It all started last week Thursday. I had a normal day at work and came home without incident. I greeted everyone as usual. I gave my wife a hug as she reminded me to make my version of Cheesecake Factory's Crispy Cuban Rolls, one of her favorites, for dinner. I went downstairs and started to prep everything.
Partway through getting them rolled up in the lumpia wrappers, I felt different. I could feel myself sway & wobble a bit when I walked around the kitchen island. When I had all of the rolls wrapped up and was waiting for the deep fryer to warm up, I walked over to my wife at her desk and told her I was feeling a bit dizzy and just "off" for the lack of a better word. I gave it a shrug and went back to the kitchen to get things frying.
Throughout the rest of my cooking, I occasionally stumbled into the counter. Was I getting sick again? We all just had gotten over the flu a couple of weeks ago. I tried not to mind it as we ate and did our usual evening activities.
When it was time to go to bed, I tried to get up from my chair and fell right back into it. My oldest son helped me out of the chair and up the stairs to the bedroom. Even as I closed my eyes, my head was spinning a bit.
The Next Morning
The alarm on my phone went off as usual. It's on the other side of the room so there's a higher chance I'll follow through with getting ready for work straight away. I tried to walk over to it. Tried indeed. I stumbled and struggled to keep my balance but I could not walk in a straight line whatsoever. I got over to my phone, grabbed it, and brought it back to the bed in a haphazardly way so I could silence it finally. My wife woke up and asked if I was okay. I told her, "I can't walk."
Later that morning with the help of my dad, they got me to our local urgent care facility. I lamented that my walk was more like the staggering of Yellowbeard which was not far from accurate. After clearing some earwax, they saw that my ear drums were red. Let me rephrase in the doctor's own words. The right ear drum was a bit irritated. The left one was very pissed off. Upon seeing that, the doctor said they would hold off on any additional tests.
I had a serious middle ear infection (again - I had another in December but that only had me with a muffled left ear and tinnitus) which was causing my balance to be out of whack. We left with prescriptions for the ear infection and the dizziness. She took me home first so I didn't have to awkwardly get around the pharmacy.
I pretty much spent the rest of the day in bed, waiting for the medicine to kick in just a little bit. The anti-dizziness pills made me drowsy anyway so at least I slept through most of the day.
When I woke up on Saturday, I was able to make it over to the bathroom with the same amount of finesse as I did the day before. Annoyed with my predicament (and not being able to get through a door frame without hitting the jamb), I slept through the bulk of the day again, awake at times for meals and to catch up on some shows.
Sunday showed a bit of improvement. At least the room wasn't spinning when I tried to stand up or walk. I still couldn't stay upright without swaying but this was a good sign. I used a cane to help me stay balanced since I was more than likely swaying to the left anyway. I went along on a car ride in the early evening to see how I handled it - not too well. I was getting nauseous whenever the van turned a corner or hit a bump.
I did get the new web site done over the weekend, so that free time was spent well, right?
I stayed home Monday from work though by mid-day I felt a lot better compared to Friday. I didn't need the cane and I didn't take any of the dizziness pills. I was able to stand and make dinner without a fuss.
Today I did work a full day and it's been okay so far. As long as I don't get moving too fast or turn too many times, I feel like I'm almost back to normal. By the time I got home, I was a little nauseous from the drive though.
I'm re-starting my every-day allergy medication to help with keeping this from happening again. I'll have a physical soon and get my ears checked out while I'm there.
I just wanted to write down my experience with this. I'm not trying to point to anything special about me or this particular incident. Not really trying to whine about it either. I got sick and better within a few days. No big deal right?
Mostly. Sort of.
Even though it had just been a few days, I don't think I have ever felt so helpless before. I mean I've been slightly unable to do some things, like when I had carpal tunnel release surgery, but I could at least move and try my best. This time, though, it was different. I felt useless. I couldn't even stand up properly, let alone walk in a straight line.
It was a humbling reminder to never take anything for granted. You never know when you're going to lose it, even temporarily. I know that I'll try not to.