Things have been going swimmingly for me these past two months: virtually no symptoms, improved ability to do stairs, darkness, and sports, etc. Yay!

Then on Wednesday, as I sat across from coworker and talked, I got hit with vertigo. Bam! It startled me so that I stopped talking for several seconds and spread my arms out on the table. What in the world?! I can understand why I would get vertigo if I put my head upside down or the doctor does Dix Hall-Pike, but just sitting at a table? The problem is that I can get pretty animated when I talk, and I tend to gesture with my head. My head went slightly back and slightly to the left to trigger this episode, and it had been moving around a lot in the previous minutes. Note to self: stop with the snow-globe head.

This was my first opportunity to practice “what to do if it comes back.”

  1. Don’t freak out. It may be an isolated instance. Keep calm and carry on. Especially, don’t let the mind spin down dark paths.
  2. Move normally. I found myself immediately guarding, but I forced myself to relax and move with confidence. Focusing on my feet helped the few times I got scared.
  3. No home treatments…yet. Canalith repositioning movements have made me worse in the past. Save them for the types of symptoms for which I know they work.
  4. It’s OK to rest, but keep up your exercise. I felt unsteady and on edge, so I left work early that Wednesday, and coincidentally my swim buddy cancelled on me. A little TLC at home never hurt anyone but, remembering “Optimize your health and well-being,” I got myself on a spin bike by the end of the week. I will go to yoga next week, but I will do more modifications until I know I am out of the woods.
  5. Keep a record. Write down symptoms, even if you are convinced that “it’s nothing.” You will want the data later.

I think I know what caused the problem. On Sunday I attended the second day of a charity rock climbing event. I did good climbing in the morning, then while my friends attended a clinic for 5.9+ climbers (I’m not there yet), I went to a basic yoga class. Then after lunch I did a couple of good, strong climbs.

Did you see it? You know I can do yoga. You know I can climb. So what’s the problem, you say? The ORDER in which I did these. Climbing has more up-looking movements, and yoga has more down-looking movements (especially the way I modify). To switch from one to the other and back again in the space of four hours was more than I could handle–at least this is my working theory. Not sure what to expect next; stay tuned.

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