Vertigo … my loss of equilibrium made physical

I woke in the middle of the night suffering from nausea. I sat quickly up in bed and was unbalanced, dizzy. In dire need of the bathroom I tried to walk, but each step I attempted, the floor gave way, bent and warped and was not where my foot expected it to be, I grabbed at the walls but they were equally prankish, refusing to stay solid, instead behaving as if I’d been dropped into a nightmare of a bad seventies’ film acid trip, all wavy and undulatory; my world was spinning, off balance. This made no sense. It could not be. I had not been drinking. I was not Sharon Tate.

acid trippMy first reaction when faced with anything other than that ordered, every day thing I have come to expect of my boring, little life is denial, and in my dazed, half-asleep state, rather than stopping to consider what might be happening — compelled, in part, by my desperate need to urinate — I kept hurtling in combination walk – crawl – stagger until I reached the toilet, where I had to sit to pee, after which I thought sure I was going to be sick — something I go to almost super-human lengths to avoid — and I ended up prostrate, naked, on the comfortingly chill tile, eyes wide open, as I came slowly to recognize and realize and accept what was happening; again: VERTIGO.

My first bout of vertigo hit in February of 2012.  That case was my most severe. I could not be in full recline or close my eyes for three days and literally — and I mean without exaggeration and in complete truth — had to crawl. I could not walk. To sit fully up, to walk, to close my eyes, all caused me to vomit — which, as I have already said, I will go to almost any length to avoid.

That case receded slowly, residual dizziness continued for weeks. Since that time, I have had minor spells of vertigo but none approaching the severity of the first. And I have not had any episodes since I quit smoking and started regularly gymming over a year ago. This attack is mid-level. A friend who also experiences bouts of vertigo told me that taking an antihistamine or allergy pill could help — I happened to find some Zyrtec here where I am house/pet sitting and downed one and the nausea is mostly gone but I remain off and on unsteady when walking, and moving from one position to another — as in from seated to standing — requires caution. I would not be comfortable driving at this point.

Which is fine. I am content not to leave the house. I am sitting on the back deck, in the fresh, beautiful breeze, looking over the lake as I type this. And, I can type. And read. Which is good and a gift, because there have been bouts where I could not do that. So, my life is affected somewhat by this but in no real way disrupted.

  • Dilbert on disruptive innovationSpeaking of which — catching up now with my magazines and newspapers and reading — when did “DISRUPTED” and “DISRUPTIVE” become a thing? As in, “I only want to invest in disruptive corporations.” Meaning, corporations which eschew the status quo and do business in ways that inconvenience or alarm other businesses in their field. Hmmm. A little too hip. A little too self-serving when used by anyone to describe themselves or their modus operandi, particularly when the “disruptive” is usually a pose, another marketing gimmick meant to manufacture maximum profits, frequently with just as little concern for what that profit-making costs the average person.
  • Speaking of self-serving, why, can anyone tell me WHY IN THE WORLD is ANYONE still asking former Vice President Dick Cheney his opinion about anything at all? He is a proven liar, prevaricator, denier, re-writer of history, server of his own self-interests at any cost, and that he could say what he said recently about President Obama’s handling and understanding of Iraq is the definition of gall. Unbelievable.
  • And while I am on what is unbelievable, while perusing my magazines and the magazines here where I am staying — which include one for motorcycle enthusiasts — I came across items describing a $550 pair of specially designed, water-proofed and “armored” motorcycle jeans. Wow. Bad enough, but, at least, to someone in some way, somehow, sort-of useful. On the other hand, how do you explain a $400 translucent cinder block? Why? And even worse, Sotheby’s sold a one cent postage stamp for $9.5 million!

Is it any wonder I have vertigo? How can one keep one’s balance in a world gone this mad? I can’t wrap my mind around troops being sent back to Iraq, however few and whatever they are being called, by President Obama, who won his party’s nomination by pillorying Senator Hillary Clinton’s vote to give President Bush authority to conduct the deceitful Iraq invasion — an invasion which fulminated this Sunni versus Shia explosion now happening. And still more giddy-making, the very man who headed the cabal of neo-con neanderthals who blustered and bullied us into that $6 trillion and hundreds of thousand lives conflict is now CRITICIZING the outcome and results?! What?!?! And now, again, this conflict is going to consume lives and fortunes — when more than three million children die every year of hunger, the $700 million dollars a day that was spent on the war in Iraq (THEN (Cheney time) and who knows what it will cost NOW) could have saved ALL OF THOSE CHILDREN; could have paid for health care for all the uninsured; could have rehabbed the more than 50% of the prison population incarcerated for non-violent offenses who need drug counseling and treatment. But, no. We live in a world where people pay $500 for jeans and $400 for a glass cinder block and $9 million for a stamp and — I am equally guilty — $6 for a cup of coffee and $50 a month for a gym membership —

dizzyThe question is not how I got vertigo — the question is, why are we not all dizzy all the time? The walls and floors of this world are wavy and giving way in ways we hardly seem to notice any more — DISRUPT? Yes, we need to, in a real and meaningful way, but, here’s the thing — and it is about me, not anyone else — am I courageous enough or moral enough or evolved enough to give up my $6 skinny latte and my post-workout saunas and showers?

I am today, because I can’t drive to get to them. But, what about tomorrow? And the day after that?


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