The likely diagnosis for my big adventure on Sunday is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. I gave a cute metaphorical description of it before. Basically little rocks fly around where they shouldn’t in tiny structures in the ear and make people dizzy and nauseous, and sometimes other effects. There’s no reason why it occurs, nor any reason why it stops. It’s just one of those things. Unpleasant but not deadly.
There are a number of things to do about this, and I’m doing two: taking 50 mg of niacin a day, and taking a diuretic. (Excess fluid in some ear part or other can set this off too, apparently.) But that’s not all!
If this keeps happening, I can try one of two Liberatory Maneuvers for Vertigo: the Epley, and the Semont. I picture them as two old grumpy men like Statler and Waldorf on The Muppet Show.
This is the Semont Maneuver:
And this is the Epley Maneuver:
This is fabulous stuff. Immediately I forget that I’m ill, and I imagine myself in an ancient office full of phrenology heads, giant clamps, perhaps a van de Graaf generator or two, with an elderly German man grasping my head harshly with gloved hands and flinging me around as I vomit explosively on his hapless assistant, yelling “JU MUSST REMAINEN SCHTILL!” until finally the tiny bit of calcium that’s been tormenting me comes loose and falls down the back of my skull like it went behind the fridge. Then I tip my hat to him and leave my card, and stride down the Strand to my club. With luck I’ll be asked to stand in a zinc basin first, and everyone will be wearing spats.
Now to look up the “Brandt-Daroff Exercise”, which I hope involves Indian Clubs, a Medicine Ball or two, and a pint of oatmeal stout afterwards. Physical culture is the key to life, men! To the icewater baths!