vertigo

Austin, TX

This has been something of a lost week. Monday night, I was hit with what I refer to as “the dizzies”. We think it’s Meniere’s Disease, but it’s hard to get a solid diagnosis of something that hits once a year and comes on very, very quickly.

On Monday, I was sitting at our kitchen island, not doing much of anything, and Nicole, who was across from me, started moving from left to right very quickly. We’ve been through this just enough to know the routine, which is strictly a triage sort of thing. I get into be immediately and Nicole goes and gets me some motion-sickness meds. The pills serve two functions: They help a little with the sense of spinning and they also knock me out cold. That’s a very good thing in this case.

What i need to do in these cases is to stay in the dark, stay cool, and no matter what, not open my eyes. I’m nauseated, but I’ve never actually been sick. That’s a good thing because sitting up when I have one of these spells is difficult. Walking is out of the question. I can crawl, but that’s about it.

For the most part, after a nap of four hours or so, I’m good. Well, at least I’m not dizzy anymore. I am pretty physically wiped out at that point like I’ve just spent four hours doing cross fit. It can take me several days to really recover, which is a royal pain in the buttocks.

We’re not 100% sure what’s going on. It seems to be related to my hearing loss in my right ear. The initial reaction to that loss was “Huh. That’s weird. Let’s do an MRI and do some tests to see if you have cancer.” That was fun. It turned out that I did not have cancer, but the official explanation was “Damned if we know.”

The working theory is that there’s fluid or something that’s putting pressure on my inner ear on the right side. Not only does that make your hearing suck, but it causes a problem with the semi-circular canals. One of them is normal; the other is getting some pressure on it and isn’t sure what’s going on. The result is that my brain is getting two wildly different readings as to my orientation and it interprets this as “spinning”.

After the nap, the two sets of semi-circular canals have re-calibrated and come to an agreement as to where I am in relation to the rest of the world. That’s a nice feeling. Anyway, as you can imagine, this dominates my thoughts for a few days and thought I’d share what it feels like. There are worse things. There are many, many worse things. It’s just that, for a few hours, it doesn’t seem like it.

-RK

P.S. This morning (Friday) it hit me again. I’ve never had two back-to-back like this, and I’ve never had it start while I was asleep. This is annoying and worrying. If there’s another incident in the next week or so, it’s off to the doctor for Ridley. Yay!