I nearly bottled out of this blog. A week ago I had nothing to write about, or at least, there wasn't anything that was screaming at me to be told.
That was until I went to see my GP last Thursday.
I've had strange symptoms for two years or more: loss of hearing in one ear, and some excruciating tinnitus, so was referred to a specialist. Tests confirmed I had hearing loss in one ear. But the specialist was unsure of the cause, so I was sent for an MRI scan. I went along, lay in the metal tube for ten minutes or so, and went home.
And then I heard nothing for months. And months. Five months to be exact.
Until last week when I went to see my GP to receive the results. My hearing loss is due to a blockage in my sinus. No problem. But then he said the MRI had discovered something else in my head. Something that wasn’t quite right. He showed me the report but I didn't quite understand what it said. I didn't know what to think. He read the report out to me again, tried to reassure me. I wasn't listening. Something about an artery. He took my blood pressure and found it to be 170/80. I was about to explode.
If you consider that I had been walking around with this condition for the last five months, I shouldn’t have felt unwell. The week before I had been at work, under as much stress and pressure as usual. Now, that pressure seemed unbearable.
I went home anxious and confused.
Then, the morning after receiving the report, I woke feeling unwell and began to sweat, then watched as the skin on my arms and hands went white. Feeling as if I was about to collapse, I called an ambulance.
I live in a very remote part of mid Wales, but miraculously the ambulance arrived within fifteen minutes. I got to the hospital, was given test after test. This is it, I thought.
But everything was normal. Blood pressure, heart rate, every test they conducted: normal. So why did I collapse? The doctor shrugged. Stress? Anxiety?
The doctor read through my MRI report through with me. She told me to take note of certain words – things like ‘could’ and ‘appear’ and ‘possibility’. I shouldn’t worry. These scans can find things that you would otherwise never know about. It could be something or nothing.
I was allowed to go home where I didn’t help myself by reading the words on the MRI report again and again: could possibility appears. I see them mean different things.
I’m going to see the GP again tomorrow. I’ll tell him I feel fine, but I also feel terrible. I was fine until I saw him last week, now I’m a mess. The words on the report, they’re making me ill. And that ear complaint, the thing I went to see the specialist for in the first place. I still have it.