Like A Ride on the Vomit Comet, But Not

It’s Gratituesday! Today I’m grateful for gravity.

Something felt off before I ever opened my eyes. A light-headed sensation perhaps? Awake but still dreaming maybe? Or, dang it, not again.

This last weekend I woke up to a raging case of vertigo. That isn’t terribly uncommon, but it’s been a few years since the house rocked and rolled and pitched like that.

For those of you personally unexperienced with this particular malady from the *book “Weird Things Your Body Does To You Just To Mess With Your Head” you can read up on vertigo at your leisure.

A little known tidbit: I woke up with vertigo on my wedding day. (Sorry, no one gets to hear that story today.) I think in my case vertigo also comes on when I’m under extreme stress. But that’s just a guess based on certain undisclosed files hidden in a closet somewhere.

Whoa, Nelly er… Kami

In the past when vertigo has hit, I’ve often seen it as God’s way of telling me to slow down and get some much-needed rest. I’ve come to that conclusion because when vertigo happens nothing else in my life happens, no matter how important. Everything comes to a dead stop, especially your body. Any movement, no matter how slight sets the world spinning again and this time my stomach joined the game.

Oh sure drugs exist that I could take. They’re usually named some weird word that ends in “-ine” which translates into an extremely buzzed and sleepy me. The result turns out the same. I get nothing done that day except either sleep or lying around trying not to move.

Is It Like Insanity in that You Get It From Your Kids?

My dad recently started experiencing frequent bouts of vertigo. The doctor he saw recommended head manipulation therapy a newer idea in treatment options. Now, anytime he feels vertigo coming on he simply goes through these exercises and his dizziness problem dissipates quickly.

Image By marcello from potenza, italy (Dizzy thorns)

Image By marcello from potenza, italy (Dizzy thorns)

You see, vertigo happens because…all sorts of complicated details…but basically the mechanism that keeps you balanced gets out of whack. The current very sound (pun not intended) medical theory says moving your head in very specific ways and sequences resets or removes problems in that mechanism.

They taught Dad some home remedy treatments, movements and exercises to do when he feels the onset of the dizziness. Now he’s in control of his equilibrium again. Pretty cool stuff!

Trained Professional, Do Not Attempt

Knowing this, when I woke up on Saturday with my world spinning, I Googled “how to do head manipulations to self-treat vertigo.” (Yay for Siri and YouTube, because reading wasn’t happening with all that whirling and spinning.)

Too many videos to choose from! I wanted fast results since I had a full day ahead of me and I felt lousy! In my hurry I kind of skipped over one very important detail and took a shortcut I shouldn’t have.

Don’t Shake the Soda Bottle

Photo by Michael Murphy (

Photo by Michael Murphy

The most critical part in doing one particular exercise, I learned the hard way, is knowing which ear is unbalanced. (You tend to feel dizzier while laying down on one side or the other.) Obviously I guessed wrong on which side needed resetting. When I finished the exercises my results were similar to what happens when you shake a bottle of Coke and then open the lid.  I immediately started puking my guts out all over a handy-dandy i.e. washable, throw rug.

That’s not the results my dad gets when he treats his vertigo.

I’d never had any dizziness this bad!

When I finally recovered enough to pull myself off the floor I moaned for MSH. He helped me get settled in to where I didn’t have to move my head or body. He placed himself at my every whim all day. What a sainted husband I have. He even stood by as I puked what was left of my insides into a garbage can.

I Would Make a Lousy Astronaut

Does NOT look fun to me! (Nasa File Photo)

Does NOT look fun to me! (Nasa File Photo)

After a day of doing nothing but sleeping and eating the occasional saltine cracker, and a few Otter Pops, my world began to stop spinning in multiple directions. The nausea stuck around another eighteen hours as a reminder of what I’d just gone through.

There’s good reason they call that plane NASA uses for anti-gravity training and experiments “the vomit comet.” I have newfound respect for what those people go through.

I decided later that day I would make a lousy astronaut. I definitely need gravity and my inner ear working in tandem to keep my balance recognizing up from down and left from right. Not to mention to keep my lunch where it belongs.

Thank goodness the world spins the way it’s supposed to, creating that magical thing called gravity, so that I can keep my two feet solidly planted and my head on straight.


* not an actual book, but makes for a catchy title don’t you think?

Categories: Gratitude, Gratituesday | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Like A Ride on the Vomit Comet, But Not

  1. Pretty sure today is Tuesday, Oct. 21 not the 18th, perhaps that is when this unfortunate event took place or did you lose a few days as a result? We’ll cut you some slack since you took one for the team and we can just experience it vicariously through your writing. Bless you! You certainly gave me something to be grateful for-vertigo sounds horrible. The head manipulation therapy sounds like a god-send, if you get it right. Hope you’ve returned to normal.


    • Back to normal by Sunday afternoon, thankfully. It felt like I lost a couple of days out of my life, but I’m always running behind anyway, what’s a four days, right? Thanks for pointing out the odd date stamp. Hopefully it’s fixed now.


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