Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Three emergency rooms and the elusive MRI

Sent by her aunt to the emergency room of the Veteran's Memorial Hospital in Orillia, Jan had to end abruptly her plan to have a quiet by herself. Monday morning, she seemed disoriented and without balance. They thought it was a stroke so they rushed her to the hospital. She spend a few hours there, then, the ER staff decided she was suffering from dizziness because of an internal ear malfunction, not because of her brain and discharged her with some medication for vertigo. Mom picked her up late in the afternoon and took her with her to her place where they spent the night.

The next day they went to Uncle Lorn's to get a ride to TO. He was making the trip to see a trailer north of the city. They arrived in TO in the afternoon; Jan looked relaxed although the vertigo was visible and her speech was hard to understand. We had lunch together and then Uncle Lorn and his wife left. Jan slept the rest of the day, and much of the following days.

The Saturday, after having a strong emotional reaction, I took her to the emergency room at Toronto Western. The neurologist gave Jan a test sitting her and then asking her to drop on her back into his hands, where he turned her head quickly to one side and then the other. He said that the problem was something in the inner ear, floating and exciting the nerves sending the wrong signals to the brain and producing the vertigo. This should fix by itself in a few days or a few weeks. So she was back home the same day, feeling the same despite the answers.

The following week We went to see Dr.F. Haq, the replacement for the family doctor, to whom Jan has taken a liking (Jan has become a bit selective). She ordered Jan to stop the vertigo medication immediately, and ask Jan to follow up on the MRI at Sunnybrook since they are the only one who do this on Jan. In the past we have fought long battles with the radiologists at TO Western where they refuse to do an MRI because her operation notes do not indicate the type and serial number of the clip Jan has in her brain. So, every time she needs an MRI, we have to go to the hospital where she had her operation.

Jan is still dizzy, she has not had her scan done yet, we don't know why she is not feeling better after the seizure over a week ago, we don't know if something else is going on in there, we don't what all this means. Are these the blunt strokes of God's chisel on our lives? Are we being shaped into better persons through this pain? what if in the process of being perfected we are destroyed?

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