This week did not turn out like I planned… but that is pretty much how life works. You think you are in charge of your own life, schedule, and health but sometimes you wake up on a Monday morning and the world is spinning out of control. Well, at least that is what happened to me this week.
The alarm clock on my nightstand went off at 5:00 AM on Monday and I quickly rolled over to slap the snooze button. Maybe a little too quick. The entire room suddenly felt like it was spinning and my stomach clenched in response. This has happened before, in fact it happened just a few weeks ago, so I knew what it was. Vertigo.
Vertigo is when a person feels as if they or the objects around them are moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement. This may be associated with nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulties walking. It is typically worsened when the head is moved. Vertigo is the most common type of dizziness. – source, Wikipedia
Since I needed to go to the bathroom, I slowly tried to sit up in bed. Carefully I lifted the covers and stood up, holding on the bed for balance. My bedroom spun to the right and I ended up on my hands and knees, deciding it would be easier to crawl instead of walk to the bathroom. Every time I moved, I felt like I was falling over to the right. The feeling of spinning, dizziness and nausea last all day. I crawled to the bathroom multiple times to throw up. Otherwise I stayed in bed, sleeping as much as possible to keep the nausea away. I couldn’t even sit up in bed to eat a piece of toast, so I ate it lying down, getting crumbs all over my sheets. Crumbs were the least of my worries.
Tuesday morning, the nausea was gone but the spinning and dizziness was not. Finally late that afternoon, I was able to walk downstairs to the kitchen for a popsicle. All I had eaten that day was a banana and a grilled cheese, but I wasn’t that hungry anyway. By then, it had been two days since I had bathed or really been out of bed. I asked my 10-year-old daughter Sophia to sit in the bathroom to make sure I didn’t fall while I finally took a shower.
Since it was Shrove Tuesday, my mother-in-law made pancakes for dinner that night. Trey and the kids ate at her house then a little later, she brought me a plate with a huge pancake topped with syrup to eat in bed. I managed to eat a little more than half before I was full. At least the pancakes didn’t leave crumbs in my bed.
I went into work on Wednesday for a few hours, although my husband had to drive me to the office and pick me up. He also drove me to the doctor’s office that afternoon, since I was still experiencing dizziness. Although I have experienced Vertigo a handful time times in the last several years, the episodes usually last anywhere from a few hours to one day and this it had lingered on for several days. I left the doctor appointment with a prescription and two referrals, one to a physical therapist for vestibular therapy and one for an ear, nose and throat specialist. Exhausted from being out of bed for more than an hour that day, I fell asleep on the couch as soon as we got home from the doctor.
Thursday was the first day that I finally started to feel somewhat normal, about 80% better. If I turned my head or bent down and stood up too quickly, I would still get dizzy but otherwise I was okay. I drove myself to the office and worked the entire day. Although my body was craving exercise, I decided it was best to skip my usual lunchtime workout. The highlight of my day was feeling well enough to attend a Writer’s Feedback session hosted by The Art House Dallas. I met 6 other writers at Union Coffee in Dallas and we each read our work aloud, followed by a time of feedback and critique. After a very “dry” season of writing, it was just what I needed to jump-start my writing practice again.
By the time Friday arrived, I felt like I had finally rejoined the real world. Work was busy as usual and I went shopping at lunch for a birthday gift for my sister. I left work on time and came home for Family Movie night. Sophia and I watched Harry Potter and stayed up late reading books.
Life had resumed its usual pace and it was no longer spinning out of control. I had finally stopped spinning.