Ok; so, as I mentioned in my report last week, while I was on the residential course at the Sivananda Centre I had a bit of a head coldy thing going on. Nothing major, just a sore throat, bit of a headache now and then, the odd cough and sneeze. I didn’t give it much credence. Now it seems that that has developed into something a bit more unnerving.
I had a yoga class last Wednesday. As I came up from the standing forward bend, the very last move we did, I felt a little light headed. ‘Came up a little too fast there’ I thought, ‘Better lie down quick.’ So I did and everything seemed fine.
We did final relaxation, all was well, but when I sat up do do the end chant the room suddenly started spinning violently. I had to lie down again for fear of falling over! It was like a severe attack of vertigo and it scared the life out of me.
It took several minutes for the feeling to abate, and even then I still felt a little dizzy and sick. I managed to make it downstairs and into the tearoom, at which point I had to sit for another half an hour until I felt properly settled again.
I eventually made it home, still not feeling 100%, but thinking that a good night’s sleep would sort me out. How wrong I was.
I awoke the next morning, all seemed fine. Then I turned my head, just turned my head, from one side to the other, and all of a sudden the room started spinning violently once again. I immediately fought the rising panic, turned my head back until it all calmed down again, got out of bed, and promptly called the doctor for an emergency appointment.
It was a long, uneasy wait waiting to see the doctor. I felt very unstable just sitting there. Once in the consulting room I told her everything, and when I got to the bit about having a bit of a head cold last week she said “Ah, now we are getting to it.”
Turns out that I have a viral ear infection, caused by last week’s illness. This has created an imbalance in the fluids in my inner ear, the effect of which is very much like the disease Labyrinthitis (though she didn’t think I actually had the disease thank God!). Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do about it. You just have to wait for the body to reabsorb the excess fluid and then everything should balance itself out.
She reckoned a few days, but here we are three days later and the symptoms are still here. I’m taking it easy, so I don’t know if they’re less than they were before. The worst is still when I wake up and turn my head. I don’t think the reaction is as violent as it was, but still it ain’t fun. I just hope this thing doesn’t settle in and become permanent, as I can imagine how debilitating it would be to go through life like this.
What’s especially annoying about this is, after a week of intense yoga and meditation, I have to suspend my practice until I get better. No way can I do any yoga, just turning my head too fast makes me dizzy, and meditation is out of the question as balancing with my eyes closed whilst sitting is very swayey at best.
But, that’s how it goes sometimes I suppose. Sometimes you just can’t make any progress at all. That’s when it’s time to take a leaf out of Sun Tzu’s book and just stay still, waiting patiently until you can advance once more.
ps: I haven’t even mentioned the dead arm I woke up with last week! Another very scary incident. I wasn’t even sleeping on it. I just woke up with this weird feeling and found that my right arm was completely lifeless. Not numb, not tingling, just dead. I don’t mind admitting I completely panicked (not helped by the fact that I was coming out of a very bad dream). After a minute or so of rubbing the life came back to it but for that minute I had to work hard to stem the rising fear in my head. It was not a pleasant experience let me tell you.
I’ve never really felt my mortality much before, even when I was in hospital. But lately, with all the stuff that’s been happening, I’m facing up to the fact that this body won’t last, no matter what I do to keep it healthy. It’s going to die, we’re all going to die; the question is, what are we going to do in the meantime?