Vertigoing

I’m on leave from work right now.  This is for two reasons.  Primarily, last week I started having vertigo.  We’re not talking “a little dizzy” or off kilter, although I have that too.  We’re talking move my head and everything goes violently spinning fast fast fast.  I have a nice collection of bruises after a week of this crap.  That’s because even if I hold really really still, I still have this general “rocking” sensation and it’s making my already rather uncoordinated self into a wrecking ball.  Bathroom mirror?  Check.  Window sill?  Check.  Coffee table?  Check, check, check.  I’ve hit them all this week.

The second reason I am on leave is my experience at work having tried to deal with a new/acute and difficult symptom was the onset of the gastroparesis last year.  Last year, I stayed working through it – through days of nausea and vomitting before I knew what was up and how to modify my diet to at least lessen the symptoms.  I took time off for medical appointments, I had to come in late and leave early a lot, I had quite a few sick days.  I made mistakes, notably on my time card, because I was dragged down horribly by the illness and because there was just so much sick time to keep track of.  And weird sick time.  .3 hours lost here, 1.8 hours lost there.  And I got in a heap of trouble when my boss decided that a doctor’s appointment she had previously approved time off for was a day she needed me in the office.

So this time, I decided to cut myself a little slack, to accept that I am really not well, and to just take time off to see doctors and feel better, or learn to cope with a new reality.  Jeeez I hope this isn’t a new reality.

I have quite objective symptoms here too.  Not just the bruises and the subjective sensation of spinning.  I have some pretty intense nystagmus.  I’m up and typing only by holding very very still and even then, I’m going to start feeling too much motion sickness to stay here looking at the flickering computer screen for much longer.  Nystagmus is an involuntary movement of your eyes, I think it’s compensatory for the sensation of spinning/rotation.  You can’t control it.  It just happens.  And mine looks like I have doll eyes and someone shook me HARD.  From what I can tell, the pattern is peripheral vertigo, which is a good thing in the grand scheme of things.  Peripheral meaning something with my ears rather than something with my brain.  But I do get some vertigo with migraines, so that’s in the running too.  A week long migraine?  I hope not.  Vertigo is hard to nail down and from what I read, tough to treat.  So today I have an appointment with a neurologist at a balance clinic near me.  Please let this not be a waste of time.  And not a new trick.