It started slowly, harmlessly enough. Got up off the bed too quickly, reeled for a second and shook it off. Drop in the old blood pressure, that’s it – or so I thought. But then it happened a little more frequently. Bend over to feed the pup, hmmmm. Slight stagger, nothing to worry about. Right. Pretty soon what I thought was a straight shot down the hallway turned into a ‘hold on to the wall’ for dear life – stop. Go. Drunken stupor? Not a drop of the demon alcohol in these veins.
Went to the doc, twice. First the PA said it might be hypertension. What? Got worse, went back when just reclining in bed made my head swim the English Channel on LSD, which I have had no experience with, other than watching documentaries and Youtube uploads. Water in my left ear, could be a problem. Take motion sickness pills. Nothing. Wait another day.
Morning. Sitting on the couch, watching the news. Economy in the toilet, intel chatter regarding a terror attack on US soil, millions on food stamps, foreclosures, unemployment escalating. Enough to make anyone’s head spin. Mine started to, it felt like I was on one of those tilt-a-whirl rides at mach 12 or . . . Couldn’t stand. Panicked. Hard to breath.
Quick trip to the ER, which was thankfully not busy on a Saturday morning. Wheeled in. Poked, prodded, vital signs. Doc came in, made me rapidly touch my finger to my nose and to his finger, then had me try to scrape the skin off my shin bone with my other heel. Proved it wasn’t a stroke. I was waiting for him to draw a chalk line on the floor, which I would never have been able to navigate and didn’t want to fall face first with one of those drafty hospital gowns on – the ones that play peek-a- boo with your butt. Always wear clean undies.
Virus. Inner ear infection. Major Vertigo. Gave me Valium. What is this, a hospital or the valley of the dolls? Never took the stuff before. Made me lie there for an hour. By then I was able to walk, with some help, out of the hospital. Apparently, small does of Valium calm the nerve endings in the inner ear and stop the oceans from sloshing around so much. Still weak from the virus, still a little dizzy. But, all things considered, I could have done a face plant in front of the eggplant display in the produce market. Mamma Mia. Clean-up in aisle 12. Now if only the ringing in my ears would play a different tune. Something I could hum along with. A little off-key, but who cares.