What a weird day. At 9:30 this morning, out of nowhere I started to have severe vertigo and nausea. I managed to crawl to the phone to call David to come home, and then I called the 24-hour dial-a-nurse line and she asked me to try to stand up, which I couldn’t do without the room spinning, thus making it pretty difficult to get downstairs to get to the car to get to the doctor.
So, she recommended we call 911. Oh, goody. “Hi there, 911 folks, you have a really important job saving lives and all, can you send an ambulance and some paramedics to please come take a look at me since I can’t get out of bed?“. But I got over my hubris and made the call, three lovely gentlemen (at least I think they were lovely, I didn’t have my glasses on – but they sure sounded lovely and made every effort to ensure I didn’t feel like an idiot, thus ensuring their loveliness) came and checked me out and determined that I probably have some kind of inner ear problem and should see my normal doctor. They also gave me a lovely puke bag with measurements on the side, in case I needed to know exactly how much I puked (I did).
I was feeling a little better by the time they left, so I made it to the car and we went to my doctor where he tested me for a stroke (negative) and said that it’s Labyrinthitis (for the laypeople reading this, you may also call it “Cupulolithiasis“), which is this disease where you can’t think of anything other than David Bowie in tight leather pants and a fantastic ‘do.
According to this definition, one of the symptoms of Labyrinthitis is “malaise”. The virus has apparently been living dormant in me ever since I was 13-16 and then again for a brief period when I was 19.
My doctor explained labyrinthitis thusly: “Your brain thinks it’s moving in a certain way but your body is disagreeing with your brain, causing you to puke all over yourself. At least, that’s the non-technical way of describing it.” I courteously inquired as to what the technical terminology of “causing you to puke all over yourself” would be, and he said: “causing you to disgorge the contents of your stomach.” Good to know.
The suddenness of this was what was really worrying me, so I asked some more questions about what the possible causes of sudden-onset vertigo were and my doctor, who has a great sense of humor, started listing off the possible causes: “Well you know it could be MS, or a stroke…”. I told him I would get home and promptly go off to search the web to properly diagnose myself, which he seemed to enjoy.
At any rate, we returned home with a prescription for a patch, but since I was feeling better by then I decided to wait and see and only fill it if it got worse. And it didn’t get worse, and in fact I was able to shower and walk around and –most importantly– blog, and so here I am now, alive but properly humbled by my experience but again, capable of blogging, which is really the purpose of being in good health anyway.
 The first person who answered said “911, what are you reporting?” and I said “a medical issue” and she said she’d route me to the medical dispatcher. So then the medical dispatcher answers, and I start going into my symptoms… and she then asks if I’d called 911. “Um, yeah, I did, and then they connected me to you.” Wha-huh?
 I went to him for a refill on a prescription when I was 8 months pregnant, and before he could give me the refill he had to ask me a bunch of questions to determine if the prescription was still appropriate for me. Some of the questions were: “Have you lost or gained a lot of weight recently?” and “Are you having disruptions in your sleeping patterns?”. We shared a chuckle about it and he wrote out the prescription.