Friday, May 6, 2011

Vertigo

Last Monday I woke up in the morning and when I sat up to get out of bed, I had the sensation that I had just gotten off a fast merry-go-round. The room spun, my bed tilted, and I fell over sideways. I laid there very still, reeling for a minute and luckily, it stopped, and I was able to (very slowly) get up. I didn't drive for a couple of days because it didn't seem very safe to operate a vehicle when I might lose my balance. But after 4 or 5 days, I learned that if I held my head still, I could drive without feeling like I was tilting off the road.

I assumed I had an inner ear infection of some sort that was throwing off my balance. The vertigo feeling made me quite nauseated, but unless I changed elevation (like getting low to pick up Jebb) or tilted my head sideways (like bending over to sweep under the table) then I was pretty good. This went on for about 10 days and I thought I was improving, but then the last few nights I would roll over in bed and have that crazy vertigo feeling and I knew I wasn't any better.

Why didn't I go to the doctor? Well, I have this insane aversion to antibiotics. I avoid them whenever possible as I always seem to get freaky, highly unlikely side effects. I have a fear of MRSA (you know that flesh eating bacteria?), OK? But after waking up spinning, i broke down today and went to the doctor to see if I could get some drugs to cure this annoying condition. I am a kook, I know, but for me sometimes the cure is worse than the disease, so to speak.

The doctor kind of chuckled and said she knew I must be feeling pretty uncomfortable to have come in seeking antibiotics She remembers the last time I was in and my aversion. She questioned me about my condition, took my temperature, looked in my ears and told me that she thought she knew what it was. She told me the name, but now I can't remember it, but it is NOT an ear infection and antibiotics won't solve it. She told me I may have vertigo for months or it might go away tomorrow!! She said that I have a teeny tiny calcium deposit that has broken free in my inner ear. When I move, it touches the little hairs in there that make you feel movement and in what direction. So it's like this little marble rattling around in my head with no way to get out.

As she was explaining it to me, I just kinda sat there thinking, "Seriously? Who has that happen to them?" Apparently some folks do-in fact she said she had experienced it herself and she was very sympathetic. Somehow that didn't make me feel any better. She offered to have me do this thing where you lay down, then sit up, then, lay the other way and move your head around in order to try to rattle that little calcium thing around to somewhere that it could stick and not move any more.

Of course I followed her directions and I laid down, twisted, sat up, turned my head, blah blah blah. It was pretty brutal as it activated that vertigo feeling, but when I was done, I did feel a little better. She smiled then told me to keep my head upright and still for the next 24 hours.

Wait, what?

Upright and still for 24 hours so the calcium thingy, if it did stick, could stay stuck wherever it was sticking.

What about when I slept?

Upright and still. Tape your forehead to the headboard, she said, half jokingly. Or prop your head up with pillows in a recliner. Seriously.

So it has only been a few hours since I went to the doctor and my head is upright and still, but I am pretty sure I shook that thing loose. You have to bend down to get clothes from the washer to the dryer, and it's hard to keep your head still when you get your 5 year old out of a tall jeep. Hopefully though, that teeny tiny calcium deposit is still stuck in some little corner of my noggin and will quit making me feel like I am falling over because holding your head still is getting old pretty fast! ;) I am wondering if this means I really do have a screw loose...

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