Saturday, March 28, 2009

v is for victory and vertigo

have you ever spent 11 hours in the emergency room? an insane experience if ever there was one. last thursday i woke up dizzy, again. i've been dizzy for over 2 weeks, but mildly so and it seemed to be decreasing. boy was i wrong! just getting a glass of water at the sink, the room began to spin violently and i was forced to sit down on the floor. i tried to focus my eyes on one spot, struggling in vain to get the room to stop spinning.

the level of nausea rose dangerously.

you can certainly predict what happened next. oh, it was awful. eight times. worse yet, in my belly was only water and my morning vitamins. afterward, i couldn't stand or do anything useful.

so, i canceled my office hours and crashed back into bed. a while later i woke to a call from my sister in michigan. she listened to my recent story and then read me the riot act. she insisted i go to the emergency room...and make it snappy! obediently, i called a friend and i went. it is not advisable to argue with my sister at such times.

i went, only to sit and sit and then sit some more. i could not read, i was too motion sick. i simply stared at the wall. afternoon slipped into evening and then into night. a kind angel came along and got my house key to go tend to my little dog, who was all alone in the dark and needing to pee. i got very chilled and quite dehydrated, i felt absolutely awful. finally after eight hours, they led me to a room. warm blankets, an iv line inserted, the tv on pbs. i was more comfortable, but things still moved at a snails pace. lovely nurses and even nicer doctors attended me. they did many tests and at long last, after reactivating the severe vertigo and the vomiting, they gave me a definitive diagnosis. you can read the details about BPPV right here.

i finally came home in the middle of the night by taxi and crawled gratefully into my own bed. i now have scripts to prevent the vertigo, and stop the nausea. the next day, i saw my wonderful acupuncturist, who has a background as a PT, working with head trauma patients. she was able to perform a series of head manipulations on me to help heal the problem. i am concentrating on not tipping my head suddenly in any direction. which does make doing my back stretches quite difficult. or anything that requires bending over. thank goodness my legs also know how to squat.

what a crazy thing after a few weeks of crazy things in the health department. is it any wonder i feel a bit crazy?

1 comment:

Laura said...

I am SO GLAD you are going to be OK. I appreciated the article on BPPV. In it there is a link to Dr. Epley -- an article from the Oregonian I remember reading when it came out, which is why I was even aware of this as a problem. It's about his theory about these ear rocks, and how to help people with this problem without surgery, how the field thought he was a quack, and how he was eventually vindicated with the help and perseverance of his adult daughter. A great read. Again, yay that you are full of knowledge and have the means to respond.