Ever have symptoms that when taken together aren’t attributed to any known medical condition so you traipse from specialist to specialister and at the end of a decade you end up diagnosed with an unpronounceable name that has no cure anyway and probably isn’t even what you have?
That’s a coincidence, because that exact thing happened to Bossy.
It all began in 1994 when Bossy and her husband and five-year old son went on a trip to Florida.
You are looking at a photo of Bossy during this exact time, taken in her backyard with her Golden Retriever puppy Gracie. You see, Bossy has a history of exorcising her list of favorite girls’ names through her dogs. If it wasn’t for Bossy’s many domestic pets, she probably would have ten or eleven kids. Times three.
And speaking of Bossy in 1994, it was during this time Bossy and her son looked nearly identical:
And Bossy knows what you’re thinking. You’re thinking this doesn’t have anything to do with unusual medical conditions – but you would be entirely correct!
Anyway. So Bossy and her son and her husband went to Florida, and it was there they rented boats for an hour so they could tool around on the nearby lake. And Bossy had such a fun time there on the water, with the wind in her hair and her hair in her hair.
Then, later that night while enjoying some dinner, Bossy realized she was still feeling as though she were on the boat.
Actually, it was a more subtle sensation than the rocking of a boat. It was as if Bossy were sitting on a gently rolling dock. Or living on a well-moored houseboat. Or walking on a mattress. Or the many other examples Bossy came up with those first few days because hi have you met Bossy?
This balance disturbance continued throughout Bossy’s entire Florida vacation. But Bossy managed to stay in good spirits, where spirits equals the many spirits Bossy drank, figuring if she was going to be weaving around Disney World, she may as well be as drunk as she looked.
And then Bossy flew home. And boy were her arms tired! Of typing this health crisis post!
Anyway. Bossy flew home. And as soon as she landed she realized the dizzy sensation was gone! Days later an Ear Nose and Throat specialist attributed this shift to the change in altitude pressure in Bossy’s ears, causing her body to reset itself.
Fast forward a few years, and Bossy and her husband and her son and her two-year-old daughter were once again on their way to Florida.
This time the Bossy family took the Auto Train:
A decade of sleepless hours later, the train arrived at its destination, and Bossy disembarked with the rest of the passengers only to realize she felt as though she were still on the Auto Train.
And thus it all began again:
This time the three-hour-tour sensation lasted nearly a month — every day just like the first. It was at this time Bossy saw a Neurologist who gave Bossy a diagnosis so ridiculous, the Merck Manual doesn’t even bother with an English translation:
Mal de debarquement means a persistent sense of motion long after the motion has ceased. Most often this is associated with time spent on the water. Which was why it was so medically atypical when Bossy experienced her next episode with Mal de debarquement, which followed forty minutes on a rowing machine on that very famous lake known as Bossy’s Basement.
It was at this time Bossy ended up at Johns Hopkins:
During her appointment at Johns Hopkins, Bossy learned of the rarity of her condition, and was offered a spot in a clinical trial which included a large dose of what Bossy later learned was a seizure medication. Bossy declined.
It was also at Johns Hopkins that Bossy was first told that her diagnosis is actually situated within the painless migraine family.
Still, for a month Bossy’s symptoms wouldn’t alleviate. Not to mention the confusion it caused when Bossy frequently described her symptoms as feeling like she was still on the boat she was never on.
This is when Bossy went to an Osteopath specializing in Craniosacral therapy.
According to Bossy’s exhaustive research, where exhaustive research equals Wikipedia, the Craniosacral practitioner gently works with the spine and the skull and its cranial sutures, diaphragms, and fascia, easing nerve passages and optimizing the movement of cerebrospinal fluid through the spinal cord, but Bossy couldn’t stop being ticklish the entire time.
But here’s one thing Bossy did gain from her visit to the Osteopath, her fifth medical appointment. He looked at Bossy across the desk and he asked, “What do you think it is?”
Not that Bossy had a definitive answer outside of thinking her condition was related to the sustained wavering of her vestibular hair cells stimulated by fluid’s movement in the semicircular canals within the ear — except to think the condition also had to be activated by a perfect storm of hormones and a spinal positioning component and overall fatigue.
In other words, Bossy occasionally has what she refers to as a Mygraine.
Still, Bossy thinks there’s power in asking the patient that direct question, as sometimes we know what we have even though we’re afraid to confirm it, or it’s difficult to confirm.
In whatever case, Bossy can sum up her experience with her thankfully fleeting medical condition as follows: Bossy thought she had another episode, but awoke better today.
Which is what today’s Ten-Word Challenge is all about. In exactly ten words, can you tell Bossy about weird medical symptoms you’ve had trouble diagnosing and treating? And feel free to offer responsible feedback to other commenters. Let’s get this layman’s diagnosis party started!
And be sure to check back later today for the most interesting symptoms on the web.