When I mess something up, at least everyone escapes with all their limbs intact.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

In a place called Vertigo

Yesterday my body changed my plans for the day rudely and unexpectedly. Not less than a minute after I sent Hubs and E out the door to their respective destinations, work and playschool, and sat down at my computer to read the paper and drink my coffee, the room started spinning. My head became immediately swollen and heavy. I felt nauseous. I couldn't focus on the words in front of me.

I was having a vertigo attack.

I have an attack of vertigo about once every year or two. The last time I had an attack was during my last day of hospital clinical work for my phlebotomy certification (forever ingrained in my mind as the day before my father went into the hospital). Luckily, my supervisor also suffered from vertigo and had pity on me. I laid my head down in the back room until it was time for me to go home.

For me, the attacks tend to come on when I'm dehydrated. The week of clinicals I was not sleeping a whole lot (my son was just shy of a year old and was still nursing twice a night, and I had to wake up at 3:30 to get to the hospital by 5) and was therefore living mostly off of coffee. It's no wonder my body gave out on the last day.

I have to admit that I haven't been drinking a whole lot of anything except coffee recently, because it's cold, and that I haven't been sleeping really well because it's not comfortable to sleep in the walking boot. So, while I initially woke up with delusions of grandeur (folding laundry, sorting mail, etc.), my body was completely against anything that did not involve lying in bed with my eyes shut.

If you've never had vertigo, it's like being drunk only you skip the fun part and go straight to lying as still as possible with one foot on the ground for stabilization. You feel like you have (and in most cases do) fluid in your ears. You have to move very slowly, especially your head, or you'll fall over. You can't watch TV, because the images move to fast for your brain to process and you start spinning again. Best thing to do is lie in bed, eyes shut, and listen to calming music. Hopefully, you fall asleep and wake up feeling better.

So that's what I did until the worst of it was passed and I could walk without fear of falling - having to use crutches made yesterday's episode EXTRA SPECIAL. I took a decongestant to help dry up my ears, some tylenol for the swollen head, and ate ramen noodles to increase my salt and overall hydration level. Then, I got back in bed again and stayed there for another 5 hours, slowly increasing m y body incling until I was sitting up mostly straight without spinning or falling over. At 5, I ventured out into the living room to work on the laundry and drink another cup of coffee, which set me right. I was fine for the rest of the evening.

So far today I've been ok, but I can feel my left ear getting a little watery and my head getting a little stuffy, so I'm going to go make some ramen and drink some tea and take it easy today. I'm very much looking forward to going to the craft store this evening and picking out some new yarn to work with.


  1. I was about to flood you with sympathy and a few air hugs until I saw that you were going to the craft store for some yarn.

    Yeah, you're gonna be juuuuuust fine.