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Vertigo

By: Elaine Marze 

               There’s one good thing that comes from being afflicted with some ailment (the numbers of which increases with age), and that is that when you recover you have a greater appreciation of what others have gone through. Now you can sympathize and empathize much more ardently.  For example, I just survived a week of vertigo!  For those who have never had vertigo they will ho-hum and scroll on through, but those who have had vertigo, aww now they pause to say a thank-you prayer that they don’t have it at present time and will read on because they want to find out if your case could possibly be worse than they had.

            I have experienced two earthquakes, and the best I can describe vertigo is somewhat similar to an earthquake.  Your body may be immobile but the earth is moving beneath and all around you. It’s an other-worldly sort of feeling.  Advice I got from former victims of vertigo included: “lay on the floor close to the pot and stay there till it goes away” to “don’t lie down flat; stay in a recliner, plan on crawling everywhere and whatever you do, don’t move your head.”

            Just walking was a challenge. I ran into walls so many times I lost count, moving suddenly or at all brought on spinning like being on a fast merry-go-round pushed by a sadist. I tried to walk to the mailbox one day and ended up clinging to the 4-wheeler for 15 minutes or so until the world slowed enough to crawl back inside the house. Being perfectly still was the only thing that helped keep me from face-planting on the floor. I tried sitting at my laptop to work on an article for SAFE Planning, Inc, the best people and company in the world to work for, but every time I glanced down at the keyboard the world spun out of orbit again and left me disoriented and nauseated. When I say the least movement brings on excruciating dizziness, I’m not exaggerating.

            But thank God and Meclizine that instead of running face first into walls now, I’m just barely glancing off them, and I could possibly stagger down the street without getting arrested for drunkenness or drugs. Oh, happy day!

            If and when a friend or family member tells you they have vertigo, show your love by helping them dress or undress without moving, impossible when showering, getting on toilet or finding food in the fridge.  Until vertigo, folks don’t think about how often they move their head, looking up, down, around … a range of motion inadvisable to someone suffering from vertigo. It’s an experience I will never forget and hope it is never repeated. If you ever feel vertigo coming on, quick, pad your walls and floor because you will be coming in contact with both.