Last Sunday morning I had an attack of vertigo. I woke up that morning feeling very fine and went about my daily morning chores as usual. Then, just before breakfast at about 7.45 a.m. I began to experience a slight disorientation. I tried to ignore it but at the back of my mind I knew that I was about to get the attack. I have been having these attacks since 2003, so I know what to expect. True enough, immediately after breakfast it came crashing like a tsunami. The moment my head touched the pillow, the whole world was spinning madly. I had to close my eyes tightly to lessen the spinning effect. Through experience, I avoided moving my head since this would aggravate the spinning further. With my eyes partially closed, I groped for some left-over medicine in my bedside table drawer, prescribed to me during my last attack - betahistine 16mg.
Before I could swallow the medicine, I threw up everything I had for breakfast. Then, I hastily took the medicine and continued lying down quietly with my eyes closed. By 5p.m. I realised that I could turn my head and open my eyes! The spinning was gone. What a relief! My previous episodes took about 2 days to go off.
I don't really know what triggered the "tsunami". My breakfast that morning and dinner the night before were pretty much the same as all the others before them. However, I did something a bit out of the usual that morning before breakfast. I have a custard apple tree (buah nona in Bahasa Malaysia) in my backyard and I happened to notice there were several ripe ones ready for picking. They were not within reach so I took out a ladder and climbed right to the very top of it to pluck the custard apples.I had to look up to get at the fruits. May be the triggering factor was my rather awkward balancing act on the ladder.
Well, for those of you who have never experienced vertigo, let me try to describe it. It is a condition when you suddenly experience a severe headache accompanied by a spinning sensation. I know it does not sound very complicated but I tell you, it is simply TERRIBLE.