Published on Oct 25, 2020
Hello World, how have you all been? Hope you are all staying safe and healthy. As you may have noticed, there haven’t been any new posts/recipes on the blog for the past couple of months. Sorry, I was on a short hiatus without notice. Well, I had to attend to an unannounced guest, who decided to stay longer than I’d expected.
An interesting quote that’s been floating around in recent times is “positive is the most negative word of the year 2020”. People are asked to stay in their cohorts and not gather in large groups for their well-being. But some didn’t seem to like the idea of being in isolation and started to be out and about, causing more damage to the society around them. While many of them may not have felt the effects of it personally, vulnerable people had to bear the brunt. All this is not anything new that you didn’t already know.
My story followed the same pattern, but on a much smaller scale. Allow me to introduce my new partner in crime – the crystals in my inner ear, or as I like to call them ‘Wandering Crystals’. In normal circumstances, they’re supposed to stay put. But like the conspiracy theorists who believed that coronavirus is a hoax and that isolation need not be followed, my crystals decided to float away from their place in the ear canal, making me float like a cruise ship in rough seas. Why is it so hard to stay put? Why do we not follow the rules? Just as the young people who spread the virus and affect others more than themselves, the crystals in my ear were having fun but messed me up. At first, I assumed my problems were due to my old friend, cervical spondylitis, but my doctors mentioned something new – benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Well, for those who are not familiar with this, vertigo is a sensation of whirling and loss of balance caused either due to heights or by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve. It was interesting to learn that testing and treatment are one and the same for this condition. That takes us to the next and most exciting part of this roller coaster…ride on…
Have you heard of something called the Epley maneuver? Neither did I, until I saw my physiotherapist. Apparently, they use this technique, which is based on the law of gravity, to decide if vertigo is caused by a change in position. My first session with the physio was quite mundane. The symptoms did seem to subside after that session and I felt fit enough for a hike to Rawson Lake – one of the few trails near Calgary that ought not to be missed. The crystals, thankfully, decided to be in harmony for that one day. Although the hike was one of the best this summer, it made the giddiness return the next morning with a vengeance. This was only week three after my symptoms had begun at the end of July, 2020.
During my second session with my therapist, I exhibited classic signs of BPPV. As soon as she changed my body position to test, I started feeling dizzy like never before. I felt my eyes roll like a pinwheel in a heavy wind. Remember when cartoon character’s eyes spin when they bang their head? I felt the same thing and my therapist who was looking into my eyes was excited to see them in action. According to her, I was one of her rare patients with symptoms that were this profound. At one time, the intensity just threw me out of the bed, but a staff member caught me in time, saving me from a nasty fall. I wish I had captured that moment on camera like my recipe steps. This second session was one hell of a rollercoaster ride that went on for almost two hours until gravity guided the crystals to their place after a dozen dizzy spells, leaving me completely limp and exhausted for the next few days.
Thankfully, the subsequent two sittings weren’t that dramatic, although some crystal debris is still out there causing occasional body imbalance, which I’ve learnt to live with. I am, however, feeling grateful to have my life back. We may not appreciate the simple ability to walk without the fear of falling, but its importance in our lives becomes obvious only when things go off-balance. So here I am, feeling grateful to have a routine that may not be ideal, but at least has the necessary ingredients to thrive once again.
Life this year has been turbulent in the middle of this pandemic, when things go out of control for no fault of ours. All I can think of is that we just have to seek help, follow recommendations of experts, and hang in there patiently for things to return to normal. It’s essential for us to hold on to hope and gradually work our way to inner strength and stability and that’s what I’m hoping my wandering crystals do.
The good news is that I’m at least back on my feet. Thank you all for your unconditional love and support while I was working on regaining my balance. I can’t wait to share my next recipe…