Taking it to the next level.
Out of desperation yesterday I made an appointment with a new doctor in the same clinic as my current one. The taste in my mouth has not shifted after 2 tubes of anti-fungal Daktarin. I saw a registrar, which I didn’t realise until she concluded the session with a request to consult with another doctor. She seems to be one level below a GP, perhaps a qualified GP getting work experience (I may be wrong).
This didn’t change her approach to me however, after listening to my recent history of wooziness, hives, gastro, headaches and the bad taste, she proceeds to subject me to a whole bunch of neurological examinations, shining lights in my eyes in the dark, making me close my eyes and walk, trying to push me over, puffing my face out then baring my teeth at her. She whispered in my ear while making a noise in the other, she looked in my throat, took my blood pressure, took copious notes and took twice the normal time slot to fulfil everything. By the end of the session my palms were sweating. It was rigorous.
I had planned to go in trying not to fill in the gaps in my history so she had to come to her own conclusion but it seemed I couldn’t help it, when asking if the taste was related to digestion. She surprised me by discussing all the alternatives we would look at before that. She explained there were three areas she wanted to test first. Bacterial or fungal in the mouth – something missed by the Daktarin, so I got a mouth swab to test this. The next was to consider nerve damage that perhaps, like the pins and needles I used to feel, the nerve related to the face and tongue was not working or reporting something that wasn’t there. The final area, she bluntly described as the head. We may need to look in your head to see if something is out of whack. A CT scan was mentioned which really struck fear into my heart. I wonder what the result of speaking with my usual doctor will be this morning.
In the mean time last night, I amused myself by looking into causes of a bad taste in my mouth or dysgeusia – specifically cacogeusia which is the bad taste (opposed to no taste). Looking past the generic websites that give every single reason from poor dental hygiene to liver cancer and searching nerve damage and neurological symptoms. One site did help to explain how you can narrow down the cause and interestingly stomach and digestion issues often result in bad breath which is worse in the morning, because the bad taste is actually putrefying food particles – which I don’t have. Otherwise there are all sorts of reasons ranging from head trauma to Vitamin B12 deficiency, chemical ingestion and MS. Respiratory causes and diabetes are also possible.
It’s impossible to know I suppose without more tests. I am still waiting on the results of allergy testing which may shed light and I’ll wait to hear from the registrar this morning.
I know that it’s been almost a month now with a bad taste and like being tired has changed my relationship with sleep and exercise, the bad taste has changed my relationship with food. I no longer look forward to having a meal, they are purely functional and I try to get as much good stuff in, over a short space of time so I don’t have to think about the food. Whereas I have an antagonistic relationship with exercise – or just any walking anywhere – I have to think carefully about what I do and when. Life has certainly lost its spontaneity.