What a weird day. At 9:30 this morning, out of nowhere I started to have severe vertigo and nausea. I managed to crawl to the phone to call David to come home, and then I called the 24-hour dial-a-nurse line and she asked me to try to stand up, which I couldn't do without the room spinning, thus making it pretty difficult to get downstairs to get to the car to get to the doctor.
So, she recommended we call 911. Oh, goody. "Hi there, 911 folks, you have a really important job saving lives and all, can you send an ambulance and some paramedics to please come take a look at me since I can't get out of bed?". But I got over my hubris and made the call, three lovely gentlemen (at least I think they were lovely, I didn't have my glasses on - but they sure sounded lovely and made every effort to ensure I didn't feel like an idiot, thus ensuring their loveliness) came and checked me out and determined that I probably have some kind of inner ear problem and should see my normal doctor. They also gave me a lovely puke bag with measurements on the side, in case I needed to know exactly how much I puked (I did).
I was feeling a little better by the time they left, so I made it to the car and we went to my doctor where he tested me for a stroke (negative) and said that it's Labyrinthitis (for the laypeople reading this, you may also call it "Cupulolithiasis"), which is this disease where you can't think of anything other than David Bowie in tight leather pants and a fantastic 'do.
According to this definition, one of the symptoms of Labyrinthitis is "malaise". The virus has apparently been living dormant in me ever since I was 13-16 and then again for a brief period when I was 19.
My doctor explained labyrinthitis thusly: "Your brain thinks it's moving in a certain way but your body is disagreeing with your brain, causing you to puke all over yourself. At least, that's the non-technical way of describing it." I courteously inquired as to what the technical terminology of "causing you to puke all over yourself" would be, and he said: "causing you to disgorge the contents of your stomach." Good to know.
The suddenness of this was what was really worrying me, so I asked some more questions about what the possible causes of sudden-onset vertigo were and my doctor, who has a great sense of humor, started listing off the possible causes: "Well you know it could be MS, or a stroke...". I told him I would get home and promptly go off to search the web to properly diagnose myself, which he seemed to enjoy.
At any rate, we returned home with a prescription for a patch, but since I was feeling better by then I decided to wait and see and only fill it if it got worse. And it didn't get worse, and in fact I was able to shower and walk around and --most importantly-- blog, and so here I am now, alive but properly humbled by my experience but again, capable of blogging, which is really the purpose of being in good health anyway.
 The first person who answered said "911, what are you reporting?" and I said "a medical issue" and she said she'd route me to the medical dispatcher. So then the medical dispatcher answers, and I start going into my symptoms... and she then asks if I'd called 911. "Um, yeah, I did, and then they connected me to you." Wha-huh? I went to him for a refill on a prescription when I was 8 months pregnant, and before he could give me the refill he had to ask me a bunch of questions to determine if the prescription was still appropriate for me. Some of the questions were: "Have you lost or gained a lot of weight recently?" and "Are you having disruptions in your sleeping patterns?". We shared a chuckle about it and he wrote out the prescription.
Glad to hear you are feeling better.
When you started describing the symptoms... I knew what it was because my Dad had the same thing.
Whammo out of the blue his inner ears wacked out just like you had.
Hang in there.. he's fully recovered now.
[We thought/He thought he was having a heart attack as he was dizzy and sweating]
Susan: Wow, that's comforting to know. Thanks very much.
That inner ear stuff can be no fun at all! I’ve suffered at the wrath of swimmers ear on several occasions! Luckily, it was nothing a little hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol couldn't fix (or incinerate)... I think that swimmers ear might actually be more of a 'middle" ear problem (pre ear drum), what you're dealing with probably can't helped by hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol or any combination of the two...
In any event, best of luck with it KC!
Yep, the old middle-ear-arooney! I had that last year. I was sitting at my desk in Microsoft Towers eating grapes then all of a sudden found myself lurching to one side unable to sit up straight. Now, either the grapes were going through some sort of accelerated fermentation process or something had gone seriously wrong with my head. But, like you, it turned out to be nothing more than "just one of those things", as my absolutely-no-help-at-all doctor explained. I've been fine since but now avoid eating grapes. I have instead taken to drinking red wine at my desk. It's my own kind of preventative medicine.
KC, I'm glad you're feeling better. Now a mild chastisement: don't *ever* hesitate to call 911 for medical transport or police help. I am fortunate to have several friends who are EMTs, firemen, and police officers, and they do those jobs because they *like* helping people. Your call wasn't an imposition by any means, even though you might have thought of it that way. Going on runs always beats sitting around the station waiting for someone to call.
Try ginger root - the kind you can get at the supermarket and is used in asian food. It has apparently some anti-nausea properties (NASA was trying it out as an antidote for space sickness at one time). I've used it a couple of times to fend off sea-sickness.
What a strange name.