For several years I have had this weird, intermittent medical annoyance. I don’t know how else to describe it. The first time I remember it happening was when we lived in Memphis, TN. The girls were in 2nd and 3rd grade and the youngest was 1 ½ years old. Hubby was a district manager for a buffet type restaurant and traveled between Memphis, St. Louis and some town in Indiana I can’t remember. The point is, he wasn’t home a whole lot. This particular time he was out of town, of course.
I remember waking up and knowing I had to get the kids to school. I get out of bed and literally run into the wall. I felt like I was drunk. Really drunk! But I wasn’t. I didn’t even drink, at all, at that juncture in our lives. I remember making my way to the bathroom literally running into the walls at every turn. It was all I could do to go to the bathroom and back. I laid back down and closed my eyes. BAD mistake. Wave upon wave of nausea overtook me. I opened my eyes and the room was still spinning and I literally couldn’t focus. If I could get myself upright it abated a little but not much.
I did finally manage to get the girls to school although I don’t know how I did it. After I got back home I gave #3 some cereal or a poptart or something and lay back down until it was time to go pick them back up. I really don’t know how I did it that day but I was so sick and dizzy all day (quit laughing… not THAT kind of dizzy) I don’t know how I functioned. It was horrible. I remember that if I lay on my side it wasn’t as bad as laying flat on my back and laying on an incline didn’t seem to be as bad. I made it through the day and when I woke up the next day I seemed to be fine.
I have no clue what caused it. I don’t know if it was an inner ear infection, a sinus thing or some kind of weird beginnings of Ménière’s disease thing (it evidently runs in my family) or what. It has happened several times since then and each time it usually lasts about a day or so. It usually happens that I wake up with the severe equilibrium problems accompanied by the nausea and a sort of full feeling in my ear and the symptoms seem to lessen throughout the day and are usually gone the next day or two days at the most. It’s only happened about a half dozen times and it’s practically impossible to drive when it happens and if it happens on a day when I’m supposed to work I usually have to call in sick.
Well, as luck would have it I awoke this morning about 5 a.m. because I had to go to the bathroom. As I sat up I immediately felt that familiar off kilter vertigo. Hubby was still asleep so I literally stumbled to the bathroom, almost falling at least twice on the way, and back. Let me tell you trying to lean backward to sit on the toilet was a real treat. I almost had to call hubby to come help me because I was afraid I was going to fall in the floor.As soon as I lay down on my back and closed my eyes I realized it was a mistake so I rolled over on my side with the side of my head with the full feeling ear pressure (which happened to be the right side and seems to always be the right side) I knew that was also not a good idea. I rolled over to the left side. Almost immediately Poe (my alarm clock) crawled up on my right arm, which he usually does but this time made an immediate beeline right to my ear. He started trying to lick in my ear like it was full of tuna! It was so weird.
I tried to wake hubby but couldn’t get him awake because by this time Poe was straddling my arm (and I was laying on the other one) and grabbing the top of my ear lobe with his teeth and pulling while he was pressing his paws against my head like he was trying to rip the “offensive” ear off my head! I mean, we used to have a cat that would sleep on the bed with anyone who was sick like she was protecting them but I have never had a cat try to rip off a body part that they thought was causing harm. And it wasn’t like I was holding my ear or even moaning or anything. I had to finally disentangle my arm so I could knock him off the bed. The way he was licking in my ear it was like he was digging for gold. Any one have any explanation as to his behavior or what their diagnosis is?
I know after I got up I almost fell twice in the shower from the vertigo and my ear felt very “full” so I took a Q tip (don’t fuss, I know you’re not supposed to do that) and cleaned that ear out as well as I could. It didn’t “hurt” per se but it did feel strange and now it doesn’t feel as “full” as it did before but it still has a kind of ringing in it and feels more sensitive than the other ear. And my hearing in that ear might be a little more muffled. Any suggestions/explanations (other than just “go to the doctor”) would be greatly appreciated.
Now, if I can just coerce Poe into deep cleaning my other ear so I’ll have a matching set! LOL