Vertigo

During the cake show I started having problems with my balance.  There had been occasional dizzy spells during the previous month, but it was getting worse.  This week it got to the point I was having trouble with stairs and driving (which isn’t good because we pick up my new car next week).

I finally caved in and went into the regional clinic to find out what was going on.  Turns out it’s a combination of several things:  benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and an ear infection, which is mostly in the same ear where the BPPV is centered. They also had me schedule a blood draw on Thursday to make sure there weren’t any issues with my thyroid as well (I’ll meet with the doctor next Thursday).

If you don’t know what BPPV is–and I certainly hadn’t heard of it–NPR has an excellent explanation and graphic (even though they refer to them as ‘ear rocks’).

(Click here for the link)

Luckily there is a treatment called the Epley maneuver that is usually successful.  Locating a version of this that works was a bit tricky though.  There are some versions that say to do each move for 30 seconds and do not repeat, others that spend 5 minutes on each move and repeat three times, and a few that state you should only do it under a doctor’s supervision (I was told to go home and repeat as often as necessary).  I tried them all until I found one that seemed to work for me last night, but for some reason it got worse again today after I got to work.  Did a little reading and discovered the steroid they gave me for the ear infection also causes dizziness, which explains why it’s always worse after taking it.  Oh well, only two more days of the steroid anyway.

So that’s it.  I’m not going nuts like I thought I was, and there’s no mysterious brain tumor (yes, I was actually worried about that).  In fact, knowing that it’s treatable makes a huge difference in my attitude.  Now I just need to get the concentration problem sorted out.

The funny thing is that now I can tell people I have rocks in my head.