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Explanatory health post

July 8, 2011

Lots of people can skip this post, for starters, if you follow me for politics, if we’ve never met in real life, or if you just have no interest in other people’s health – move on.  🙂

So about 6 years or so ago, I started collapsing on a semi-regular basis.  It was initially very scary for me and the people around me, but soon became merely a thing that my body does.  I went to the doc to try and get to the bottom of it, and was variously tested / scanned for; stroke, diabetes, thyroid function, anaemia and other blood disorders, HIV, drug dependency, brain tumours and epilepsy.  I have none of these things.  

Six months ago, I finally saw a doctor who figured he had some idea what was going on.  His best guess is that I have paroxysmal ataxias.  It’s basically a fancy name for feeling dizzy and unsteady, and having to have a little lie-down.  (And I do have to – if I ignore the impulse to lie down, I fall down, and then have to deal with not only being on the floor wherever that floor might be, but also any injuries sustained whilst getting there.)  This is a bit inconvenient, but in the grand scheme of things, it could be a lot worse.  My doctor tells me that this condition is not progressive, and that these attacks are not damaging me in any way (so long as I don’t injure myself in a fall).  The occupational health people at my job have given me some guidelines to work by, and told me that I probably technically count as having a disability, but I really don’t know how to feel about that.

This last week has been a bit of a grind.  I’d been collapsing a bit more regularly, and so thought I’d give medication a try.  It really didn’t work out.  By Tuesday morning it was obvious that rather than just a few side effects that would settle down, the stuff was actively poisoning me – it wasn’t at all pleasant.  It’s just about worked it’s way out of my system now.  I don’t know if I will try other medication – I need to speak to the consultant really.  

So, that’s that. I don’t mind if you want to talk to me about it.  Equally, if I’m being really boring, please do slap me until I start talking about something interesting.  Like penguins.  Or tax inequalities.  Or the amazing superstructure of the universe.  Or just how fucking awesome ferrofluids are.


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One Comment
  1. Anonymous permalink

    Could you elaborate on the biological function of paroxysmal ataxias, using the metaphor of a huddle of penguins?

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