Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Well that’s, a mouthful, eh?  I have it.  I’m lucky that way.  I know BPPV sounds like some really cool new rocket launcher one might find in a Halo game, but really it’s just a new sucky medical condition that I somehow found my way into.

Here’s the mechanics of it:  Why Wedge is Dizzy

I went to bed on Tuesday night feeling fine.  I woke up on Wednesday morning, got out of bed and immediately fell face forward into one of the posters on my canopy bed and desperately had to hang on to keep from falling the rest of the way to the floor.

I have had issues with mild dizziness due to blood sugar problems before, so I just waited until the dizziness and nausea passed.  As soon as I took another step I fell into my wardrobe off to my right.  At this point “What the fuck?” was the most eloquent thing I could think of at 5:00 in the morning after having fallen on two of my first three steps of the day.    I worked my way slowly to the bathroom only to realize my bathroom felt like it was bobbing happily up and down aboard the the U.S.S. Holy-Shit-It’s-A-Hurricane.  Seeing as how my wife absolutely hates it when I pee seven feet up the walls, all over the bathroom mirror, and into her laundry basket like some sort of demented garden sprinkler, I thought my best course of action was to sit down to pee.

Holding on to both sides of the toilet I gradually managed to settle the pendulum sway of the bathroom in my vision.  I did my business and got up slowwwwly to head back to the bedroom.  When I got there, I thought I must just be experiencing dizziness from some sort of flu-like illness and once I got up and going the symptoms would alleviate.

So, in the spirit of completely disregarding everything that had happened up to that point, I decided to think positively and took one full speed step forward and immediately lost my balance and fell off to the right and onto my bed.  If I was going to be wrong, I guess I was happy to be wrong next to my bed because there was no catching myself going down that time.

I lay sprawled on my back clinging with both hands splayed, fingers clutching the mattress and for one maddening instant, I had thought the bed spiraling beneath me was going to buck me off, so I clenched my ass cheeks harder for more grip and barely managed to keep from being thrown off.

Stare at this gif for about an hour and a half and imagine it moving 5X faster and you’ll know how I felt.  (http://n.sfwgifs.com/gif/vertigo)

Eventually the spinning subsided and after two more unsuccessful and, I’m sure, semi-hilarious attempts to stand back up, I finally called Kim into the room.  By now I realize something is really wrong and of course several things go through my mind:

Am I having a heart attack?  Nope, no numbness in any upper extremities and I haven’t started talking like Marlee Matlin so that means I’m probably not having a stroke either.

Am I drunk?  Did I drink last night?  Mmm, nope on the latter so I am assuming I am safe from the former.

Am I dreaming?  Probably not because I rarely feel like I am going to vomit in my dreams.

Geez, well then the obvious answer is:  brain tumor.

Awesome.

Kim helps me to the living room where I sit upright in a chair for a bit.  An hour and half later, I am still just as dizzy whenever I move and realize I can’t possibly drive to work.

I did my best imitation of a corpse for the rest of the day.  Being unbathed, I would imagine the smell wasn’t far off either.

I woke up Thursday determined to go to work.  It was exam week and I would be damned if some sort of brain malignancy or corpus callosum termites were going to stop me from going to work two days in a row during one of the busiest weeks of the year.  I wobbled my way up and down the halls all day, getting done at least a little of what I needed to get done, but by 11 a.m. the woozziness had gone from bad to worst.  At noon I called a doctor and he could get me in right away so I ducked out of work an hour early, fully prepared to find out what kind of terminal condition I had achieved.

After only a few tests the doctor informed me of my hugely uncomfortable BPPV problem and followed it up with the news that it was likely to last for three weeks to a month and more than likely recur off and on the rest of my life.  I couldn’t help but think how awesome it was that I wasn’t going to die, but that I was going to spend the next month and occasional random future months of my life wobbling around like a drunken 18 month old.  Fucking perfect.  I know.  Even a non-terminal diagnosis can’t make me happy.

Basically, my right inner ear was sending bad signals (not bat signals…that would have been kinda neat) to my brain telling it that I was in motion when I wasn’t in motion.  The dichotomy between reality and brain perception = vertigo.  I asked doc if that’s why the left side of my brain felt like someone had been steel wooling it all day.  Apparently, the brain will eventually figure out that it is getting bad information from that ear and then it has to kick into overdrive to figure out how it is going to filter out the bad information and reinterpret it based upon the information it is getting from my good ear and my other senses. Hence, the left side of my brain was overheating.  That’s kinda neat and all, but I really didn’t appreciate it at the time because I was death clutching the examination table I was sitting on, because it was trying like a bugger to tip me off.

Doc assigned me some exercises that are supposed to help the acclimation period go faster, but those first few days they were hard to do.  Imagine how you felt the moment you got off the spinniest carnival ride you have ever been on.  Now imagine feeling like that a 100 or so times a day.  It’s fatiguing.  I don’t know how the exercises are supposed to work, but basically they trigger the vertigo in the worst possible way over and over and over again.  So, working up the will to do them is not a small task.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday came and went and progress was slow.  I looked sort of like the video below.  For the record, I am the black kitten on the right.

  Several times each day I reached out grab tables, refrigerator handles, doorknobs etc to keep myself from falling over.  By the end of the day Saturday I realized that even if my brain couldn’t tell left from right and up from down during the vertigo swarms I could still tell where my frontside, backside, this arm and that arm were.  As long as I knew where I was in the room, I could propel myself in the direction that would assure me of the softest landing and cause the least amount of breakage.  So although directions in the room around me were messed up when my head spun, my sense of where my body was, was still okay.  Say I had my back to the couch.   As long as I could tell which side of me my ass was on, I could push myself in the direction of my ass if I felt myself falling and be reasonably confident my ass would hit the targeted couch landing area.   I guess that’s what they call adaptation.

It is now Tuesday and the difference between how I felt on Monday and how I feel today are huge.  Still only at about 65% and too afraid to run, but for the most part I can walk at close to a normal pace and my headache is nowhere near the nuclear levels it had been at the previous five days.   It’s much easier to do the doc prescribed vertigo inducing, stomach flipflopping exercises now that I already feel a bit better.  I even got something accomplished at work today which is more than I can say for Monday in which I basically accomplished not falling and not falling further behind than I already was.

Now I can appreciate it a little bit more that I do not have a brain tumor.

Sometimes cops are really hard to like.

Here’s a brief rundown of last night:

7:30 ish….car breaks down on side of highway by Cedar Hill.

8:00 Brother-in-law gives wife ride home and he assures me that the car is far enough off to the side where we can wait until morning to tow it.

9:00  Police call wanting to know what my car is doing on the side of the highway.  I inform them it is broken and we will tow it in the morning.  I hang up the phone happy that all is settled.

9:05  Phone rings.  Police decide it cannot wait until morning it has to be towed now or it will be impounded and they have already called a local towing company.  They ask me where I want it towed.  I tell them the destination three times thinking they would probably screw it up so I kept repeating it until I was sure that even a semi-literate monkey could get it right.

Saturday a.m. I wake up, call the towing company to find out where they are based so I can pay them for the tow.  During the course of the conversation I find out our car is on the towing company’s lot and not at the auto garage.  Of course it is still broken so it will need to be towed again to where it was supposed to go in the first place.  Of course, I get to pay another towing fee.

Oh that’s not all dear readers….that car that had to be towed right at the moment last night according to the cops, ….the same cops who said they had already called the towing company….yeah, the towing guy didn’t get the call until midnight.  The car was such a danger to society that it sat there an additional three hours after the cops basically threatened to kidnap it to the impound lot if I didn’t take care of it A.S.A.P.

So thank to you officers who over reacted and managed to fuck up something my nine year old could have taken care of.  I will be thinking of you all week while I eat ramen noodles and macaroni and cheese because 3/4 of my grocery money for the week, just went into a double towing fee.

I understand you have a tough job, but what’s with the lies?  Get bent Officer Whoeverthefuckyouwere.  While you are at it, find some competency or maybe even call me up and apologize for the fact that you screwed up.  I don’t expect you to reach into your wallet and give me $75 for the second tow even though that’s what I would do if I had done this to someone else.  An apology would go a long way though.

UPDATE:  My family came through and via friends of friends, I got one towing fee taken care of.  The other towing fee will be partially covered by my insurance so not only do I not have to eat ramen all week, but I even splurged on a jar of Nutella for my kid.  This is what living on the edge looks like kids!  Come join me in the fast lane where my greatest joy of the week was baking banana bread and buying a chocolate hazelnut spread.   Now just cross your fingers that the car can be fixed and is not a one ton paper weight.

I reiterate: You are a dumbass.

I am not sure some of you out there get how facebook works.  I was once again notified by my boss about something that I said on facebook.  On facebook I say things that are PG-13 or R at best and never meant to be seen by children.  The below facebook commentary was brought into question:

Do u ever get that icky feelingwhen you buy something you really didn’t need?

January 3 at 4:01pm · Like · Comment

Amongst a bunch of other random comments offered on that status I said:

Wedge Harris I had such buyer’s remorse after purchasing that Thai hooker it was unreal. Might have had something to do with me pissing napalm for weeks afterwards, but still…I know what you mean.

January 3 at 8:17pm · Like ·  1 person



Most folks would understand that what I said was a joke.  A joke told by an adult to other adults.  For the record, I have never been to Thailand. Heaven forbid that I recognized another human who might suffer from the same nonsensical buyers remorse as I and then try to make him laugh.  Sorry about that.

First, know this, I will not spend one second of my life worrying about what some chicken shit anonymous letter says about me.  Not now.  Not ever.  I write this only because I enjoy calling out stupid people.  If you want to come talk to me face to face, we can hash out where our disagreement lies and I can regale you with wonderful stories about censorship and free speech and the hypocrisy of trying to tell me that I have to be politically correct even in my off hours.

If you want to send an anonymous letter to my boss about me saying something that amounts to a deer camp joke online while on my own time…then just know you are wasting your time because I do not “friend” students and my privacy settings on facebook only allow my facebook friends to see what I post.  If your kid is seeing my online content at fb it is because they are logging in under your account, dumbass.  That officially makes you responsible.

So if you are seeing what I type on facebook and printing it out and sending it to my boss, then you must be one of my fb friends and a very mean spirited, duplicitous human being who is guilty of being a far worse example to the youth of our community than I could ever be.   For more information on how I feel about that, please feel free to refer to this post:  previous post .

Apparently you don’t like me.  Apparently you don’t understand my humor.  That’s fine.  I can think of no worse fate than to be so politically correct that I never offend anyone.  That would mean I have no opinions and I feel passionate about nothing in this world.   If you don’t like me, I’m good with that.

If you are concerned about my behavior at work and in front of kids, I’m sure there are any numbers of ways to get that information from people who know me professionally…but you don’t want to know that do you?  You just want to rabble rouse.  So let’s not be friends.  Please un-friend me on facebook.  Don’t worry, I won’t get a notice telling me who has unfriended me so your cowardice should not get in the way.  We can then enjoy the rest of our separate lives….you content in thinking I am wrong and me knowing you are a fucknut.

Update:  Despite much anecdotal evidence that people that weren’t my friends on facebook couldn’t read what I post, after some testing it appears that they can.  I don’t think it changes my feelings on the matter one iota.  I am allowed to be an adult and have adult conversations and tell adult jokes online.  I am not dissing the school.  I am not making unprofessional remarks about my colleagues, school board, or parents.  I am not advertising my own porn site or advocating drug use.  So, despite an error on my part in who can and cannot see what I post, my opinion is still the same.  If you don’t want your kids reading adult material, it’s up to you to monitor their internet habits.  It is not up to me keep all my off hour, off duty discussions limited to Sesame Street, string theory, Snuggies, and gardening.  Thank you and have a nice day.

By request.

Since my last post about things I could care less about, someone recently asked me for a post about a few  things I do believe in.

 You people never learn.  If you keep encouraging me, I’ll just keep writing this dreck.  Amber, you have only yourself to blame for this.

I believe that Daniel and Henrik Sedin should quit cutting their hair and their beards in exactly the same manner.  When you are twins and you are six years old and your parents force you to dress alike it is understandable.  As two 30 year old professional hockey players it’s creepy.

I understand you each love your brother and can admire the fact that family is important to you as you refuse to play for separate teams, but that is where it has to end.  In other words, it is okay to love your brother, but it is not okay to “love” your brother.  Know what I mean?

You…me…hot tub after the game?   (http://tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=348949)

I believe that the world will NOT end before 2013.  If anyone wants to bet me $1000 that the apocalypse is nigh, feel free to contact me through this blog.  I will accept any and all bets.

Well I don’t care if it is the apocalypse, that’s just rude.  (anmlhse.com)

I believe that once your 20-something son builds himself a clubhouse and a skull shrine in the back yard, it is past time to get him professional help. 

I know kids are difficult.  I know there are a series of challenges inherent in doing one’s best to rear them in the right manner.  Mom and Pop Loughner, I think this goes beyond finding a Penthouse under his mattress or worrying that he isn’t doing his chores.  Every single person the media interviews that was not a family member seems to have the same opinion of Loughner.  For brevity, I will summarize what all of his classmates, bosses, and acquaintances said about him:  “He’s crazier than a shithouse rat and he scares me.”

You cannot convince me he hadn’t done something so over the top weird or frightening before that point, that his parents had no idea his sanity boat was sinking fast.  He lived at home!  They HAD to catch him waxing hamsters to a stunning shine or taking a sewing needle to the eyes of houseflies or something else that would have rung the crazy alarm before he moved on to mass murder.

At some point it seems something should have been done before he went all full metal jacket on a bunch of innocent people.  I know…we’ll blame his teachers.  Fire all those bastards. Gotta be their fault.

Political aside:  Ever notice it’s never the democrats that go on shooting sprees?  I’m not blaming John Boehner for this one as Loughner was obviously three pancakes short of a full stack, but I will blame Glenn Beck whom is widely regarded as the Pied Piper of the politically insane.

I believe chocolate gets too much credit and butter pecan gets shortchanged in the pantheon of ice cream flavors.  Chocolate was okay when I was a kid, but as I have gotten older, I need something for my more sophisticated palate.  Chocolate ice cream is pretty one note stuff and is no longer as satisfying to me.  I feel an analogy is in order.  Chocolate ice cream is a handjob.  Butter pecan ice cream is the full on toe curling sex that follows a nice relaxing couple of drinks and a nice firm spanking.

I have suppressed the urge to draw two nipples.  I am proud of me. 

                                                (http://www.schwans.com/)

I believe that when I retire I want to purchase a large RV and turn it into a mobile saloon.  This is pretty rural country and the drinking and driving fines are no joke.  Although I have my doubts on how well the fines discourage drinking and driving, I do believe drinking and driving should be discouraged.  Taxis are expensive or not available at all in a lot of areas.  The solution:  have the bar come to your neighborhood where you could walk home afterward.  Better yet…if you tip me well, the bar itself will deliver you to your doorstep at the end of the night.

With this one we could even leave the RV on site and let someone else DD you home!

I don’t know if this interior would work. Don’t we need obligatory neon beer signs, some NASCAR ,shit and the heads of a few carcasses on the walls?  I could probably provide the faint urine smell myself.
(Both above images courtesy of:  most-expensive.net)



Things I couldn’t care less about.

I am already pre-presuming that just because you are here reading this, doesn’t necessarily mean you care about what I don’t care about.  I will guess that maybe you just are bored and accidentally clicked on this link instead of your Farmville app or something.  I just wanted to clarify that I do not exalt myself enough to think that anyone could possibly give a shit about my opinions.  I’m just trying to write.

I do not care about LeBron.  I don’t know him personally.  If I were to make a guess, I’m guessing he is a bit of a self-absorbed asshole.  It is quite possible that I would be too, if I were a multi-millionaire by the age of 19.  BTW, anyone that thinks that big time high school and collegiate athletes do not get paid, should really look into how in the hell LeBron was able to bus himself and his classmates to school in a Hummer every day.  Yeah…I know…his Mom bought it for him…whatever.  Do me a favor and just assume I’m not as dumb as I look.

If you are not a good friend nor a member of my immediate family, I don’t give a shit what your kids or grandkids look like.  If I ask for a photo, which I have been known to do, then please show it to me.  If not, then do not hand me one, because then I am put in that socially awkward position of having to pretend to care and that makes me feel like I am lying.  Oh wait…unless one of them has a pointy tail, scales, and a fifth limb growing from her torso….then please do assume, I would like to see the picture.

I do not care if the seat is down or up or if the toilet paper rolls off the roll from the top or the bottom.  Anyone who has spent more than one minute of their life, worrying about either or both of these things can please kill himself now.  Go ahead….I’ll wait.

There, we got rid of them. 

I do not care about HDL or LDL.  If I keep my fat intake reasonable and exercise fairly regularly then I will not monitor either of these unless my doctor looks at my bloodwork, faints on the spot, then gets up and calls the Guinness Book of World Records the moment he awakens.  I do my best to take care of myself while still having fun and the day I start looking at the lipid profiles of my food is the day I have abandoned the idea of any beauty in the art of living.

I couldn’t care less if Oprah has her own network.  I still won’t listen to her, Phil, Oz or any of the other talking heads.  I get it Dr. Phil…I should man up.  I get it Dr. Oz….exercise is good for me and I should not sleep with a bacon fat face mask.   I get it, Oprah…you love yourself.  Anyone who puts herself on every cover of her own magazine could have just a teensy ego problem you think?

I do not care how many band-aids we put on our education system.  I no longer care that teachers are blamed for everything from juvenile deliquency to every rolling stop ticket ever issued.  Until we admit that our education system is antiquated and no longer meets the needs of our modern society it is going to be a vastly inefficient vehicle for accomplishing anything.  Trust me, it isn’t because all our teachers suddenly decided to start sucking at their jobs.  It all needs to be blown up and we need to start from square one.   I could spout on this one forever, but my head is already starting to hurt from exercising rational thought processes so I should move on.

I don’t care what alphabet the local specialist put on you, ADD, ADHD, HD, EI, EMI, A.D.I.D.A.S. blah, blah, blah…fucking TRY and I will be your best pal.  I missed the memo where every kid tagged with a label in their record suddenly became a member of the sainthood and I could no longer attempt to get them to work hard because they must be regarded as immaculate.  I have said it many times, just because he/she has a disability, doesn’t mean he/she isn’t an asshole.  Guess what, regardless of ability, kids like to feel pushed.  How else will they ever enjoy a feeling of true accomplishment if someone doesn’t push them?

I don’t care if doctors went to eight years of university to get certified.  You bastards make serious cash….even the ones who suck.  The ones I know work about 3.5 days a week and yet very few of them can take the time to truly listen to my situation because in order to see all their patients they cram 50 appointments into a six hour workday.    I went to school for five years and I get paid shit, but I get ten weeks off in the summer.  That’s what I signed up for.  That’s what I got.  Hence, this is me not complaining.  So don’t give me all the crap about insurance costs, malpractice lawsuits, Obamacare, and sometimes having to accept less money to take care of a Medicare/Medicaid patient.  You earned your degree.  You earned your right to make a good living.  Now shut the fuck up about it and do it.

All out of time for this installment and my ire is getting angrier so I think I’ll take a break.

Caption Crap

All images lovingly borrowed from http://perfectlytimedphotos.com.  Lame captions are courtesy of me.

…and this is the picture of the boy who would have been your brother, the day before he was put up for adoption.

Mr. Lion:  Godamnit!  After a long day’s work I want the carcass ready for me when I get back to the den!  

Mrs. Lion:  Sure , right after you start remembering to put the seat down after you raise your leg!

Hey, I went to a fight and a hockey game broke….oh…oh…what?  What the fuck is this?  This isn’t right.  Screw it.  I’m only watching Jai Alai from here on out.  

After falling on hard times, Mr. Ed got tired of washing windshields and selling oranges for money and pretty soon he just started demanding it. 

I think I knew these guys when they used to play hockey.