I woke up feeling like Iâ€™d downed an entire bottle of bourbon. The room was spinning, my head hurt, and Iâ€™d thrown up everything interesting Iâ€™d eaten the night before. When I tried to walk from the bedroom to the bathroom I found I had a difficult time going in a straight line. It was an odd and scary feeling because I didnâ€™t understand the cause. I hadnâ€™t had a bottle of bourbon, nor had I ingested other forms of drugs. Had I picked up a virus? I didn’t know anything other than I felt awful. Being of good German/Bohemian/Norwegian/Lutheran stock, I decided my best course of action was to ignore the symptoms. â€œThis too shall pass,â€ I said, although my husband was wearing his worried face.
Four days later I was still walking around as though my world was made of warped and weirdly shaped carnival mirrors. I had to brace myself against walls when a dizzy spell hit, and the cats were cautious if I was within tripping distance. Ingrates! (I had a spectacular near -fall as I carried their food down the stairs one day, and they decided distance was better than victimization.)
Reluctantly I caved in and visited our local clinic. After listening to my story the on call doctor said I had the classic symptoms of vertigo. Other than the famous Alfred Hitchcock film, vertigo meant nothing to me. Had it something to do with being afraid of heights? At least that seemed to be Jimmy Stewartâ€™s issue in the movie. Well that and Kim Novak. As it turns out vertigo is not only common (although I donâ€™t know one person who has it), but also somewhat elusive. In other words, there is no way of knowing when it will arrive, how long it will stay, or how often it will visit. â€œGee, rather like certain relatives,â€ I thought. Vertigo’s trigger is an inner-ear malfunction of sorts. According to the Department of Otolaryngology, at the University of California, Irvineâ€™s School of Medicine:
The inner ear balance organ is filled with fluid. Certain areas of the inner ear balance organ contains microscopic crystals that for some reason (sometimes from trauma) can become loose and float in the fluids of the inner ear. When the head is turned in a particular direction, the crystals float in the fluid and cause a rippling effect (like a rock thrown in water). This movement of fluids causes stimulation of the inner ear, which causes a sensation of motion and thus dizziness. The spinning stops as the movement of the crystals and the fluid through the inner ear stops.
Iâ€™m sure you popped some corn because you were riveted by that bit of information. Hey! My job is to inform, not just entertain. When you’re done yawning hear this, if you suffer from vertigo you have my complete empathy. It is invasive, persistent, and awful. Iâ€™m trying to do the Epley maneuver to calm my vertigo, but so far itâ€™s not helping too much. As with so many things in life it has its up and downs.
Because Iâ€™m often nauseated from the whirling feeling, my eating has been hit and miss. Iâ€™m either starving when the spinning takes a break, or feel like vomiting when itâ€™s at its worst. My husband, who just celebrated his birthday, decided ice cream was the medicine of choice for both of us.
We headed to our local Dairy Queen and indulged. I havenâ€™t eaten more than a few spoonfulâ€™s of my husbandâ€™s chosen DQ treat in years, but this time I ordered a small hot fudge for myself and ate every delicious drop. My husband didnâ€™t even tease me about it. We also ordered a doggy cone for Booker, and were amused to see it brought to our table with two small dog biscuits poised like cherries on top.
Is sugar good for us? No. Was that ice cream what I needed at that moment? Yes. Oh heck yes. In fact, it was the best part of my day.