World gone haywire

balzaccom

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Sep 30, 2014
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On Tuesday morning I mentioned to my wife that i felt a little dizzy, and eventually called into my doctor for a video call visit. I talked with him through some diagnoses and left it at that. It wasn't a massive concern, I didn't feel terrible, and the quick set of diagnostic exercises and existing symptoms seemed to eliminate the more serious potential causes and concerns.

Fast forward to 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. I get up and realize that I can barely walk--and then only by holding onto the walls while I do so. I begin vomiting almost continuous every thirty to forty-five minutes, and if I open my eyes, the world is jumping around completely out of control. And I almost never vomit--if that's not TMI.

We call the emergency advice nurse at 6:30, who calls in a couple of prescriptions. And by 9:30 we know that there is no way for me to keep those in my stomach. Another call for help, and this time we are directed immediately to 911.

We live only two blocks from the fire station, so I can literally hear the sirens going off before my wife finishes up on the call. They are here within seconds, and now confront the challenge of getting me down the twisting stairs of our old Victorian house. Which they did, all the while wearing masks and asking me about Covid19 symptoms (none.)

I am disappointed to note that they did not turn on the sirens on the way to the hospital.

Once there I am immediately given an IV and rushed into an MRI to determine if had a stroke. Meanwhile, they are trying to replace some of my fluids, and also get some motion sickness medication and anti-nausea drugs into my system.

By late that afternoon the MRI has revealed no evidence of a stroke. But i am still unable to move or open m eyes without the world going haywire. More drugs.

The next morning I am significantly improved. I get another consultation with a doctor, and then a session with a remarkable physical therapist who eliminated one thing after another until she announced that it was a problem in my left (!) ear.

--Great backpacking connection here: her dad is about my age, loves to backpack, and when his wife can't join him he does trail crew work to get out in the mountains. As do I--

The good news is that I am now home, and can more or less take care of myself, with the enormous help of my loving wife. And I didn't have a stroke.

Bad news is that I am still suffering from serious vertigo. When I sit still, the whole world slowly revolves to the right, which is quite disconcerting. I can walk, but I have to pay attention to every step. And if I turn my head quickly, all bets are off.

That takes some getting used to.

Yesterday we went for a walk for about 40 minutes. I survived, but I can't really say that it felt great. And apparently, there is no immediate prognosis for quick recovery. These things take time, and it could be days, weeks or even months.

Which not only makes the world look like it is moving a bit more than I should expect, but also that any plans for this summer might well be on hold--vertical or horizontal.

Here's hoping you summer looks better.
 

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Wanderlust073

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Crazy! But having thought for sure this was going to end with 'i had a stroke', very glad to read it is 'only' vertigo. Hope you recover quickly.
 

blueeyes

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Did they test you for COVID-19?

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Perry

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Vertigo can be pretty miserable. My wife had it happen to her one morning. Of course we were both thinking the worst. Was it a stroke? Is it a brain tumor? Fortunately is began to subside in the ER and became tolerable by the time they discharged her. She hasn't a full-on bout since then but from time to time she feels like it could be "coming on again". Hope you continue to improve.
 

wsp_scott

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I hope this is a very temporary issue for you.
 

Wyatt Carson

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Same symptoms as girlfriend had after she ate a bunch of ground cherries that came up in our herb garden. They are like little tomatillos with the papery covering. I started by eating one, tasted green but not particularly good. She was on this natural harvest kick and put a bunch on her salad. Next morning she had extreme vertigo, kept falling down in the house and ralphed up her tea, couldn’t eat anything. She got better through the day and never ate any ground cherries or too much of anything in the nightshade family like tomatoes and eggplant. Something in them does that to her but especially some concentration in the ground cherries.
 

balzaccom

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Thanks for the kind words and good thoughts, everyone. I wasn't tested for Covid19 because I had none of the symptoms. Just taking this day by day, right now….
 

blueeyes

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Thanks for the kind words and good thoughts, everyone. I wasn't tested for Covid19 because I had none of the symptoms. Just taking this day by day, right now….
I was just wondering. I feel like where I work they are testing anyone that walks in the door. So I was curious.

Get better soon.

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westy

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I had a similar experience a couple years ago. Bent over to pick up dinner from off the ground and immediately felt nauseous and dizzy. Then a headache built over the next couple hours, and vomiting every 45 minutes to an hour. About 60 hours later I felt I could safely move and got back on trail and was airlifted out. Rhabdomyolysis they called it at the hospital. Not fun. But I was back to normal in 3 days. Glad you were in a better place to get help and hope you get back to normal soon.
 

TractorDoc

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Hope you feel better quickly --

Not at all related, but dogs and cats can have "Idiopathic Vestibular Disease" and present much the same way. Nausea, head tilt, circling, falling over. The idiopathic part means a direct cause is not necessarily known (but ears/ear infections are always suspect and ruled out). On the plus side the sign/symptoms are usually self resolving within days to a week or so. I wish that to be the case for you and that you'll be back to vertical soon.
 

balzaccom

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I was just wondering. I feel like where I work they are testing anyone that walks in the door. So I was curious.

Get better soon.

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I now have a series of PT exercises for my eyes and ears. And I am doing them with great "discipline." Probably because I know I have a finite number of years left on this planet, and I don't want to spend them wandering around in a dizzy haze, worrying about whether I am going to topple over or not. (That will come soon enough.)

So my exercises now are to put a sticker on the wall at eye height and stare at it from an arm's length while moving my head from side to side quickly. When I move to the right, all is normal. When I move to the left, the whole world looks like its sheet feeding to the right. Which is disconcerting. But I can live with that. I may have to. And this exercise is teaching my brain to adjust.

Second exercise is to go stand in a corner with my feet tight together, arms folded. Balance there. If I get good at that, try it with my eyes closed. Or put one foot slightly in front of the other--you'd be amazed at how big a difference THAT makes.

And third one is to walk a straight line while moving my head to look at things from side to side, forcing my brain to adjust to the new me. That's fun. Disney should sell tickets.

I'd write more now, but I have to go do my exercises...
 

blueeyes

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I now have a series of PT exercises for my eyes and ears. And I am doing them with great "discipline." Probably because I know I have a finite number of years left on this planet, and I don't want to spend them wandering around in a dizzy haze, worrying about whether I am going to topple over or not. (That will come soon enough.)

So my exercises now are to put a sticker on the wall at eye height and stare at it from an arm's length while moving my head from side to side quickly. When I move to the right, all is normal. When I move to the left, the whole world looks like its sheet feeding to the right. Which is disconcerting. But I can live with that. I may have to. And this exercise is teaching my brain to adjust.

Second exercise is to go stand in a corner with my feet tight together, arms folded. Balance there. If I get good at that, try it with my eyes closed. Or put one foot slightly in front of the other--you'd be amazed at how big a difference THAT makes.

And third one is to walk a straight line while moving my head to look at things from side to side, forcing my brain to adjust to the new me. That's fun. Disney should sell tickets.

I'd write more now, but I have to go do my exercises...
It is funny what they make you do in PT. I am rehabbing my leg and knee and one they make me do is stand on a balance disk on one leg then move my head from side to side for a minute it makes me sick to move my head that much. Lol and it makes me laugh that my bad leg struggles with what seems like such and easy task.

Keep at it! PT does wonders if you keep up on it.

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balzaccom

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Thanks, Blueeyes! Yvon Chouinard said "It's only an adventure when something goes wrong..." This is certainly an adventure!
 

blueeyes

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Thanks, Blueeyes! Yvon Chouinard said "It's only an adventure when something goes wrong..." This is certainly an adventure!
I was watching a women yesterday at PT who was there for probably the same thing as you. They had her doing a lot of head movements or eye movements and she kept getting so sick to her stomach. I felt bad for her.

Good quote! A planned trip is a trip until it becomes an adventure.

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gnwatts

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I get vertigo pretty regularly, it was diagnosesd as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) for me it is caused by calcium deposits in my inner ear that become dislodged, they bounce around and the brain thinks your head is moving but it is not. I have some excercises I do to clear the deposits out of the inner ear. They involve lying down and moving my head to move the crystals out of the canal. Usually relief is fairly quick, other times it may take days. It has put me in some serious predicaments, snowboarding or backpacking, usually when I look up suddenly. I hope it clears up for you.
 

balzaccom

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I get vertigo pretty regularly, it was diagnosesd as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) for me it is caused by calcium deposits in my inner ear that become dislodged, they bounce around and the brain thinks your head is moving but it is not. I have some excercises I do to clear the deposits out of the inner ear. They involve lying down and moving my head to move the crystals out of the canal. Usually relief is fairly quick, other times it may take days. It has put me in some serious predicaments, snowboarding or backpacking, usually when I look up suddenly. I hope it clears up for you.

Mine is apparently link to nerve issues in my ear. The exercises you describe have no effect, positive or negative on my vertigo...

But walking seems to help, and I am doing that. Progress is neither consistent nor continuous...but I'm working on it!
 

Miya

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That sounds like it would have been very frightening. Glad that it wasn’t a stroke and hope it goes away soon or at least becomes more manageable!
I have had bad vertigo the last 3 years, January - May (not this year though!) and it can be so exhausting and uncomfortable, as you know. My thoughts are with you!!
 

balzaccom

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That sounds like it would have been very frightening. Glad that it wasn’t a stroke and hope it goes away soon or at least becomes more manageable!
I have had bad vertigo the last 3 years, January - May (not this year though!) and it can be so exhausting and uncomfortable, as you know. My thoughts are with you!!
Thanks Maya !
 

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