Monday, February 1, 2016

Before it helps you, it'll hurt you.

It’s been a whirlwind last couple of weeks. I’d been pretty busy, and then you know, I got vertigo. I woke up one morning to being totally topsy-turvy.

Vertigo would hit me whenever I moved my head significantly. Sitting up. Getting up. Rolling over in bed. Tilting my head back. Looking up. Basically I felt like my eyes were rolling around in my head, and that my eyes and brain were on a roller coaster while my body stayed perfectly still. It’s not dizziness, it’s really all-encompassing, like you’re being rotated from the inside. I couldn't walk in a straight line. It was rough.

I went to see Dr. Rishi and he asked that I lay down, and made me tilt my head a certain way. Well I did this and got hot and sweaty and felt like I was losing my mind while being sucked into a washing machine so he congratulated me on having a severe case of vertigo. I had to sit a while not to puke, and he had to hold my shoulders so I wouldn't fall over. He diagnosed me with a case of severe vertigo and I went home. Technically called Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), it’s when a small particle makes its way into the liquid of your ear canal, confusing your brain and balance centre. He explained that the exercise he had me do, I should do at home, twice a day, in an attempt to bring the particles that are causing the vertigo back out of the ear canal. 

Optokinetic nystagmus.gif

Called the Epley maneuver, the first time I did it in the doctor’s office, I stopped, since it seemed to trigger an episode of severe vertigo and I thought I might be sick in the office. When I did it the following morning, at home, I thought I’d power through it. Well, when I laid on my side afterwards I began instantly vomiting, without even feeling nauseous. It was just awful. I was still experiencing vertigo, and the world was spinning so I remained on my side, unable to get up, while continuously vomiting.

Best bit? I was in my mother’s bed. She has a really high bed, so I thought I’d be better able to hang my head off of it, to force gravity to do it’s thang. So when my mother heard my convulsed expulsions, she came running. She brought me “the bucket” which I couldn't use since I couldn't lift my head, and then I yelled “towel” and she brought me a towel. I didn't puke in the towel, I laid the towel down over my puke so I could return to laying on my side while reality spun around.

I then followed this by saying, “I threw up in your bed” over and over. I spend the next two days resting/recovering. Looking back now it seems like that exercise got everything back into place, since it was clearly successful in moving things around. I felt wobbly for the next few hours, but the worse of the vertigo seemed to be behind me.

All of this took about a week and a half. I ended up missing Friday and then going in on Monday, and then taking the rest of the week until Friday again. This means I took 4 paid sick days, of my allotted 5, and it’s only February. So again, I'm left with no sick days for the rest of the year.

My biggest worry was my upcoming trip to BC to go see C. It has been planned forever and I traded in air miles tickets like 6 months ago, I would hate to have to cancel. It’ll be a countdown to Friday, when I take a flight out to Calgary (then on to Victoria) after work.

It’ll be nice to be somewhere else. It’ll be good to see C. Might be a little intense, since I'm on a couch and won’t have my own bedroom, but it’s only for a short time. She seems to have all sorts of things planned. We might go up to Tofino.

Being sick, and before that, being quite busy, has left me in a bit of a spot. I'm a little detached these days, tired. It could be the weather and the lack of sun, maybe I'm starting to get that winter madness.

I haven’t been able to write much, or create much for that matter. I'm tired and I feel slower than usual.

I have thoughts that run into my head that I consider exploring, but whatever inspiration hits me is just as quick to recede. 

I hope BC is good for me.

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