Sunday, December 05, 2010

Spinning around

Well, not me.  Just feels like the room is.  I woke up in the middle of the night and a couple of minutes later had a horrible sensation in my head, just like the room was spinning around or something.  It's hard to describe but was very unpleasant.  I lay still for a while, terrifying thoughts of "what if it's a stroke" etc., going through my head.  Got up, went to the bathroom, checked my eyes, which looked fine and there was no disfiguration on either side of my face.  So obviously that's not what a stroke feels like.  Back to bed, turned over and it happened again.  Couldn't sleep so over the next half an hour or so I lay quietly and tried to turn over a couple more times and it happened again every time.  At that stage I got up and woke up my friend, who has come over with her son to visit for the weekend.  I was so grateful that there was someone here, I was scared and needed someone to be here.  We suspect an inner-ear infection - her mum suffers from vertigo and she said what I described sounds very like it but since it's (so far) only happening when I'm lying down it's probably due to an infection (she looked up stuff on the internet - I refused to since I would have found something to convince me I only had a couple of hours to live!).  I did manage to sleep for another few hours afterwards but the same thing is still happening if I'm lying down and turn over.  Looks like sitting up or moving around will be a better option for this birthday.  I will head to casualty if it gets any worse but I think I'm probably okay waiting to go to the doctor in the morning.  Why is it that Saturday/Sunday night is always the time things like this seem to happen.

Apart from all of that, it warmed up during the night so the white landscape we were expecting to wake up to has turned into a damp, grey, drizzly day instead.  C'est la vie.  Maybe it'll mean the crowds at the christmas markets won't be as, eh, crowded today!


The Impatient one said...

It could be a thing called "Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo" - or BPPV which is easier to say!
This is when small bits of debris in the inner ear get into the wrong bit and cause confusing signals to be sent to the brain, causing the spinning feeling...
You can use a thing called the Epley Manoeuvre to get the debris back where it causes no problems - your doc can show you how to do this if he thinks that this is the problem, or there are videos on youtube! I have this and it frightened me senseless the first time...

Moonwaves said...

Thanks for the info. I'll keep it in mind if I need to go back to the doctor.

As it was, I still wasn't feeling great by Thursday so I went back to the doctor to get a sick note for the rest of the week. He sent me to the ear doctor for more extensive tests as well - and to check that my hearing hadn't been damaged, which can sometimes happen with inner ear infections apparently. The ear doctor spent nearly two hours doing different tests. My hearing is fine but I seem to be completely unable to walk in a straight line or march on the spot without turning. Very bizarre when you think you're doing it and open your eyes and are facing a completely different direction.

He explained to me that my problem could be caused by an infection (either left or right) or there could be problems in the central organ of equilibrium, which can be caused by stress. I nearly felt sorry for him actually because every time he did another test to confirm his diagnosis of one of these options, he ended up confirming a different one. Because it turns out I have an infection in my left inner ear, a lesser infection in my right and also problems in the central part of things (okay, a stress-related thing was not such a big shock but I nearly cried because he looked so sorry for me when he asked if my life was stressful).

So for the moment they are just treating the dizziness, which I have to say is already much, much better. And on Friday I actually felt like a real human being again. Today I've survived a full day at work and a visit to the dentist. Now if I can just survive the dentist's bill I'll be doing fine!