Monday, February 18, 2008


I suspect I have Labrynthitis again, and will be visiting the doctor in an hour to confirm it. I had a case of it a few years ago, and while not particularly serious, it is a mean illness. Labrynthitis is a virus of the vestibular system in the inner ear that controls your bablance, disrupting or confusing the messages that are sent to your brain. The result is an extreme sense of vertigo, and an inability to stand or sit without swaying as the brain tries desperately to figure out where you are in space.

It means that you can fall over to the floor while simply making coffee (as I did this morning) or slip over sideways onto the couch while watching tv (done last night).

It means that you feel constantly nauseous, sea-sickness without stepping foot off land, and that you cannot drive.

It means that you worry about taking a shower in case you fall over and crack your head open, and end up showering sitting down.

It means that you get so "sea-sick" just walking to the kitchen for a glass of water that you crawl on your hands and knees like a baby.

It means that you cannot hail a taxi without stumbling into the street, looking like a midday drunk.

It means that you constantly feel like you have had a few too many drinks, even when lying in bed at night, watching the room spin.

It means that you can actually 'see' the ground rise and fall in front of you, and you are constantly questioning your sanity.

It means that you are in for a miserable few weeks.

Like I said- its a mean illness, but thankfully it won't last forever.


Girl Clumsy said...

Oh my goodness!

I've had Labyrinthitis twice! I've never known anyone else to have had it.

The first time I got it was in Scotland while on holidays. I had no idea what it was, and was bloody terrified! Everything spun constantly - the only way I could stay still was by focusing on something unmoving in the near distance. Horrible.

Luckily I got in to see a doctor who gave me magic pills to make it go away!

The second time it happened I knew straight away, and was able to treat it much quicker.

So, I understand your situation, and hope you get better soon!

Louise said...

Wow- Labrynthitis Sufferers United! We should get t-shirts printed :-)

It is interesting to hear that we have both had it twice, when hardly anyone else I know has ever had it... and yet my doc still insisted yesterday that there is no such thing as a predisposition to it!

But still it's nice to know someone else knows how crappy this feels- thanks!

xxx Lou

Girl Clumsy said...

Hey Lou!

It's funny - I really had never heard of it before, and my boyfriend still teases me about my ability to contract wacky "made-up" diseases. ;)

By the sounds of your symptoms though, I think you have had it worse than I ever did. Mine eased after I started taking pills. ;)

I like the T-shirt idea though - although maybe we should get the classic 80s film "Labyrinth" remade as "Labyrinthitis". Just two hours of David Bowie falling over and suffering head spins!

Saw your post on China's lack of Good Samaritans - it's incredible! I'm sorry you didn't get any help when you fell over.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the Maoist era - perhaps people didn't want to interfere too much in case they drew attention to themselves. I got the feeling in Russia that the reason for the infamous sombre faces was that you didn't want to seem too happy in Stalinist/communist Russia, in case the KGB decided to pay you a visit and ask some questions.

Of course it could just be the Russian winter making them all miserable.

But still, I wonder if repressive regimes do take away little bits and pieces of humanity?

Louise said...

LMAO I was just thinking today of how appropriate it would be to watch Labyrinth right now! But I don't think I could bare watching Bowie spin that ball around and around and around.... eugh.

Well, I did think I was getting over the Labyrinthitis (god I am sick of spelling that, can we change it to 'Bob'?), but it seems to have come back even worse today. The last time I had it for about a week, but I was hoping this time would be shorter. But so far its been 5 days and counting... maybe I'm just takingthe wrong kinda pills ;)

And you know, my boyfriend also says the same thing about me: if there is something weird out there to catch I'll be sure to get it! Maybe we can write that on the backs of the t-shirts.

I'm going to re-post (and reply to) your comments about the Good Samaritans in the comments for that post to save confusion....