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Old 02-09-08, 11:51 AM   #1
Neil_B
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The Lightheaded Historian

I had my first doctor's visit and testing regarding my attacks of lightheadedness. My doctor ordered both a CAT scan and blood work done immediately, and in fact his office called Pottstown Memorial Medical Center fifteen minutes after I left to see if I had arrived yet. The CAT scan came back with a possible problem, a small hypodense (non-solid) lesion deep in my left parietal lobe that we need an MRI to see better. Neither the doctor or the radiologists who saw my scans thought there was anything to worry about. Still, it's odd to know I have something abnormal up there.

Also, the blood test wasn't for sugar level, so I have one of those scheduled for Monday. My doctor doesn't think I'm diabetic or pre-diabetic, but just to be sure, I'm getting more blood drawn.

Meanwhile, I've ridden my bike all of three miles the past two weeks. I'm going to attempt my first bike ride in two weeks this afternoon. Wish me luck. As a partial concession to safety, I'm going to restrict myself to a local bike path. My doctor isn't exactly pleased I'm still riding, but since my four or five lightheaded episodes all seemed to occur either first thing in the morning or about an hour or two after eating, I suspect if I haven't shown any problems today, I should be OK to get out.

I suspect the lightheadedness is simply a combination of stress at work, my recent off-season weight gain, and the lack of sleep both have caused.
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Old 02-09-08, 11:56 AM   #2
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Hope the ride goes well. That always seems to make everything all right for a while.
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Old 02-10-08, 07:06 AM   #3
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Historian, gald you got to a doctor. Now, let's just hope that whatever is going on can be dealt with pretty simply and quickly. BTW, give us shout back on the Forum to let us know you got back from that short ride.
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Old 02-10-08, 07:16 AM   #4
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Historian, gald you got to a doctor. Now, let's just hope that whatever is going on can be dealt with pretty simply and quickly. BTW, give us shout back on the Forum to let us know you got back from that short ride.
I returned safely after 8 miles on the Schuylkill River Trail. I felt slightly lightheaded afterwards, and after some upper body lifting and scoliosis stretching at my gym.
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Old 02-10-08, 01:03 PM   #5
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I often dread going to the doctor, worrying about what he might find, then feel wonderful afterwards because of what he didn't!

I hope your lightheadness is nothing serious.

I DO have diabetes, and I had a few spells of lightheadedness before I was diagnosed. I'm a teacher, and there were several times when I'd feel dizzy and worry that I was about to pass out in front of my class! (I never did though.)

When I found out I was diabetic and started managing it, those spells mostly went away. I still get them from time to time, but I don't worry so much because I've been thoroughly checked out by my doctor, who assures me that I shouldn't worry about a little lightheadedness. Incidently, bicycling is probably the best medicine I have for my diabetes. Not only does the exercise lower my blood sugar, it's also good for preventing some of the other problems associated with diabetes - like heart disease.

One last thought. I've been a regular cyclist for a long time. I've also had low blood pressure for a long time - not dangerously low, more "healthily" low. When I stand up from a crouch, I often get dizzy. Everyone does, but my dizziness seems to be more severe and last longer. My wife, who's in the healthcare profession, says this is probably related to my low blood pressure.

I'm not a doctor, and I don't even play one on TV. I'm just trying to look on the optimistic side.
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Old 02-10-08, 08:37 PM   #6
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Neil, I hope this all works out OK, and that it's just a little premature spring fever. Glad to hear your short one on the SRP went OK, although I don't imagine you'll be doing that again for a couple of days, given the cold snap that just moved in.

Take care, and keep us informed!
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Old 02-10-08, 08:51 PM   #7
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I hope it is nothing serious. Good luck and see you this summer as you make the big ride.
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Old 02-10-08, 08:57 PM   #8
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I hope it is nothing serious. Good luck and see you this summer as you make the big ride.
Sorry, I thought I announced the news here. The "big ride" is pushed back to 2009. I've substituted a little ride from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC, instead.
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Old 02-10-08, 09:22 PM   #9
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I second the possibility of checking out low blood pressure - postural hypo-tension
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Old 02-10-08, 10:52 PM   #10
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You can drive yourself nuts worrying about this sort of thing. I know I have. The problem with this kind of symptom is that it can mean just about anything--or more likely, not much. In my later (wiser?) years I've come to believe in the "not much" diagnosis--til contrary evidence presents itself. Good luck with your tests, which, of course, are a good idea.
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Old 02-11-08, 05:37 AM   #11
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I used to pay good money to feel lightheaded.
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Old 02-11-08, 11:14 AM   #12
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Hope your medical insurance is better than mine. The last MRI, for knee pain, cost me $1500 out of pocket and showed nothing! Docs are ordering this stuff just because they can.
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Old 02-11-08, 11:21 AM   #13
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The last MRI, for knee pain, cost me $1500 out of pocket and showed nothing!
I had an expensive brain scan that showed nothing, which, of course, didn't surprise my wife.
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Old 02-11-08, 11:24 AM   #14
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Hope your medical insurance is better than mine. The last MRI, for knee pain, cost me $1500 out of pocket and showed nothing! Docs are ordering this stuff just because they can.
Good point, but prudent docs won't order MRIs (or other expensive test) just because they can or are available. Always ask your doc if a test is really needed, and if there are alternatives that might be more cost-effective and just as accurate.

An aside- one reason why some docs jump on the MRI bandwagon is because there's no ionizing radiation associated with them, unlike X-Rays and CT-scans. You might recall a study that hit the popular press about a month or two ago that suggested patients were getting exposed to too much radiation from CT scans, which were being indiscriminately ordered. Although they are cheaper than MRIs, they do in face carry some risks that MRIs don't. Docs tend to worry about that, although some don't!

Another aside- I have a very prudent doc who ordered a simple c-spine X-Ray for some neck pain I was having. She wanted to rule out a spondylosis, where the disk gets eroded and the vertebrae compress the nerve outlet. Many (most?) docs would have ordered an MRI. Guess what? Because an MRI is done supine (lying on your back), it won't catch the majority of early spondylosis cases. But a cheaper X-Ray will, because c-spine films are done with the patient sitting up! That gives gravity control over the situation and gives the offending vertebrae a chance to slide into position. Yeah, unfortunately, I got it- an old weightlifting injury, but isometric neck exercises have really helped.
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Old 02-11-08, 02:20 PM   #15
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I used to pay good money to feel lightheaded.
Did you really just say that?!
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Old 02-11-08, 03:11 PM   #16
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"Still, it's odd to know I have something abnormal up there".

Well, join the crowd. It's nearly a prerequisite to be on this forum isn't it? :
Hope all turns out well and you get a clean bill of health.
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Old 02-11-08, 03:48 PM   #17
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Historian

I sent you an email. I'll be praying that everything comes out better than it sounds.
I have lesions too and it hasn't impacted my quality of life.

Hang in there!
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Old 02-11-08, 11:27 PM   #18
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Neil, I hope this all works out OK, and that it's just a little premature spring fever. Glad to hear your short one on the SRP went OK, although I don't imagine you'll be doing that again for a couple of days, given the cold snap that just moved in.

Take care, and keep us informed!
Will do. I think the problem is sleep apnea myself. I took a sleeping aid for the first time in my life last night, and I felt better the next day. I probably have a lot of rem sleep to catch up on.
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Old 02-20-08, 08:31 AM   #19
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I had my first doctor's visit and testing regarding my attacks of lightheadedness. My doctor ordered both a CAT scan and blood work done immediately, and in fact his office called Pottstown Memorial Medical Center fifteen minutes after I left to see if I had arrived yet. The CAT scan came back with a possible problem, a small hypodense (non-solid) lesion deep in my left parietal lobe that we need an MRI to see better. Neither the doctor or the radiologists who saw my scans thought there was anything to worry about. Still, it's odd to know I have something abnormal up there.

Also, the blood test wasn't for sugar level, so I have one of those scheduled for Monday. My doctor doesn't think I'm diabetic or pre-diabetic, but just to be sure, I'm getting more blood drawn.

Meanwhile, I've ridden my bike all of three miles the past two weeks. I'm going to attempt my first bike ride in two weeks this afternoon. Wish me luck. As a partial concession to safety, I'm going to restrict myself to a local bike path. My doctor isn't exactly pleased I'm still riding, but since my four or five lightheaded episodes all seemed to occur either first thing in the morning or about an hour or two after eating, I suspect if I haven't shown any problems today, I should be OK to get out.

I suspect the lightheadedness is simply a combination of stress at work, my recent off-season weight gain, and the lack of sleep both have caused.
An update. My blood test came back normal for sugar.

And I'm riding again, thanks to my buddy Neil F. He dragged me on a short tour last weekend, and we rode some small rides before and after. 81 miles total for the weekend. No lightheadedness at all until the final day. However, I didn't bring my sleeping aid on tour, so lack of sleep might be the problem.

MRI is Friday afternoon. Wish me luck.
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Old 02-20-08, 08:32 AM   #20
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All my best wishes for good results and you are still on my prayer board.

Bill
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Old 02-20-08, 10:55 AM   #21
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Good luck with the MRI! It is scary when they discover "something up there".
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Old 02-22-08, 09:24 AM   #22
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Good luck with the MRI! It is scary when they discover "something up there".
Thanks. Leaving for the hospital in a few minutes. Three inches of snow on the ground so far.
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Old 02-22-08, 04:33 PM   #23
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All my best wishes for good results and you are still on my prayer board.

Bill
Thanks. The MRI went OK. Now to sweat all weekend awaiting the results. They should be in Monday.
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Old 02-22-08, 09:12 PM   #24
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Please keep us posted when you get the read results. I have an MRI next week for a possible fracture of a spinal fusion. Waiting can really bite.

Bill
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Old 02-22-08, 09:20 PM   #25
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Did you really just say that?!
I think he did.
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