Saturday, January 31, 2009

A Dizzy Dame

A long, long time ago, when our oldest was only about three or four years old, I was walking down the sidewalk with her. We went around the corner of a building and there was a lot of broken glass on the ground. Since she was wearing sandals, I was helping her carefully pick her way through so she wouldn't get hurt. This means I was looking down at her feet. As I came around this corner, I ran into the bottom metal base frame of a billboard with my forehead. (Yes, I know it sounds like something you'd chuckle at on "America's Funniest Home Videos", but believe me, laughter never entered my mind.)

First of all, it was like walking into a glass door because I never saw it coming. Second, it HURT. The entire billboard vibrated because I struck it that hard. I remember yelling and putting my hands to my head, trying to make sense of what had just happened to me. I couldn't understand where the pain had originated but I can still remember how badly it hurt.

This morning I had occasion to think of that long ago moment because I rolled over to tell Joseph I would take a shower later and was hit with the worst vertigo I have had in a couple of years. It came out of the blue, just like the encounter with the billboard. I've had the condition for 15 years or so, in varying degrees, from barely noticeable to falling down on the floor to throwing up nonstop and begging for an ambulance--and everything in between. The last really bad episode was about four years ago. It was horrible enough to last a lifetime though.

Having vertigo is like being instantaneously on drugs--without any of the potential highs some drugs offer. It isn't just being dizzy--it is the sensation that gravity is no longer functioning and that you and the world are moving at completely different rhythms. It is instant nausea and shaking. It just ain't fun, baby!

I laid in bed swearing and trying not to throw up. J crawled in behind me and held me tight because he knows that is one thing that helps (it makes you feel anchored to something instead of being in a type of freefall). It passed in seconds, but since then, it has flashed back a dozen times. The bitchy part of it is you never KNOW when it will happen. It stops and so, you forget . . and then you turn your head to see something or look at someone, you bend over to pick something up, you put your head back and close your eyes for a moment and suddenly, it is all back again. It zaps your confidence (I sure as hell am not getting behind a wheel now), screws up the day's plans (so much for exercising on the rebounder--I'd go flying off) and just generally makes you unsure of yourself.

So, yea, today, I am a dizzy dame. I will keep working and try to remember not to move quickly. Sigh. Of course, I will also keep an eye out for lurking billboards, just in case!

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