This is what knocked me for six getting on for two weeks ago, and stole an entire week of my life. A virus. Well, not so much the virus itself, but the condition it left me with.
It started with what I can only describe as a panic attack in my sleep. All of a sudden I had a hundred images rush at me in my subconscious and I woke gasping for breath and comfort. Then I was utterly overwhelmed by a feeling of nausea, followed by severe room spin, just like having one or six too many as a student.
The problem is the room spin didn't go away. Despite having - ahem - emptied my stomach, the nausea wasn't quelled either. And so it began. Labyrinthitis. A condition which affects the inner ear, and thus balance, caused by a virus.
Steve called the doctor out, who gave me some anti-nausea, anti-dizziness tablets, which would help suppress the symptoms slightly, but essentially I had to just wait for it to pass, which could be 4 days, could be 3 weeks.
All I could do, and the only way I could keep the spinning head at bay, was to lie in bed in the dark with my eyes closed, with no light, no noise and no movement. Thankfully I was too ill to find this as dull as it sounds!
After three days, whether down to time or tablets, I could at least stay awake a little, speak to Steve and the children (although the tinnitus and hearing loss made listening to a reply tricky!), and finally drink a little water. After five days I could eat a little, and on the sixth day I managed to get out of bed. Only to lie on the sofa, but by then any change of scene was good!
Now, nearly two weeks later, I have just stopped the tablets, having cut them down from three a day to one. I am functioning fairly normally, although going out for the first time yesterday was hard work due to feeling so weak, but also because I still can't really look down without feelng dizzy and as if I'm going to 'go'.
I still can't read or type for too long, and some TV programmes set it off, particularly anything with fast-moving images or flashing lights, and heights (even if on TV!) look like a no go for the moment. But I am definitely better than I was, and I wouldn't wish that condition on anyone, it was/is truly horrible.
The worst part about it is that, once you've had Labyrinthitis, it's one of those things that stays dormant in the body and can recur at any time. So I will be upping my vitamins & minerals, and particularly iron, as apparently a deficiency can contribute to an attack. I really don't want that again.
Thank you so much to everyone who has sent their good wishes, they were relayed, and much appreciated, Lx
N.B. This - thankfully - has nothing to do with David Bowie and that fright wig, although watching the dodgy film Labyrinth may well bring on symptoms of Labyrinthitis... Be warned! ;-)