I was hoping to share a race recap from coaching the Richmond Marathon with my training team from Sunday, however, life had other plans for me.
My Saturday began with a face to wall meeting… as in, I had a spell of vertigo reaching for my towel and fell into it. Not a great way to start the day. I managed to feel better by the time I went to work, and I didn’t think much more about it after that.
That night, I dutifully laid out all of my running gear for Sunday morning, ready to meet my team early at Dorey Park. When my alarm went off at 4:00am, I got up, and quickly realized I couldn’t walk straight for the vertigo. I got dressed while sitting on my bathroom floor. I hoped the feeling would pass like on Saturday, but I wasn’t so lucky. It was clear that I was not well. I had to text my fellow coaches and break the news that I couldn’t be there. There was no way I could drive, much less run. It was like I was on a never ending merry-go-round, or the giant swings. It sucked, because the best day of the season is bearing witness to the success of your team in completing their marathons. Sigh.
Now, since I’m a physical therapist, I do have some knowledge about vertigo and vestibular problems. I had my issue narrowed down to BPPV or an ear infection. I did an Epley maneuver to myself (which is challenging, by the way) to try to move whatever crystals may be stuck in my ear canal, and it definitely made my vertigo worse, plus elicited a bit of nystagmus, too. That wasn’t fun. But my symptoms were a tiny bit better once I recovered from that.
I was functional Monday and managed to work a full day. As long as I didn’t move too fast or keep my head down or to the left, I was OK. Not great. Just OK. And this has been my status since then.
On Wednesday, I finally bit the bullet and went to the doctor. It turns out I was wrong about the main cause of my problem, which is very humbling considering I watched Tuesday night’s episode of Transplant on NBC and could diagnose every patient’s ailment before it was revealed in the plot! I felt super smart. My daughter was so impressed, she said I should have been a doctor instead of a PT. Ha! Not really. It was just predictable writing!
Anyway, I have a clogged Eustachian tube. There’s so much pressure built up in my ear that my eardrum is bulging. That explains the occasional nags of pain and sensation of fullness in that ear and the vertigo. He said it’s possible that I have BPPV as well. But, hey, I knew it was the left ear. And now I have meds to unclog the tube. Oh, happy day!
As a bonus, the PA that I saw from my practice was wonderful! I always fear going to a male provider. I feel like I’m frequently not taken seriously. But he was great. He listened. He was empathetic. He was exactly what a healthcare provider should be, as was his nurse. I’m so grateful.
I know what you’re asking yourself. Why did I wait so long to see the doctor? Well, our insurance basically covers nothing until you hit your deductible, despite costing over $1000 per month for our family. Yes, it’s an employee sponsored plan. No, the ACA plans aren’t less expensive. Yes, it really does cost that much for a $10,000 deductible plan. The point is, if we’re paying that much for coverage, shouldn’t we get some discount for sick care? Sigh. My delay in care due to my fear of cost could have been harmful had this been something worse. How many other Americans are in the same boat? I’m assuming lots of us are. This, my friends, is one example of why we need universal healthcare!
The PA says I should feel better by the weekend. I am counting on it! I’m looking forward to running and picking up heavy things from the floor again! And I’m looking forward to getting off this crazy ride…
Have you ever had vertigo? Not so fun, eh? I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.