Friday, December 10, 2010

What It's Like To Live With Vertigo

One day back in 2001, I had the strangest feeling, as if the room were spinning out of control. It made me incredibly nauseous and equally frightened because of course my hypochondriac-ass was thinking BRAIN TUMOR.

After a few bouts of “spinny-room” I went to see my doctor. YES, back then I had a physician whom I saw regularly. A wonderful German woman, who pulled no punches, wrote no prescriptions unless I needed it desperately and had me in and out of that office in a reasonable amount of time. I miss her. And during that very weird exam where she made me lay down and then moved my head up and down and around super quickly to see if it made me sick, she determined it was vertigo and sent me to see an otolaryngologist (ENT) for a second opinion.

The ENT examined my ears and throat (I was also complaining of some weird white spots in the back of my throat that I thought to be throat cancer; it was just calcium deposits built up in the pockets of my tonsils) and also concluded it was vertigo (benign positional vertigo to be exact), and gave me some medicine for motion sickness (that, by the way, doesn't work because it makes you drowsy and useless).

That first year I was diagnosed it was seriously a problem for me. At first I cracked jokes and all (there's a film about my disease!) but picture it: Riverdale, 2001…

It’s a weekday and you begin to come out of your sleep coma and you feel like someone is moving your bed around. It almost feels like your whole world has been placed on top of a Sit ‘n Spin that you can't control. Once the room stops moving, you take a deep breath and attempt to get up, but even the slightest movement of any part of your body, especially turning yourself slightly to the side, activates the Sit 'n Spin happening in your head.

You get queasy. You don't want to throw up but you know it's near, and all you can think is, "I'm going to puke on myself because I will never be able to make it to the toilet with the room spinning like this!" It goes on nonstop anywhere from 5-30 minutes to hours, and all you can do is lie there and take it like a bitch.

Because that's exactly what I've become- my inner ear's bitch.

I was told there was no cure for this because, well, what is there a cure for these days? Like Chris Rock said- there's no money in a cure; the money's in the comeback! But HA! I fooled them! I REFUSE to take the drug and taught my body to just relax, sit still and sleep it away. And when that stops working, I will try one of these new-agey exercises I found online.

Take THAT pharmaceutical companies!!

*smooches...admitting to a tiny flaw*
and not to be crass, but this damn vertigo also keeps me from roller coaster rides and certain jungalistic activities that I used to enjoy... ol' cock-blockin' vertigo... *sigh*