Cycle 6 – Day 17: My visit to CancerCare’s Urgent Care Clinic

First off, relax, it wasn’t that “urgent”, I was just following up on the dizziness thing

Th Urgent Care Clinic was awesome! they provided very quick, and thorough examination to investigate my symptoms. The diagnosis was narrowed down to a couple of possibilities.

The most likely possibility is a viral infection of the vestibular nerve, called vestibular neuritis, which can cause intense, constant vertigo. Thankfully, mine is not too intense. This would link in with the cold I’ve had for about 4 weeks.

The second, less likely diagnosis was Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This condition causes an intense and brief but false sense that you’re spinning or moving. These episodes are triggered by a rapid change in head movement, such as when you turn over in bed, sit up or experience a blow to the head. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo.

One of the other options they investigated was the possibility of a stroke! Yikes! I didn’t have any of the stroke symptoms but as the Dr. put it “because of your history” aka the cancer thing, I’m going to get an MRI of my brain. They are not taking any chances and investigating all the options which is fine by me. No date yet for the MRI but the Dr. makes the form “urgent” and said it would be within a week, which seems very very quick. When I was going to get an MRI for a shoulder issue the wait was 4 months.

While we were being treated we got a little taste of what it might be like in the ER. The area we were in is fairly small and has two beds and they brought in another patient who was in a lot of trouble. The Dr. politely excused herself to help this new patient and on the other side of the curtain it sounded like 3-4 people working on him. They can’t get a pulse or blood pressure and it sounds like he’s not very responsive. Tests are ordered, oxygen applied  all in a very rapid succession. Then it’s a Code 25, immediate medical assistance required, and more people show up and the activity level ramps up more across the teams. Then it’s a Code Blue which is heart issues and the Code Blue team arrives quickly with more people and more equipment. Now there must be a dozen people in a very small place with multiple critical conversations flying back and forth. They get the patient stabilized and he’s off to the Emergency Department.

The Dr. that’s treating me comes back and apologizes for the excitement and delay and carries on with me like nothing big has happened. Way too exciting. In the end, it’s mainly wait and see and it’s likely to go away. In the mean time I’m prescribed Serc (Betahistine dihydrochloride) to deal with the symptoms.  Shirley and I are very impressed with the care extended to me.


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