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Monday, March 28, 2011

No Cause, No Cure

The latest doctor visit, this time to an ENT specialist: After a lengthy waiting room wait, a quick observation and the prerequisite hearing test, it was revealed the girl has idiopathic tinnitus. "Idiotic tinnitus?" she asked. No, "idiopathic tinnitus," he replied. Based on idiopathic's definition, "of unknown cause, as a disease" it might as well be idiotic, and join the ever-growing list of no-cause, no-cure conditions my girl bears.

The good news is the girl does not have any loss of hearing. I could have told the doctor that just based upon her hearing whispers between my husband and me three rooms away. The bad news is not only not knowing how the condition arrived, but there is no known cure either. The good news is the MRI is so sensitive that even if the patient had a small allergy, or beginning of a cold, the sinus cavity of the brain would be thickened as hers was. The bad news is she's not having a sinus problem so there is no pill to treat it, and not the cause of her headaches.

The ringing in her head sometimes masks the ringing in her ears, and I can only imagine how annoying it must be to have both. I have tinnitus too, but only in my left ear. She has it in both ears. The left ear is the ear I use when talking on the phone. I imagine the radiation emitting from the cell phone does not help the condition, and although I try to use speaker phone as much as possible, it's not always feasible. I've always advised my kids to use the cellphone sparingly, and not just because of the minute drain, but because of the brain drain. The girl mostly texts so she's hardly holding the phone to her head. I've been to hundreds of rock concerts, have stood next to speakers and felt the bass boom in my chest, so I can understand why I have ringing in my ear. I'm also gonna be 52. The girl has been to two or three county music concerts, and I have a feeling the noise level at the Roanoke or Salem Civic Centers would pale next to the sounds from major acts in Madison Square Garden or some squat punk rock performance in a crowded space in New York City. Besides, the girl is only 17.

IF MY MUSIC IS TO loud THEN HONEY, YOU'RE TOO old Pictures, Images and Photos

By the way I still listen to my music loud...not because I'm "cool," but because I can't hear it unless it's loud. Definitely stood next to one too many speaker.
Anyway, after the idiotic diagnosis I asked the ENT about the non-stop headache and he said, "Oh, I have no idea about headaches. Ask her doctor to recommend a neurologist." I wanted to say, "If you don't do headaches, what the hell are we doing here?" but I didn't. Does she really need to see another doctor who will probably tell us she's having idiopathic headaches that even the prescribed pills aren't alleviating? The parade of doctors and tests offer no relief, just frustration. This is not working. I think it's time I explored other avenues for the girl...


  1. I can give you the name of a good acupuncturist if you're interested. It really helped my migraines.

  2. Hmmm, hadn't thought about going that route. Sure, give me the name and I'll run it past my daughter. Thanks!

  3. I'll second the acupuncturist route! My migraines were literally destroying my life and, after seeing countless docs and several specialists, I saw an acupuncturist. They're now under control and I have my life back. I see Greg at Dancing Crane Center of Chinese Medicine in Salem (library square).

  4. I spoke with her but she is opposed to seeing an acupuncturist, although after a couple of weeks of the concoction of apple cider vinegar, honey and water I'll be making her drink daily she may change her mind ;) Thanks for the suggestion!