September 10, 2010

As the World Spins

By now I've spent a year and a half learning about a million different things that can go wrong in the body, and I know I've only just begun to scratch the surface. Throughout all this, my own body has held up pretty well. Sure, I probably need more sleep and could be eating more healthily but for the most part, everything works pretty well.

Until now. For the past month or so I've been having spells of vertigo that feel like the entire world just starts to spin in rapid circles with me at the center - like an amusement park ride that I can't get off. This usually lasts for anywhere from a few minutes to an hour and is TERRIFYING. All I can do is try to manually override my vestibular system by focusing my eyes on a particular point and saying firmly to my brain: THAT is not moving, therefore you are not moving. No, really. You're not moving. Even though it feels like you're in the middle of a tornado being blown up into the sky. You're NOT moving.

then I feel like I just got off of this amusement park ride; nauseous, sweating, with a throbbing headache feeling like I just got pummeled in a fight. which can last for hours - or days.

through this, I have been trying to comfort myself by thinking:
this pain and fear you're experiencing will make you a better doctor.

Because I really do believe that it is so important for people who spend their lives caring for people who are sick (and scared) to be able to empathize with the feeling of having your body rebel against you, completely out of your control.

So today I was a patient - and told my story (probably in much too much detail) to an awesome PA at the student health center who asked me how my seasonal allergies are (answer = terrible) and then told me that I have massive fluid built up in my ear, which is most likely the source of this dizziness. She calmed me down (not a brain tumor, she promised) and gave me a prescription for a stronger allergy medication and a motion sickness pill.

I'm hopeful that it will work and I'll feel like I'm finally putting up a good fight against my spinning nemesis soon.

modern medicine and optimism - take THAT, tornado disease.

"if dreams were like thunder, and lightening was desire, this house would have burned down a long time ago" - Angel from Montgomery

...and to keep it in perspective, some life lessons from monsters

1 comment:

  1. Vertigo is a superhero that hijacks your inner ear and sells it to the devil. I love your perspective Erica. You are amazing.