I am still quite subject to vertigo, as it is called. Or, as I call it, “like the earth is spinning so hard it is purposely trying to THROW ME OFF OF THE PLANET!? My eyes are, and I mean this literally, spinning counter-clockwise inside my head. I would swear they really do make a 360 degree chase around the back of my head like one of the World’s scariest roller-coasters. This experience is especially bad when I lay on my right side, or turn my head quickly to the right, and turn it back to center… Luckily, when it happens in bed I can force myself to slap down on my back. Breathe deeply. SEVERAL times and will myself to stop my eyes from the continued eye-whirling. It is funny really to consider how eye movement causes the brain and body to react with such powerful sensations. The human body is really weird.
Over the last three months this has naturally decreased in how long during the day or how often these vertigo instances occur. Except, I never know when that will be. It is not like I can set alarms to warn me. I never have experienced car sickness, nor motion sickness on the water, in the air, or just about anything. Now, it is more like, putting my hands up to either side of my eyes to block peripheral vision. LightDarkLightDarkLightDark…makes me nauseous. In other words car sick. Movement makes me nauseous. Standing up, sitting down, turning around, sitting in my La-Z-Girl. The other day I was watching something on TV. I cannot recall what it was about. What I recall, it was a young woman speaking to the ether. The background was a waterfall. I watched that waterfall because, I have always loved water in about all its forms. As I am watching I am barely noticing I am feeling, well, funny. I keep watching the water-fall and it looks as if the camera is pushing in on the swiftly flowing water. After a little bit I realize I am experiencing vertigo from watching this damn, CLICK, I turn off the TV. I realized the waterfall had become my nemesis (said with an evil “GROWL” getting louder until, the word Nemesis!). Deep breathing; once again and with great control I stay seated and I suhv – low – ly convince the earth to let me stay connected to gravity once again.
A week ago I visited the surgeon for a check-up. I explained to him the ongoing severity of my vertigo experience. He stopped. Took a breath. Turned the look on his face of curiosity to a look of understanding. He spoke. “I think I know what is going on.”
“Ok, so, tell me.”
“There are crystals in our ears…”
“WAIT! Is this about the need to realign them and you turn your head to one side and then, the other, then, again???”
Surprised look on Dr.’s face, “How would you know that??”
“Doc Martin” British TV show on OPB. He had a male patient with extreme vertigo and he put him on the floor, while curtly explaining the basics of the ear crystals misalignment.”
“Yes. That is what is going on here.,” he said rather surprised but, acting unshocked.
Ok, then. This is called BPPV.“
“What does BPPV mean?” While, in my head I am whining. “Really???” I mean SERIOUSLY ANOTHER problem resulting from trying to FIX an existing problem!?!!?! Yeah,that’s just what I need, more medical wonderment.”
“BPPV is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.”
Well, I did ask what it was called.
‘ To realign the crystals I want to do the a maneuver. It is called the Epley Maneuver. In fact, Dr. Epley lives here. He must be rather aged by now.”
“That’s cool. Though, I have nothing to do with him. Why do we, as humans, feel the pride of someone else’s success/renown, especially, when we have no connection to them.”
Sounds easier to suffer than it sounds. Sitting straight up with my legs straight out the Dr. pressed a button somewhere, straightening the chair downward as I kept my eyes forward.
As the chair turned into a table (wow) he tilted it so my head was slightly below my heart. Great. VERTIGO. Not too bad. He helped me bring my chin up to my sternum so I am looking at my toes. While on my back I look as far left as possible. OMG!!! OMGOMGOMG!!! BREATHE, BREATHE, BREATHEBREATHE. As I cry out, “HOW LONG TO I HAVE TO DO THIS???” Saying, “BREATHE CONTROL YOUR BREATHING,” completely inside my head.
He tells me that I need to stay there until, the vertigo stops. FUCK. I am not convinced.
“With nystagmus,” he says to his assistant. I know what that means. Nystagmus means your eyes are repeatedly, almost, shivering. In others, like mine, it is side-to-side. Some experience their eyeballs rolling up and down without control. Blech. (must stick out your tongue on the “eh” part of the word and give a slight raspberry.)
It felt like a terribly long time. Chances are it was only 60 seconds. Let me tell you, that is a fucking LOOOOONNNNGGGG time when you are trying to cling to an unseen command to gravity that is trying to escape me.
“Whew. Pantpantpant.” Falsely, thinking I might not have to turn to the other side. I knew the reality even before that thought coalesced. Thank you, Doc Martin.
“Now, turn your head all the way to the right. ” After a few seconds of SEVERE
vertigo he instructs me, “Lie you your right side. Without lifting your head.” “WTF???” OH! HOLY!!!! SHIT!!!!!
I GRUDGE-ING-LY follow orders. As I begin to turn the vertigo STOMPS into place. Starting slowly staying at that level for about 3 seconds. Ramping up quickly I SUH-LAM my left arm around to grab hold of the chair/table to hold-the-FUCK-ON! at that point the Dr. who had been to my right was now right in front of me. As if I could actually see him. He calmly told me he was right there and he will not let me fall off the WORLD (he actually, said “table”.) It seemed to go on so much longer to wait for the me to get off the fastest Gravitron ever, or a Tilt-O-Whirl you are riding with a madwoman who spins your car faster than you imagined was possible for her.
Finally, that was done. Dr. helped me back to sitting up. After a little bit I was stable enough to stand up and walk without falling.
Oddly enough it did not take a very long time for me to become less dizzy. That night was the FIRST time I could turn to and sleep on my right side! It was a M-ear-acle.
However, within a couple of days it was back. DAMN!
Apparently, I need to do the Epley maneuver, again. Physical Therapy in-home where are you?