Sharon Schulze

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Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Living in a Horizontal World

All I want for Christmas is . . . to be able to sit up straight, turn my head, and move around without help.

I've been living in a horizontal world. No, I haven't suddenly joined the Flat Earth Society--that's simply been my frame of reference since last Thursday night.

It began after supper, when I felt a little wobbly when I got up off the couch. I figured I got up too quickly. I wasn't concerned; in fact, I barely noticed at that point. By the time my DH got home from his company Christmas party, however, I'd begun to think something was a bit off, and by the time I headed up the stairs for bed I was definitely weaving on my feet and feeling woozy.

It went downhill from there. Couldn't sit up, stand up or move without help. Stomach felt like a spin dryer. Felt like I'd been out on a booze-filled bender, but without any of the fun.

Turns out I have vertigo, probably brought on by a viral inner ear inflammation. Nothing the doctor can do but give me a prescription for anti-nausea meds and send me home to wait it out (try to keep horizontal, they suggested--not a problem when you can't lift your head without the world spinning out of control). By Saturday morning I couldn't even keep my eyes open, and the thought of 7 - 10 days of that--and at this time of year, no less, when there's so much to get done--was not an enticing prospect. Things have improved, so I can keep my eyes open most of the time, and I feel like I'm finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel (no, not the bright white light . . . ). My family have been wonderful; it's really too bad I haven't been in any condition to really enjoy being waited on hand and foot :-). At this point I'm just grateful there's someone to fill my water cup, bring me food and help me when I have to get off the couch.

The world looks very different from this perspective, a combination of what it's like to see everything from a shaky two feet off the floor (it's been a long time since I was that short!), coupled with feeling very helpless. I have a new appreciation for mobility and independence, since the times I've tried to do anything myself--like get off the couch--were big mistakes.

I'm sure I've learned valuable life lessons--or should that be Life Lessons, since they're important? Since it's difficult to do much of anything (even typing on a laptop), I've certainly had plenty of time to think.

Maybe it's a good thing; according to info in Thea O'Connor's blog, you can "lie down and get creative." If that's the case, I predict a huge upsurge in my creativity and productivity. Here's hoping she's right :-)