My world stopped spinning

When I woke up this morning, I did what I have become accustomed to doing lately. I sat up slowly and then gave myself a minute to readjust. Hmm. Nothing seemed to be spinning. I stood up. Still no spinning.
It was the first time in a week that I have woke up in the morning, and I didn’t feel dizzy. It all started when we drove home from the Smoky Mountains last Monday. Every morning and evening, I would have bouts of dizziness. By the weekend, I was feeling pain and pressure in my left ear. I assumed I had an ear infection because my 10-year-old also was having ear pain and was diagnosed with an ear infection.
By Sunday, I was so dizzy and nauseous that I could barely make it through what I needed to do at church before I went to Immediate Care. I was officially diagnosed with vertigo.
I know it kind of sounds like a joke. Maybe I’ve just watched too many Alfred Hitchcock films. But it really wasn’t funny.

To try to cope with a world that is always in motion is maddening. It gave me a constant headache and nausea. At its best, it was like being car sick all of the time.

During the past few days I also have gained a better understanding of what it would be like to lose my brain function. I spent most of the time lying down or sleeping. (The doctor prescribed medicine for motion sickness, which actually made it difficult to stay awake.) I found out that the key was to move my head as little as possible. If I did need to turn my head, I had to do so slowly. 

Although the dizziness was horrible, the scariest part for me was my inability to focus or answer simple questions. When I got to the doctor’s office, the nurse started asking me routine questions, such as, “Are you allergic to any medication?” OK. I have answered that question many times in my life.

“I know the answer,” I said slowly.

Then it was like I had to dive into a deep ocean and swim around trying to find the information. This has happened to me numerous times over the past few days.

I feel like I need to apologize to my brain for taking it for granted. I have spent way too much time thinking about what it would be like if I were to permanently lose brain function. And I now have a lot more sympathy for older people or those who have gone through a stroke who have to cope with the loss of their brain’s ability to work properly.

This morning, it was a huge relief to wake up to a room that wasn’t spinning. I’ve been told by lots of people that once you have experienced vertigo, you are likely to get it again. But I am hopeful this is the end of my roller coaster ride.

dec2010emily

1 Response

  1. I had this occur one time in my mid-20's. It lasted only one night, but was intense and actually made me toss my cookies. It's never happened again and I'm 40 now. Ido have two aunts who have Legionares(sp?) disease and get this every few years.

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