Sunday, August 5, 2012

Help, the room is spinning! (No alcohol involved.)

The Audubon Society's newest member. Signed up for lifetime membership.

 Rumi practices his excellent kitchen camouflage.

So it seems I'm having more than my fair share of strange ailments lately. Yesterday when I woke up, I rolled over to turn off the alarm clock, and suddenly was hit with a dizzy spell so severe I nearly vomited, and the room literally seemed to be spinning very fast, and I could feel my eyeballs moving back and forth really fast, unbidden, like in a horror movie. 

I didn't dare move. In about thirty seconds, it passed and I felt pretty normal. I hit snooze on my alarm, and lay back down and--WHAM!--another identical dizzy/Exorcist spell. 

This went on several times. I lay in bed thinking about who I could call to walk Mojito, and what to do. Finally I gritted my teeth and got up. After the usual thirty-second bizarre stuff, I again felt pretty normal and went about my day. During the day, every time I tilted my head up, down, to the side, or (the worst), obliquely (ear to shoulder), the dizzy spell came back, though a lot less severe than in the morning.

I happened to go to the dog park and mentioned it to a woman there who I know has had dizziness issues. She told me I'm not crazy and it's not seizures--that what is happening is not too uncommon and is called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, and that she has had it before. I Googled it when I got back home, and lo and behold, everything the Mayo Clinic website said about it matches exactly what's happening to me.

So apparently, if you didn't hit your head or anything like that to cause it, then it's usually age-related because some part of your ear canal is degenerating (lovely). The older that people get, the more likely they are to get episodes of this, and the more often. Sometimes it goes away on its own, after weeks or months. But there's supposedly a treatment, done by a doctor or specially trained physical therapist, that one can try and it often works well on most people (although the condition can still recur anytime). This treatment consists of the medical person moving your head in certain configurations, to try to get
--who knew we had such things??--the little "ear rocks" inside the little canals to move back to where they're supposed to live. See? "Rocks in your head" is actually literal.

I no longer have health insurance but am going to try to get to a physical therapist or something this week, if possible. The treatment itself is extremely uncomfortable, because as they put your head in each position, you get the dizzy/Exorcist spell every time. Ugh. I feel queasy just thinking about it. I bet a lot of physical therapists have been puked on.

So in the meantime, it's worst by far when I wake up--apparently because my head's been in one position so long. The rest of the day, I have to just try to hold my head in basically an upright position. Every time I forget, wham!, and I'm reminded very quickly that all is not right with my ear pebbles. I'm learning to do a deep plié every time I would normally bend forward for something (like, frequently, picking up dog poop, say).

Climbing the ladders in the art studio: very bad idea right now. Not going to happen. The studio still is not usable, sadly.

Universe, please stop picking on me for a while with all the bizarre maladies.

We've been getting some really great skies lately. These appear to be mammatus ("mammary") clouds.

 And a whole assortment of clouds, all in one big sky:

More art on my website:


Sonya Johnson said...

Otoliths. That's what the little "ear rocks" are called. They are on the end of hairs and surrounded by fluid that shifts with positional changes and let your brain know which end is up, so to speak.

The hairs tend to calcify and stiffen as we age, which explains the BPPV.

Not that it's any consolation, but I developed tinnitus (ringing ears) last year, with no discernible cause, and it's always, always there.

Yeah, the physical aging process is a drag.

Love the mammatus photo - we've been getting a lot of those down here as well.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

your little house is so beautiful and serene.
Sending positive vibes .....