Vertigo is an interesting symptom. My response to vertigo is part of why the experts think my SCDS is a birth defect that became worse in the last year (probably due to head trauma or maybe just finally bad enough to notice). When they asked me if I was dizzy I said, “what is dizzy?”
What is dizzy? I guess the best answer is the feeling you get when you spin in a circle long enough. That doesn’t feel very different from everyday for me. I mentioned I like being on boats and the technician running the vertigo tests was surprised. What can I say? I’m an adventurer. I also like the swoopy feeling of take-off and landing on a plane. I get the best adventures from the simplest things.
Balance is something I’ve always worked hard at. I was an awkward child who strove to be graceful. I took dance and gymnastics and played baseball. I didn’t mind being the worst at things because I just wanted to do them. Later in life I practiced more dance and yoga. I developed all sorts of ways of feeling where my feet were and how my body was to memorize where it should be. It was never a sensation I felt in my ears but more an alignment of sight and muscle. Needless to say I did well enough but never excelled.
I also didn’t think this was strange. The fact that spinning in a circle made little difference to how I felt seemed like a sign of superior balance not a sign that I was constantly imbalanced. Sure it took six years to learn to ride a bicycle without training wheels and I was constantly spraining my ankles but that was a physical weakness of some sort right?
Looking back now my whole life has rearranged itself. Those times I collapsed from exercising? Maybe my blood sugar wasn’t actually low. When I broke out in a cold sweat and had to lay down at the state fair? Maybe it was the loud crowd and the spinning rides not a strange flu that had no fever and went away with bed rest.
I’m questioning the explanations of a lifetime and I have no facts to back any of it up. It wasn’t until August 25 of this year that I got the specialized CT Scan that showed there was a hole in my inner ear.
It’s very disorienting. It changes my reality too much. So am I dizzy? Yes. I get seasick when things move around me, even little things like light reflected from a car spinning past through the window. I lean on walls and lately have even started swaying which feels like the first step towards falling.
The technician at the surgeon’s office says the tests prove I’m dizzy whether I know the word for it or not. I really appreciate that. It’s like having a thermostat to tell me if it’s cold. Sometimes it’s cold and I’m not or it’s warm and I think it’s cold. A measure is a wonderful thing.
Being dizzy, for me, is not the world spinning around me like the movies make it appear to. Instead it is me spinning inside the world.