Last Thursday I was able to get into see my extremely talented physician, Dr. Smruti Nalawadi, for a follow-up. I had talked about working with a preventive medicine specialist previously. Unfortunately, having Dr. Moayed as my primary care physician was awkward because she is way up in Campbell. So I was happy to find another doctor here in Morgan Hill that also believes in preventive medicine, and now she is my PCP. But Dr. Nalawadi is also an internal medicine specialist, so it’s that expertise that really comes in handy now. From what I was told in the hospital and all the reading I’ve done, I thought I was on top of what to do next for follow-up. But there was still doubt buzzing around in my head about what specialist to see first, how do I choose a good ear doc, etc. Then I saw Dr. Nalawadi and it was an incredible relief to just turn it over to an expert. I went in with a whole sheet of typed-up questions and related symptoms I thought might help with my diagnosis. She came into the room and went over the record from the hospital while asking me a bunch of questions. Before we had finished, she had covered everything on the sheet without me even mentioning it. Then she said “Ok, here’s what we’re going to do…” and I just melted with relaxation.
After runnng me through a quick series of tests in her office such as an what appeared to be an advanced nystagmus test, She suspects I do not have the inner ear condition bppv I mentioned previously, but have some sort of inflammation of the inner ear such as labyrinthitis. I’ll continue to follow up on balance issues with the PT I’m working with, and already have an appointment for an Ear doc (fortunately also local) a few weeks out in January. Meanwhile, Dr. Nalawadi prescribed me a very small dose of prednisone to help with the inflammation. I was concerned because I was on prednisone in the past for a bad case of poison oak, and it interfered with my sleep. But she said that wouldn’t happen because this is a tiny dose.
But even the tiny dose worked miracles. I’ve had tinnitus for some time, and it was almost gone a few hours after the first dose of prednisone. Also, the last residual symptoms of dizziness are gone. Corticosteroids like prednisone can be miracle drugs for short term acute conditions. But it is not a good idea to be on them long term because of side effects. So I’ve only got 10 days worth. If my symptoms return after that, we’ll have to get to the bottom of the problem. Fortunately, I’ll be following up with my new Ear Doc shortly thereafter. The adventure continues!