A sense of balance

Last week, I had a cold. Nothing extraordinary about that. Fuzzy head, sneezing, runny nose, all the usual stuff. Took a few tablets, stayed wrapped up, and it started to get better.

On Friday night, I felt a little whacked out, so decided to have a lie down on the sofa. Suddenly, the room was spinning. Not just the usual feeling of the ceiling whizzing around, like you get when you are drunk; this was a complete funfair experience, with the room turning on itself, and me feeling that the end had come. It was like a combination of an acid trip, and the upside-down sets in ‘The Poseidon Adventure.’ I jumped up, and was sure that I would fall flat on my face. After a while, I retreated into bed, worried about this strange episode.

The next day, I felt a little shaky, and put it down to the after effects of the cold. I went off to have a nice relaxing bath. As soon as I laid back in the water, the same thing happened. I clutched at the sides of the bath, and knocked everything off the shelves in my panic. It felt as if the bath was on the ceiling, and I was going to fall out of it, down to the floor. It took a while for this to stabilise, and I eventually managed to get out, get dressed, and head off for a walk with Ollie. Over at The Meadows, I bent down to stroke a small dog, and felt myself falling forward. But I wasn’t falling at all, it just seemed like it. This condition has a name. Vertigo.

Back home, I did some research. Crystals forming in the inner ear can affect balance. Blocked sinuses and other internal pathways can also do the same. Even the tiny hairs, unseen within the ear canals, can seriously affect balance if they are disrupted, or the silicone beads on them drop off inside the ears. That’s a lot to go wrong, in a very small space. With this comes a constant feeling of nausea, as if you want to be sick all the time, but there is nothing there. Strangely, it didn’t affect my appetite that much, but I certainly couldn’t face a traditional big dinner on Sunday.

In fact, I have spent most of the weekend in bed, trying desperately not to lie on my back, as that makes it significantly worse. I found it hard to concentrate too, hence my lack of appearance on the blogs during the last few days. I had no enthusiasm for watching TV or films, and we even cancelled a trip to a restaurant that we had been looking forward to. Today, I have made a rare appointment to see a doctor, as I have to be sure that it is not something more sinister, naturally. I will let you know what happens.

In the meantime, I am left to marvel at the complexity of human physiology. How tiny things can wreak such havoc, and how unseen, almost unknown parts of our bodies are so important to everyday existence.
My conclusion, is that we are over-engineered. Someone needs to start again, with less parts.

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42 thoughts on “A sense of balance

  1. At least you’re not like Detective John “Scottie” Ferguson, who suffered from both vertigo and acrophobia. He was featured in an Alfred Hitchcock film entitled “Acrophobia.” Oh wait…

    But, seriously, I hope you are able to manage the vertigo spells, and that the condition subsides in time. Things like that can turn your life upside-down!

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  2. I hope it gets better. I had a recent episode of feeling dizzy for no particular reason and feeling unwell in general for a few days but eventually it seems to have gone back to normal. I assumed it must have been a virus but your problem sounds much worse and more persistent. I remember one of the surgeons I worked with years back suddenly was affected by Meniére’s while he was operating. He got better with treatment though. Thinking of you.

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    1. Very kind, Olga. It is still early days, so I am hopeful that it will be sorted eventually. Not being able to drive puts a strain on life in the countryside though, and that becomes apparent even after two days. Fingers crossed!
      Best wishes, Pete.

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    1. Thanks, Ro. No warning at all, except a heavy cold for the few days before.
      I had a long chat with Kate last week, and she told me about Brian.
      Give him my best if you see him, or speak to him.x

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  3. My conclusion, is that we are over-engineered. Someone needs to start again, with less parts.

    Even when you are ill you manage to make me laugh!
    Hope things work out for you, not being able to drive will be a nuisance. I dread that happening to me. I have had the occasional odd dizzy spell, without any reason. I just put it down to age 😦

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    1. If if is just an odd dizzy spell, Jude, it might be changes in blood pressure, or dips in blood sugar, as you are no doubt aware. I was pleased that you found that last part amusing, as I didn’t just want to post a ‘woe is me.’
      Not being able to drive is by far the biggest problem, living here. So I hope that the tablets manage to sort that out, if nothing else.
      Best wishes, Pete. x

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        1. I was back by 4.30, Beetley Time. (It is 7.45 pm here now, for reference) Got tablets to counteract the dizziness, which should begin to work by Wednesday. If that doesn’t happen, I have to go back for ‘head manipulation’, to shift the crystals in my ear canal. They also said that it might never go away, or go, then return. Not that cheerful a prognosis, but the pills should make it bearable.
          Regards, Pete.

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    1. Thanks, Sarah. Got some tablets for the dizziness, and might have to go back for ‘head manipulation.’ It is caused by crystals collecting in the inner ear, as suspected. May not be able to be cured on a permanent basis though. I don’t mind too much, except that I can’t drive. Living here, that’s not funny.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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  4. Redesigned humans with fewer parts reminds me of something. Oh, yes, it seems to me that Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote about a fellow who did that. No, wait, I am wrong that fellow only employed “used” parts and there was no actual redesign, recycling perhaps but no redesign. Regardless, good luck Pete.

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    1. I got tablets for the dizzy spells, and might have to return for head manipulation, if they don’t help. In and out in ten minutes, but no guarantee of any long-term cure, and nothing to do with salt in my case, apparently.
      Regards, Pete.

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  5. Very interesting post Pete, I hope your doctor’s appointment goes well and you start feeling back to normal soon. How are you feeling today? Poor you! I’m sending getting well hugs.

    My grandad a few years ago had a funny turn and was rushed to hospital in an ambulance, it was one of the most awful experiences of my life – he looked dreadful and I did honestly fear the worst.

    It turns out it was Vertigo and after an anti-sickness injection he started to feel better just like that. The reason for it was truly astounding however – when he was a baby he was inside an aid raid shelter when a bomb went off just outside. It’s has a life long effect on his reflexes and balance and we were told it was this experience so many years ago that brought on the Vertigo in later life. Of course something else must have been to blame as well, like the reasons you mentioned, but still very odd!

    Take care Pete, will be thinking of you!!! xx

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        1. He said crystals collecting in my inner ear is probably the cause. No long-term cure, and it may (or may not) just go away on its own. Tablets to control the dizziness, and back next week if no improvement. At least it wasn’t a brain tumour! xx

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          1. Oh god don’t say that Pete, the last sentence I mean. But at the same time, very very true.

            I’m glad it is just Vertigo and he could give you an explanation why. Hopefully the tablets will do their trick and won’t cause you that horrible, crazy feeling anymore. Lots of rest for you Mister! Tell Ollie to be on his best behaviour xxx

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