when brain doesn’t work, use hands
Eight weeks ago, at the end of September, my brain decided to go on strike. Since then, my world has been unstable. I have trouble focusing on and looking at a computer, laptop, tablet and smart phone – it makes me nauseated and reality is spinning. Just a little bit, but it is enough to make me sick.
There’s a tickling sensation on the left, underneath my skull – left, always left, also the home of the many migraines I used to have – and a constant light pressure a.k.a. headache. Bright lights do not agree with my vision, especially when they are moving. Imagine the flashing lights of a police car on the TV. Imagine me with two arms in front of my face to block the stimulants. Imagine me blindly groping for the off-button on the remote.
The first two weeks I worked from home, as much as humanly possible. The third week I took a taxi to the university, but when my desk started moving when I was leaning against it – while it was rock solid – it was time for me to go home and stay home. Fortunately I had a two weeks vacation. That’s when my son came over with his girlfriend and her kids. Meanwhile my left ear went partly numb. My hearing is the same as before, but the top half of my auricle feels like it is in another universe.
The family doctor gave me pills to battle the dizziness, except I’m not exactly dizzy. When the pills didn’t work after two weeks, he doubled the dose. When that didn’t work either, I demanded he send me to the hospital.
A visit to an otolaryngologist (ear nose throat specialist) got me a balance examination/test. The doctor attached sensors to my face. I was strapped into a chair and had to follow lights with my eyes. Then the chair moved left and right and the sensors registered what that did to my (closed) eye movements. Then the same chair started spinning to the left and I had to count backwards from 100 to 1. The same towards the right. When that ordeal was over, I had to lay down and focus on a spot on the ceiling. For half a minute she pumped cold water into my ear and I had to keep my eyes shut. Let me tell you this: money doesn’t make the world go round, water does! After she had her way with my other ear, she heated up the liquid and bombed my eardrums with hot water. The spinning of my world increased to a level that my stomach tried to flee through my mouth. Of course I didn’t let that happen, I need my stomach! And all of this only to prove that my vestibulars are OK. Because that is what the ENT doc presumed. And that is why she forwarded me to a neurologist.
This man did some tests, scratched his head and ordered an MRI scan. That was last Thursday. I was transported into the white, shiny tunnel with a deep sea helmet over my head and magnetic impulses bounced all over the place. Monday I’m going back to the hospital to hear the results of the scan. And Wednesday back to the otolaryngologist to see how my vestibulars are doing.
Perhaps now you understand why I don’t write much anymore. This feeling is freaking me out, to be honest. I want to work, I want to write, I want to drive a car! But for now you’ll have to excuse me. Nausea strikes again and the left side of my head feels like it’s in a fairy tale, because I’ve been behind my computer screen for far too long. Hurrah for being able to type blind. But now it is back to the couch. I will give my eyes a bit of rest and then spoil them with my Kindle. Fortunately reading is still possible.
Have a stable weekend,