… until it happens again. The condition can also worsen over time. This makes sense since I couldn’t find anywhere that intermittent lameness is caused by hip dysplasia. I did some research of my own and what she said coincides with the Richey’s symptoms.

I have no doubt Richey has hip dysplasia, as evidenced in the x-ray above. The left hip ball and socket are definitely not sitting where they should. The ball is actually almost completely out of the socket. We also sent the images to a highly regarded animal hospital in Colorado that specializes in canine hip dysplasia, and that surgeon also confirmed he has it. However, I believe the intermittent lameness is most likely originating from the medially luxating patella. From what I understand, the orthopedic surgeon we have an appointment with will review Richey’s x-rays and perform a thorough exam himself, so I’m sure it’s not the last time we’ll hear about Richey’s knees. The issue now is…. which to tackle first (knees or hip) and what is in his best interest. I’m sure all of our questions will be answered when we meet the surgeon. Whatever the problem, we will get Richey the best care available. That little guy is part of our family and we love him.

When it rains, it pours!! If anyone has wondered why a longer than usual time has passed since our last post, this is why. Things are getting better with my vertigo, but even this post was written in portions over the last few days since I’m not a hundred-percent yet and I don’t want to push it. And although it looks like we’ve just begun our journey to getting Richey better, we’ve already come a long way since we now have a diagnosis and are meeting with specialists who I’m sure will lead us in the right direction. We will keep you posted.

 


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