The past 10 days have been frusturating-I have been suffering from an unexpected bout of vertigo. (Vertigo is the sensation of spinning or whirling that occurs as a result of a disturbance in balance). Two weekends ago, I got a very brief stomach virus, which was quite mild, but caused the room to spin very intensely one day. Since that time, I felt lightheaded and dizzy. I didn't have any fever or other severe symptoms from the virus, but this continued feeling of dizziness. I was drinking plenty of water and was well nourished and rested, so I wasn't sure what to attribute it to.
Then last Saturday, Patrick had left hunting for a 1 week goat hunt trip. I looked up to the top shelf to get a plastic bag off of it, and the room started spinning intensely-so badly I had to hold onto the cabinet to not fall over. It happened once more later, and I thought "I have bengin paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)"...a condition I'm familiar with from my work as a physical therapist. Over the years I've treated clients with BPV with a maneuver called the Eply maneuver which repositions the crystals in their inner ear canals and it works quite quickly.
So I Googled "Eply Maneuver" to make sure I got the specifics right and tried the maneuver on myself. After doing them. the vertigo got MUCH worse. ALl of a sudden I couldn't walk without feeling like I wasn't drunk. My friend Roxann came over and we decided that I needed to go to the ER. Mary Jane met me there and I had to close my eyes for much of the car ride because looking out the window was too much. In the ER, I could barely walk-but fortunately I got a doctor who has worked with clients with vertigo in the past and he knew just what to do. He did a very similiar maneuver to the one I did at home--except it was fine tuned. It worked. Thank heavens. I was about 80% better after the visit. I was able to walk out of the ER without problems!
The maneuver consists of these different head positions which are held for 30 seconds. It works to shake the cantaliths back into place. The mistake I made at home after doing the maneuvers was that I "tested" out whether the technique worked by putting my head in the challenging positions, which caused the vertigo to get worse and worse. I should have kept my head in neutral after doing the maneuvers.
I was sent home with home positioning program and advised to sleep at an incline and avoid the positions of my head which caused the vertigo for 1 week.
Unfortunately, this meant canceling out my week at work. This bummed me out terribly, because I really love my job. But I have to put my head in many positions up and down as a physical therapist and it wasn't worth causing a bout of vertigo.
Patrick is still gone goat hunting. When he called, I told him that I had been to the ER and am not working this week. I hope he comes home ASAP. Taking care of the kids with the lightheadedness is challenging. My patience is low and I feel tired and low-grade crummy.
My friends and family have been wonderful with calling and checking. And offering dinner and helping with the kids. Tonight we went to dinner at a friends house, which was wonderful. And on the day I went to the ER, I came home and Roxann had stocked the fridge full of food and was vaccuuming the house! Incredible.
Dr. Walters today re-assured me that this will take some time (1-2) weeks to fully pass, as it is most likely a virus that affected my inner ear somehow. The mechanism of BPPV is somewhat unknown, but it is usually self-resolving. I can't wait to feel normal again!
In the meantime, I'm holding my head fairly still and moving slowly. And trying to keep my chin up till Patrick returns home!