I have a routine to my workouts: one night is yoga class, another is spin class, and another is when Swim Buddy and I go to a local pool for laps. Weekends bring rock climbing, hiking, and sometimes running.  (I’ve been slacking this winter, I admit it.  Not running much at all.) A few days ago was swimming day, and I was thinking about what I would eat for a pre-workout dinner-snack as I walked the final mile of my commute home. After taking a shortcut over some tree roots on a short downhill, I suddenly got vertigo. I grabbed hold of a signpost and focused into the distance for 30 seconds or so, until I felt comfortable moving on. No big deal; this has happened before.

I took extra care crossing a busy street and limited my head movements. As I made my way home, I came to a complete stop at every corner and rotated my entire body to check for traffic before crossing. Once I felt a little wobbly and reached out to touch a low wall next to the sidewalk as I walked. I realized I was walking quite quickly (I normally cruise along at 120+ bpm), so I deliberately slowed down.  Next thing I knew: more vertigo! I stopped and half-leaned, half-sat against the wall. Still spinning. I closed my eyes and breathed. The spinning slowed and stopped. I rested for at least a minute. I felt fine, so I kept walking. I crossed another street. Then, more vertigo! I grabbed onto the street sign and decided to call my Swim Buddy for a rescue. As I looked down to dial my phone, I got more vertigo and careened into a parked car.

I waited cautiously until Swim Buddy came to get me. I knew I would be in the doghouse with my spouse if I went to the pool, and Swim Buddy didn’t mind canceling the workout. I didn’t have any trouble the rest of the evening.

This is the first time I’ve had multiple bursts of BPPV while walking. When I was walking over the roots I was sort-of looking down, and using my phone I was definitely looking down, but overall my head movements were not very big. I’m not at all thrilled to be getting vertigo with “normal” head movements. This totally reminds me of the character Lucille 2 from Arrested Development!

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