So I wake up Thursday morning about 3:30am from a deep sleep, or I guess I should say, I’m awakened from a deep sleep, by a room that’s spinning around me about a million miles per hour. What the … ? I sit up in bed, and the room kinda slows down. Weird. I go into my office so I won’t wake up Jalen and Melissa, and sit down. I’m feeling a bit nauseous, but nothing terrible. Sit there for 15 minutes, and walk downstairs to get a drink of water.
I reach the bottom of the stairs, and the room starts spinning again. The feeling is akin to that of being on a merry-go-round after accepting a double-dog-dare from the big kids to let them push you as fast as they can; or being on that one ride at Six Flags where they spin you around really quickly and drop the floor out from underneath you. The feeling I was getting was like that, except all out of proportion because I hadn’t drank anything or eaten anything weird. Rest of the body feels normal, but head is spinning like too many beer bongs the freshman year in college.
Anyway, get to the bottom of the stairs, the spins, and then the sudden onslaught of severe nausea. I call Ralph on the Big Porcelain Telephone, note the absence of food in the conversation and go into the living room where this happens maybe 10 more times before Missy wakes up at 7:30am. Fortunately for me, she’s got the day off to take care of my pathetic ass.
This happens maybe 30 more times during the day. I move my head slightly, and the room starts spinning furiously for about a minute, then stops and I’m nauseous. It does seem to get better through the day, but is still very debilitating and scary. At some point, Missy notices that during one of these “spells”, my eyes are moving back and forth very rapidly, akin to what happens with people with down’s syndrome. At this point, we are getting a little nervous and decide to consult WebMD.
What we got back wasn’t pretty: “these are signs of a small stroke or brain tumor” seemed to be the general consensus. We decide to wait 24 hours before panicking to see if the symptoms persist. I wake up on Friday morning after barely sleeping Thursday night, and indeed, the spinning spells continue. We call my father-in-law, who’s a surgeon, and ask him what he thinks it is, telling him what we found on WebMD.
“Well, I guess it could be a tumor or a slight stroke, but my guess is that it’s this thing called Benign Positional Vertigo”. He goes on to explain what it is (an inner-ear condition), how it’s caused (free-floating calcium carbonate crystals in the inner ear chambers), that it’s not life-threatening, but to go in and see a doctor about it.
We schedule an appointment for later that day (Friday) with Dr. Berger, our family practitioner. By the time we get to see him on Friday, most of the symptoms have gone away. We explain to him what happened, and he nods and whips out a piece of paper and explains what he thinks is happening. Basically, it’s what’s described here.
By Saturday, hardly any symptoms. I dance my ass off at the MESS party, Realm (Matthew Dear was excellent). Go home, stay up with Missy (Jalen was spending the night at a friends — sniff, sniff, but that’s another topic) for a bit, go to sleep, and wake up on Sunday morning with the BPPV back with a vengeance. Guess my brain hasn’t adjusted yet.
As I write this, I’m feeling a bit of vertigo, but not much. I managed to drive myself to work, but I’m trying to keep my head from turning too much. Dr. Berger says that it can take upwards of a month for your brain to adjust to it’s new environment. Let’s hope it happens soon.