Symptomatic

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Pardon me. Where is the closest bathroom? (Versailles Palace, by Giano/Versailles)

Pardon me. Where is the closest bathroom? (Queen's room, Versailles Palace, photo by Giano/Versailles)

Great News! No Brain Tumor!

Thursday morning, 7 a.m. — Am bending over to perform arduous task of moving an extension cord two inches, and when I try to stand back up am seriously dizzy and sick to my stomach. Not sure whether to make a beeline for the bathroom or the bed, but doesn’t matter because no “beeline” is possible because have no control over limbs, am like north half of competitor in three-legged race in which south half is an antelope.

The bed is closer so I lurch toward it and splat onto it and am no longer dizzy until I inch toward the pillows. Am having cold sweats; take slow, deep breaths to fight nausea, and there is one of those fragrance ads for Red Door inches from my face, and I realize the deep breaths were a mistake, it is like burying face in perfumed donkey dung, so am forced to rouse myself and crawl on hands and knees (sorry, redundant) to bathroom and throw up. Fortunately, no men in household, so toilet is clean.

Marie Antoinette — But where was her salle de bain?

Marie Antoinette — But where was her salle de bain?

Creep back to bed and within five minutes have to pee. This time I try lurching toward the bathroom, and for 700th time am glad I do not live in Palace de Versailles, where bathrooms are probably not so convenient plus floors are marble. Make it to the bathroom, pee, throw up again for good measure, and lurch back to bed. Grope around for Red Door ad, then for glasses to help in finding Red Door ad, cannot find either (glasses discovered later on bathroom floor).

I am really sick

Should I call Jack? Should I call Marian? The thought of lurching to hospital is worse than thought of dying in bed. Apartment is fairly clean, but I recall creeping past dirty T-shirt and underwear on way to bathroom. Unable to tidy up, I conclude it is Not My Time. Fall asleep.

After an hour, feel somewhat refreshed, call Sara, report brush with death, then decide to attack e-mail, but — and here is scary part — cannot read. Not like I have lost ability to read — can read large letters (YAHOO! MAIL), but letters in e-mails look like long series of parallel lines. Letters in book are swimming, doing loop-de-loops. There is glass of faux fruit juice on table next to me, take a few sips, triggers nausea attack, back to bathroom with comparative efficiency, go back to sleep, wake up at 1 a.m. Eat 1/2 bowl of “farina.” So far, so good.

The human inner ear

The human inner ear

I go to “symptom checker” on Mayo Clinic website, check off symptom boxes, wait for diagnosis, which is….. Achilles Tendon Rupture! Oops! Go back to beginning, check off boxes on LEFT side, not RIGHT side. Diagnosis: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.* Good that they put the word “benign” FIRST.

*Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is most common in people 60-plus

Cause: (In inner ear), “otolith organs contain crystals that make you sensitive to movement. For a variety of reasons, these crystals can become dislodged.”

Treatment:Canalith repositioning procedure.” From what I can gather from description of procedure, an audiologist shakes your head like a maraca until the crystals settle back into place, or fall out, whichever comes first.

Prognosis: Squeaky-clean apartment

♦ ♦ ♦

May Whoever Is On Duty bless you and your endeavors…. —Mary

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