A Denver Family's Adventure Through The Ups And Downs of Life

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Orthostatic Hypotension/Vasovagal Episode and Benign Keratosis

What do these things have to do with me? I have each of them. First off, none of them are fatal (if you were concerned).

Let’s start with the first one- Orthostatic Hypotension/Vasovagal Episodes

On Monday night, I had my 3rd “episode” where, after waking up and heading into Sam’s room to comfort his crying, I felt dizzy, light-headed; I had a weird headache, muffled hearing and felt weak.

The first 2 didn’t worry me too much, but with the 3rd, I thought that I should go see my primary care physician. Thank goodness Dr. Bradley was able to see me yesterday afternoon or I would be a wreck until I was able to get in.

She asked me about the “episodes” and checked my heart, eyes and ears. She also had me put my feet together and close my eyes. I was a little wobbly, but I was able to stay upright.

Her diagnosis was Orthostatic Hypotension/Vasovagal Episodes. According to Wikipedia and WebMD, my episodes were:
"primarily caused by gravity-induced blood pooling in the lower extremities, which in turn compromises venous return, resulting in decreased cardiac output and subsequent lowering of arterial pressure. It can also be noted that there is a decreased systolic (contracting) blood pressure and a decreased diastolic (resting) blood pressure. The overall effect is an insufficient blood perfusion in the upper part of the body."

Or, in layman’s terms, when I would jump up to take care of Sam, my blood pressure fell and it caused all of my symptoms. As long as it doesn't happen frequently, I'm perfectly fine.

Secondly, Benign Keratosis.

I have been noticing that my freckle under my right eye was looking different than it had been years ago. Since my father had 3 bouts of basal cell skin cancer, I thought that I should have it checked out.

I have never had a full body check of my skin by a dermatologist, so I made an appointment with Dr. Karen Johnson at Rose Medical Center and crossed my fingers. I was able to get an appointment 9 days later. If I couldn’t make that appointment, it would have been March before I could get in.

Meeting someone for the time when you are in your undies, bra and a gown leaves you feeling a little exposed, but how else would she be able to take a look at my skin.

Her initial test was to take a look at the skin below my neck to check it out for any issues. She then looked over my face neck and hairline to make sure that nothing was hiding. She said that everything looked good. Then she took a look at the spot that I was most concerned about. She had this cute little lighted magnifying glass to get in there close. What a really cool little tool.

Her diagnosis was Benign Keratosis. It is the most common skin lesion. It tends to be most common on sun-exposed areas in older patients (over age 40- I’m 37). They have no malignant potential. Most people will develop at least one during their lifetime.

They treated the area with liquid nitrogen (cryosurgery), which is not a very comfortable feeling. The can looked like a high tech hairspray can and felt like getting a tattoo. I will have a pink circle surrounding my lesion until it blisters and pops (nice mental picture, right??) I guess I need to buy some more moisturizer with SPF 15.

I tried to take a picture with my phone and send it to my Facebook page, but I don’t have a browser. I’ll take a digital picture tonight and post it tomorrow.

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