Whenever it gets still and quiet Hope
drains that I’ll find a peaceful rest Obscured only slightly beneath my breathing Oblivious
to everyone else Seeking ever constantly for some relief I wrestle Hindered by too many
interrupted thoughts Every heartbeat in my chest reverberated like a mighty River flowing.
Leaves me lost. So, I am a one amongst the many Whooshers waiting, wondering bound to
afflicted others by this shared malady Misunderstood by most friends and loved ones and too often Dismissed and misdiagnosed by many in medical communities.
Now as mis-education is finally
being surmounted Our combined voices lift high for singular recognition Many have found
cures from several varied diagnoses Both surgical and medicinal relief from our shared PT condition.
We Whooshers welcome your candid input Testimonies of each one’s urgent plight There is comfort in the sharing, for with each victory gained… There is new hope for peaceful
A Whoosher Medical Mystery: A Pulsatile Tinnitus Case Highlighted and Solved!
What could be better than starting the year off with some excellent pulsatile tinnitus publicity?
For the second
time, The New York Times has highlighted a pulsatile tinnitus case in their column, "Think Like a Doctor."
A patient's case and struggle for a diagnosis for strange symptoms that stump doctors is described, diagnostic test reports
are displayed and then the comments section welcomes ideas as to what the heck may be going on to cause the patient's symptoms.
This week's mystery was about another pulsatile tinnitus patient whose symptoms eluded even some of the best doctors around. As you'll
read, the patient had extensive diagnostic testing and a number of possible causes were ruled out.
Like many pulsatile
tinnitus patients, this one went to an ear specialist after whooshing for a long time. We know that the underlying causes
of whooshing only rarely have anything to do with the ear(s) but it's completely logical for patients to start with an ear
specialist. The problem is, when the ear specialist gives us the all clear (because ear issues typically ARE absent),
often we're sent on our way home without a referral to ANOTHER type of specialist to complete the warranted medical workup.
But the ear specialist in this patient's story, who realized he was stumped and had exhausted his knowledge of the culprit,
did the right thing: Instead of sending the patient on his way, he referred the patient for diagnostic imaging and then to
other specialists to review the patient's films. Without the diagnostic testing, the patient would never ever have been
But the success of a test not only depends on whether the test may detect the cause - it
also depends on the eyes looking at the films. Unfortunately for the patient, again and again, the doctors who reviewed
the films gave the patient the all clear. The films were circulated some more, however, and finally a doctor isolated the
causes - two of them! - and the patient was finally on the road to treatment and silence.
And speaking of the
patient, whose identity was obviously not revealed in the story, KUDOS TO YOU for your persistence seeking a diagnosis and
for being your best advocate. The end of the piece indicates that it was the PATIENT, not a doctor, who self-referred
to the radiologist who ended up diagnosing the cause. Roaming around with all your films in a big place like New York
City with a symptom as wacky as pulsatile tinnitus, and dragging yourself from appointment to appointment after doctors one
by one tell you over and over that "you're fine" and that nothing is evident on your films, is NOT EASY. Good
for him for hanging in there. Enjoy the much-deserved silence!
Unlike tinnitus, many causes of pulsatile tinnitus
can be identified and treated. Our mantra here on Whooshers.com is CIRCULATE YOUR FILMS! Yet again, we have a wonderful example of a patient who
did just that and, because of it, is now enjoying the wonderful consequence of silence!
The diagnosis has been posted, and a link to the details is below.
UPDATE: The diagnosis was twofold: Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD) and a fistula between the patient's vertebral artery and vein. And, unlike
any other time, NOT ONE READER guessed the proper diagnoses. The doctor in the piece did though, and the patient is
now Cured Whoosher.
You can read more about FMD and fistulas on our Cured Whooshers page, where individual medical reports and personal stories from real Whooshers are posted.