I had some balance and hearing tests done this week to rule out that something other than my Brain Tail had been causing balance problems. I was hoping that the results would point to something concrete like perhaps my inner ear as the culprit.
After an hour and a half of hearing, inner ear and ear nerve tests, I had arrived at the time for the infamous balance tests. I had been forewarned ~ don't eat anything 5 hours prior to testing, because there is a big chance that the tests could make you nauseous. I thought the warnings were a bit silly due to the fact that I am in a constant state of dizziness, but I humored the doctor, nevertheless.
So, I feel compelled to fill you in on the details of the balance tests that resembled some kind of torture treatment. The audiology specialist had me put on this contraption resembling a hybrid of a scuba mask-night vision goggles. She tells me that there are cameras in the goggles that will record my eyes during the tests. Then she puts the covers over the goggles and I am temporarily blinded by darkness ~ utter, inky, lost in a cave miles underground darkness. I think to myself, "OK, so it's really dark in here, can I take a nap while you are performing the tests?". Then she tells me to open up my eyes really wide and look up. I do as she says, but quite frankly, I can't tell if my eyes are open or not until she confirms that they are indeed open and I am doing just fine.
Next comes the wonderful cold water blast test ~ water is blasted into my left ear for 30 seconds. While my brain is trying to figure out why I am spinning out of control, she asks me to name animals that live in the sea. My mind is swimming, I can barely form the sounds to say, "...whale, fish, errr fish...?". I am amazed how putting my mind to work while I am spinning helps me to gain control again ~ but what a weird experience! So, the water blasting continues on my other ear and then the whole process is repeated again but this time with warm water. Wow, now I am spinning like a barrel which is a completely different type of spin than with the cold water. The doctor is amazed that I can tell the difference ~ duhhh ~ I am really good at the dizziness thing ~ I've had lots of practice! Funny thing is, I wasn't really bothered by the tests. It wasn't as bad as the 2 MRI s that I had already endured!
After all of the testing is done, all the doctor could tell me is that there is no problem with my hearing or inner ear, but my left side is weaker than the right. She told me that my doctor will translate the results in a follow up appointment. So, in a nut shell, I've at least ruled out the inner ear, but I am afraid to say that I am still stuck in the "grey area" spiral!