02/27/2015 04:15 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Goodbye, Vertigo


It was 4:00 a.m., I turned in my sleep, when the ceiling hit the floor and the room began to spin. Yow! As if my puny, mortal howl could bring the cyclone of a spiralling bedroom back down to earth. I flung myself on to the whirling mattress and held on for dear life. It stopped as fast as it started. An expletive drooled from my lips. My bleary eyes opened and I saw stars.

Hello, vertigo. Back with a bullet for the third time in four weeks. I should have known that you never left. Between the first two bouts, I was still feeling dizzy when I leaned over to smooch my sleeping prince. I'm no princess, I should have figured it out.

I lay drenching the sheets of my life-raft, iron-gripping my pillow, weighing my options. There weren't many. One tilt of my noggin in the wrong direction and I'd be gyrating on the hellish Half-Cups at the "amusement" park of my youth, tortured forever by a notorious public barf, as I spewed and staggered down a wooden ramp, grossing out the crowd. In my head.

As the world turns.

It's not easy staying still, but the spinning wheel going round-and-round forced me down and I lay prone for weeks, whispering to myself and watching the clouds drift by. I was too woozy to work, but oh my people, how the tears did flow. I was flooded with frustration, itching to get back to the roller-coaster ride of my writing life. Two months later, as I type this post, it finally hits me what I learned from lying down: I needed a break.

Here's to happy endings and new beginnings. Thanks to a friend's referral, I was blessed to be treated by a brilliant, vestibular physiotherapist with boffo bedside manner, who diagnosed me with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and then kicked its butt out of my inner ear. With my sweaty head in his steady hands, he performed the miraculous Epley Maneuver, by bringing me into the spin and beyond it. He promised he wouldn't make me puke, and I didn't. Grateful beyond words, I dropped to the floor and kissed the solid ground.


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