The doctor in Irdning adjusted my spine and gave me tablets. "If you get through the night without any dizziness, you don't need to do anything. But if you have vertigo again, I am giving you a referral to the hospital in Rottenmann for further tests." Monday I was o.k., but Tuesday I was still having trouble lying down on my right side. I figured I'd go to the hospital on Thursday after school or Friday on my day off. But then I made the mistake of telling my mentor about my ailment. He was so distressed that it could be something serious that he made me go to Rottenmann on my first day of work (coincidentally, the same day my Austrian insurance kicked in).
Funny thing about socialized medicine: In the U.S. doctors assume that you have something very simple; in Austria, doctors want to rule out any serious diagnosis so they put you through a battery of tests. So far I've had blood work, an EKG, spine x-rays, lung x-rays, an MRI, an ultrasound and a contrast MRI. As an American, I'm calculating all the costs in my head and thinking I'm glad I've got Austrian insurance! I met with the ENT doctor and he said most likely my dizziness is due to otoliths. These are tiny crystals in the inner ear which can get dislodged and cause Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). The ENT gave me some exercises to do which should coax these crystals back into place. In the meantime, my symptoms have virtually disappeared. So here I sit, day three of my stay in the Rottenmann hospital. I've had visitors (thanks, y'all!) and Rob brought me my laptop yesterday so I'm back in touch with the world. The paperwork is being processed so I can leave the hospital this afternoon, and I should be able to go to a concert this evening. At least, that's the plan! (UPDATE: Arrived home in Irdning at 4:30 pm Friday, none the worse for wear)