Vertigo – a problem of equilibrium came on viciously one morning as I was waking up. I am a side sleeper and I was turning from my left to my right side, ready to get out of bed. Suddenly my whole world flew off its axis.
I clung onto the edge of the mattress and my first conscious assessment was that we were having an earthquake. But then I though – why is it so quiet, usually no matter how careful we are things fall, collapse and bump around in an earthquake. No, it was really silent… Was I having a stroke? I spoke a few words, and assessed legs, arms, head, but then when I tried to raise my head – the world again came unglued.
It took forever to get up and walk to my bathroom, located about 8 feet from the side of my bed. I held on to my night table and then the door frame, because I was afraid I might fall and had a heck of a time trying to land on the toilet seat…
I was moving mighty slowly trying to make sense of my situation. Keep things normal , I thought – get dressed, make coffee, etc. But each task was difficult because I felt almost seasick – a bad seasick. Then I called Gaby, the kid located closest to me, and told he what was going on and that I thought I should go to Kaiser Emergency because I had no idea what I was dealing with..
Steve, Gaby’s partner came in about 10 minutes and he suggested I call my doc, because she may want to see me outside the Emergency Department due to the pandemic. Great suggestion. He also said his mother has had vertigo and when we finally spoke to Jill Dunton, my Internist, on speaker he said he knew there was a maneuver that helped his Mother. The doctor said please don’t do that because it might also dislodge any plaque in the carotid artery… YIKES!
O, did I mention I was mighty nauseous and began to vomit? And to make things more confusing, diarrhea set in. My body was evacuating all manner of stuff, and I still had a had time standing without holding onto something. Cruel fate.
The doctor asked if I has someone who could pick up some medication, and I said I did, she ordered anti-nausea medication and some anti-diarrhea meds. Steve got the prescriptions and the violence subsided, but not the dizziness.
The best explanation of what is happening in the body is this u-tube presentation for medical students in England. https://youtu.be/kx4mQB0QzvQ