I've been dizzy. It's one of the reasons I took off Thursday. Thursday was also Veterans Day, which was the reason the pizza delivery man thought I was taking off.
"No," I said, "I'm really dizzy."
"Like when you lie down or get up?" he asked.
"I've had that too lately."
Now, I'm not sure what the Pizza Man meant by that. I'm also never sure what Gary means by that when he says the same thing.
Could be: "We are all frail. I know your fears, my sister, and I stand by your side in the human condition."
Could be: "If we both have this it isn't serious."
Could be: "You aren't sick. You are Normal."
I think the last one is what Gary means when he tells me, "I'm dizzy all the time! Everybody gets dizzy when they roll over in bed!"
This is why I found my yearly check-up at my primary neurologist so satisfying today.
I went in and said, "I'm dizzy."
He asked me to describe "dizzy," and he asked, "What makes you dizzy?"
"Lying down in bed, getting out of bed, lying with a hard pillow under my neck, looking up ..."
"Hop up on the table, please."
He had me recline on my elbow, he took my skull, tilted it up and over to a specific spot. My brain spun immediately.
"Whoa! I'm so dizz -"
"Look up here! At my hand."
Which I did, assuming that he was fixing my eye on a point so I wouldn't vomit, but of course he wasn't, he was checking if my eyes were twitching, which I assume they were, because that seems to be the test for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
Then he had me lie down, tilted my head at some specific angle: whoosh! Brain slosh, look up at my hand, same deal.
Then I sat down in a chair, he tilted, slosh, twitch. Mental note: Never tilt my head at those angles.
He asked if I'd had this dizziness before, and I said sure, back two years ago when I started the drug. "I assumed it was the drug, but the clinical trial doctor said it was ... some position thing - oh!"
That's the difference between being told you have benign positional vertigo and having someone prove it to you by positioning your head. That's the difference between having a doctor say "benign" as in "Your vertigo is benign, stop complaining," and "I'm not even doing an MRI for this, it's so benign."
I came out of that appointment feeling like I am SUPPOSED to have BPPV. That something would be wrong if I DIDN'T have it. That it can be completely controlled as long as I don't let that doctor ever touch my skull again. (There are other treatments, but this is the one I'm going for. It goes away on its own, eventually.)
He's such a good doctor. I'm delighted with him. He makes me feel so textbook. Like the Normal version of Sick.