I’ve been under the weather with 1) vertigo and 2) a cold. You’re probably familiar with how a cold works. You get a virus, things suck for a bit, and you get better fairly quickly. Vertigo is... evil.

The form of vertigo that I have (BBPV) is caused by calcium crystals float into a part of the ear where they aren’t welcome (basically bouncing off the little hairs in your ear’s gyroscope.

BPPV is positional vertigo, which means my head movements affect whether I’m dizzy or not. I can sit still, looking forward, left, or right just fine. If I look up or down? All hell breaks loose.

What kind of hell? First off, the room spins diagonally. Second, my eyes do this:

That’s right, my eyes twitch around - and yes, you can feel it.

How fast does it go away? On it’s own? That could be months. I saw an ENT last week, who referred me to physical therapy this week. They can help get it resolved faster (usually days or weeks). But there’s a catch.

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As sucky as is it to not be able to look up or down, the PT can be even more dreadful. It involves moving intentionally between positions that induce the worst gut wrenching dizziness in an attempt to move the crystals out of there like a game of Perplexus.

I had a PT spend about an hour and a half working on me yesterday. This morning was the first morning to do the exercise by myself. I ended up nauseous nearly all day - partly from lack of sleep from my cold - partly because I was playing marbles with my inner ear.

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Until I fix this, all work on my cars is stalled. I can’t look down enough to look at wiring on the Exocet. I also have an international flight in 15 days quickly followed by 2 domestic flights leading up to Christmas. I can’t help but think that none of this would have happened had I taken a few extra vacations days and not had work stress me about moving my raise to next July.

Here’s the PSA portion:

People with vertigo don’t look sick. They look totally normal. But if someone tells you they have vertigo, understand that they are probably having problems doing things you take entirely for granted: washing their hair, shaving (seriously, try to do this without raising your chin), getting items out of cabinets, tying their shoes, etc. They’re not dying, but they probably feel like they are. Give them some slack.