Thursday, May 19, 2011

"Can you please stop the room? I'd like to get off..."

Been a while since I've posted. :-) Things a'happenen...

For one, I've been working at a new job since March. Been here for about two and a half months. And this company ROCKS, as far as NVOs go. I'm a temp as of now, and am really, REALLY, REEEEAAAAALLLYYYY hoping that I can have the opportunity to work here as a full-time employee.

One of the many reasons I love this job is that I am working with other craftsters. People who will take their knitting/crochet/crosstitch projects with them to work. Those who are not afraid to craft in public. I can take my knitting into the break room and my coworkers will recognize what stitch I'm using. Yeah. I KNOW!

Speaking of knitting, still haven't finished the catterpillar :-( about 3/4 done working on the body...I'd post a picture but I'm writing this at my work desk on my lunchhour...and Mr. Catterpillar is sitting on the couch at home.

Starting a new job, working a DRASTICALLY different schedule than I'm used to, the cold icky weather, congested ear canals, dealing with a TON of new responsibilities, and the constant pressure I put myself under in order to impress my employers has triggered my vertigo again.

It's not nearly as bad as it was when I first stared getting these episodes, and much easier to deal with becasue I work sitting at a desk, and because I know how to at least momentarily get relief from the loose otoconia (little calcium crystals that float around in utricle of the ear that tell your body which way it's moving) floating around where they're not supposed to be. Usually this takes the form of me laying back a little and swaying my head from side to side, and that usually does the trick for about a half hour or so.

The first time I had a vertigo episode was shortly after I moved to Seattle from Pullman. I woke up, sat up in my bed, and realized that I could not bring my feet across the bed to the floor...I kept on missing. Then the room started to spin, faster and faster...I was so scared I started to cry...

I called my work (Piroshky Piroshky at the time...God bless Olga, Oliver and Vadim, they were so patient with me when I was still figuring out what EXACTLY this was and freaking out) in near hysterics, letting them know I wasn't able to go in. My poor sister was probably the most affected by my never ending plea of "MAKE IT STOP!!! FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, MAKE IT STOP!!!", but she was also the most understanding and patient, and was the one who drove me to the doctor's to have my ears checked out.

Based on my age and symptoms, they told me that I've got Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV. I was really relieved, (before going to the doctor I made the huge mistake of web MD'ing my symptoms and the first thing that popped up was "brain tumor"), but still upset...this was something that was supposed to affect OLD PEOPLE!

The spinning comes and goes, and only happens when I'm either really congested or under a big amount of stress. Luckily, I have some tricks up my sleeve to get the otoconia to move back to where they belong; I'll flop from side to side on my bed about ten times each side (this shakes them up and loosens them if they all formed a clump somewhere), or I'll hang off of the edge of my bed, upside down like a bat and rotate my head (This makes them love out of the semicircular canals into the cochlea, where they will be re-absorbed). If I'm diligent, the vertigo usually goes away in about a week.

The other major thing that really helps me manage these symptoms is learning how to relax...When I panic at the onset of a "spin moment", it just makes the spinning worse. I have to consiously focus on my breathing and repeat "Everything is going to be okay," and the Lord's prayer, for some reason.

My boyfreind has especially been wonderful to me regarding my "spinny episodes". At my worst, he would follow me around my apartment and catch me or re-direct me if I was about to crash into something. John has been nothing but understanding, supportive, and reassuring. And I love him for that.

My most recent bout of vertigo was this past week. The cooler, yucky weather that has been around, and the fact that everyone in my office is sharing a some-what cold, enough to get you sniffling and sneezing but not enought to make you incredibly miserable (my grandmother used to call it a "mocous"), and the fact that I'm usually running on about six hours of sleep nightly have made my inner ears go wacky. I started feeling a fullness in my ears, and then as I tilted my head one day at work, the spinning started. Now, its much less of a problem and more like a nuisance. I just sat down at my desk, tilted my head back, and waited for it to pass.

I went home at the regular time, made myself some ramen and some tea, and sat down and watched Celebrity Apprentice untill the nausea passed.

The next day, the symptoms were a bit better, but still annoying. I'd turn around in my office chair that that would be enough to make the room spin a quarter rotation or so...but I came home to something so beautiful, so wonderful, something that made me feel so safe that my head felt like it cleared up and the spinning went away completely.

John had written me a love letter. A handwritten, beautiful love letter, on a page from one of his journals.
I sat there, reading it in my kitchen...I know for a fact that he loves me, and I him, but the simple fact that he took the time to write his feelings down on paper in such a beautiful and well-thought out way moved me.

I held the letter to my heart, lied down, and closed my eyes. I felt almost like a heat pad had been pressed against the side of my head, I felt a small *pop*...and the spinning stopped. And it hasn't been back yet :-)

Some cures a doctor simply cannot provide...<3