Not well – but I think all is well

I’m not well. It comes and goes a bit, wave-like. This is why I started wondering whether it might be breakthrough delta at some point, but I don’t think it is. Keep reading.

It started at the end of August, with sudden vertigo. The world was spinning. I had been working with a solvent-free glue at the time, making bookmarks out of plastic packaging and other materials, and I initially blamed it on the glue. It’s happened to me that I spent a few days in total dizziness, unable to attend the farewell do for a researcher at the National Oceanography Centre who was returning to Croatia, because someone near me had been spraying walls with a substance intended to waterproof them and stop rain from getting into the walls. (The real problem was condensation. They should have asked me because I could have told them. They also replaced parts of the roof. Instead of fix a non-existing leak they started one. Expensive!)

But it didn’t stop after I finished working with the glue.

I noticed that I was very slow, mentally. I had a headache. I was mixing up words from different languages, sometimes using the wrong words. Yikes. One morning, I wanted to say “Did you have a good time?” and out came something like “blubabat”.

I had some brain fog some time after the second Covid jab, but it likely had more to do with the lockdowns and lack of exercise and vitamins and minerals than with the jab. I couldn’t recall the names Jane Goodall and David Attenborough, repeatedly, and probably a few others. That does not worry me. I had a time like that when I was in my mid-twenties too. I would open my mouth to say “Hi, John” and then stop because I couldn’t remember that John’s name was John. Someone told me that it was stress-related and that it would pass. It did. She also advised me to look after my vitamin and mineral intake. I did.

A week before the vertigo, I had hit my head very hard, several times in a row, when I was doing a litter pick under a curved metal railing. Curved to deter people from climbing over it, said my friend Bernadette in Amsterdam. Curved so that I was in danger of hitting my head every time I got up from using my Bentley litter-picker to reach through the railing and retrieve items from the slope at the bottom of which were water and mud and wildlife. I am pretty sure that I stopped after I hit my head for the fourth time. It was very unpleasant.

I discovered that there is something called a subacute subdural hematoma? Was that it? Or was this Covid-related, perhaps, either breakthrough delta or a delayed drawn-out response to the second jab?

I also had trouble walking.

(That’s partly related to tendonitis but I think it mostly has to do with the dizziness, with the brain focusing more on keeping me walking straight than on keeping me walking fluidly.)

I slept 10-12 hours for a few days. Sleep seemed to help, and so did food as did and do delta wave binaural beats (that’s the brain’s calm sleep pattern).

The headache gradually subsided to feeling as if I had just been hit on the head, then to pangs in all sorts of places in the head.

It also happened to be the case that I had just developed some tendonitis in my right leg and that my nerves were getting caught, probably in my spine, and that my lower back was hurting off and on. The nerve issue is relatively easy to deal with by making tai chi-like movements in the morning that serve to floss the nerves. The tendonitis is not helpful but the easy-does-it approach (resting the tendon) and the passage of time will likely take care of it.

I was also badly dehydrated, I realised, and drank a lot of water to remedy that. I do get dehydrated from time to time and in the past year, there were two occasions on which it got far too hot in the flat. The first time, it stayed over 30 degrees C for too many days, also during the night, and it felt like my brain was being fried. A horrible feeling. Awful.

It’s been about two-and-a-half weeks now. The dizziness still has not disappeared even though it’s much better. (It’s like being inebriated without being inebriated.)

I think it’s Menière’s disease. What gave it away is the fact that I now have a two-note ringing in my ear (head), like some of those cars do when they reverse. Whee-ooh-whee-ooh. It’s not as regular as that although there does seem to be some kind of pattern to it. (Fractal? Ha ha.)

I have had a monotone ringing and sometimes a hiss for years.

It adds up and it may all go back to normal, be part of an adjustment process.

My Eustachian tubes had been giving me some trouble for a while. I had a left ear infection at the end of 2008 and there’s been a lot of clogging off and on. Crackling, too. In my right ear too.

But there’s more and it’s not negative. My sinuses are opening up, those Eustachian tubes are clearing and that’s why I think the dizziness may be an adjustment process.

I had an immensely strong almost instant sinus response to the first Covid jab. There’s also been some improvement to the circulation in that area; I broke my nose during a traffic accident at age 17 and there seems to be some vein or artery damage that affects the tip of my nose, but that has improved since I got my first Covid jab.

There’s more. I recently got new glasses. Thankfully, large glasses are in fashion at the moment. I am near-sighted. Small glasses force your eyes to accommodate like crazy and it puts strain on the eye muscles and makes you squeeze your eyes. It’s one reason why I like contact lenses. My IOP has dropped. It dropped big time. I intuitively stopped using my eye drops – it was not a conscious decision at first – and my IOP dropped after that. It’s only now slowly going up again, so I will resume using my eye drops. (Their activity has two components; only one works on the eye muscles and they also take different time periods to work.)

Side note: There are studies about the problem of non-compliance with eye drop use. As there is habituation – the eye gets used to the drops and responds less to them – the occasional lapse in use does not have to be a bad thing!

On top of that, I had just started using Ca and Vitamin D, which I think I really needed now. (I sometimes get Mg out of Maalox and need to keep that in mind.) I spotted a paper that reported a blood pressure drop of as much as 9.3% in women – which is major – after taking Ca and Vitamin D but I didn’t read the paper so I probably shouldn’t even mention this.

I didn’t notice any extra dizziness when getting up from sitting or picking something up from the floor. My heart beat changed too, became much less forceful, but that may be because I had become so dehydrated. I think I’d been retaining water at times (denting), had lost most of my ability to sweat and I also think that my temperature sensation was off. I had noticed, when it was so hot indoors, that you no longer notice that it’s hot, at all. You only notice it when you go outside – where it’s much cooler – and then come back inside again. (My flat can also be really cold relative to outside.)

Did I mention that I’ve also started irrigating my nasal passages with saline again recently? That too can really help. I should also add that these eye drops to keep IOP under control tend to lead to coughing and sinus clogging, though pressing one’s tear ducts shut after administration helps somewhat. It’s why I remain highly interested in surgical options for my pigment dispersion syndrome. Finally, gallbladder congestion can also result in allergy and sinus issues – including sneezing – and my digestion has also improved big time recently.

So overall, many things are actually improving. I am hopeful that this dizziness is an adjustment to my sinuses clearing.

My ears are certainly peculiar. The balance part. I for example clearly remember that when we took a small motorboat to the uninhabited island of Ekö from the harbor of Loftahammar in Sweden in the summer of 1989, I continued to feel as if I was still out at sea a long time after I’d stepped out of that boat again in Loftahammar.

But then again, I don’t get seasick easily either. I’ve been at sea in really rough weather and I only recall one occasion on which I had a bit of trouble dealing with the very high seas. That happened to be the last time I was out at sea so my Eustachian tubes may have already been clogged somewhat at the time.

The headaches aren’t gone yet but are subsiding and I am certainly much more alert than I was for a few days one or two weeks ago.

Fingers crossed. I think I’ll be as right as rain again soon. Time will tell.

Now here is the thing that you need to know about me. When something is going wrong in my body, my brain often starts screaming bloody murder. That is just how my brain works. It gets all angry and panicky and dramatic, even sometimes over minor hiccups. It’s like a race horse, that brain of mine. The brain serves to protect us and make us function. I’ve sensed that for the first time a long time ago and felt it was wonderful to be able to rely on it that it would do all sorts of things for me without me needing to keep track of it consciously. It would notice and store all sorts of data and retrieve them for me when I needed them and it would make me do certain things – feel sleepy – because it was looking out for me and when I was feeling under the weather, it would continue to do certain things for me anyway even if I was not feeling up to it. Something like that. (It’s been too long ago for me to remember what exactly it was that I became aware of at the time, what it was that I noticed.)

When all is going well in our bodies, the brain is content and at ease and we say “Oh, I am feeling happy.” When something is going wrong, the brain gets upset and we may feel that we’re angry. Sometimes we are. Happy or angry. When I get angry after people abuse me, that sure is real anger. At other times, it’s just a message from our brain to our consciousness. (There are other ways in which the brain tries to tell you things. If you are constantly bumping into a certain piece of furniture, it could be a sign that you need to move that piece of furniture a mere one inch. It can also be that your brain is trying to tell you that something is not right at or near the spot in your body that bumps into that piece of furniture.)

Apart from that, there are also for example cultural issues that play a role in how we feel. In some countries, a death of a loved one is a tragic loss. In other countries, it’s an occasion for treasured cherished memories and feelings of gratitude.

Anyway, I could do without the not-necessarily-as-hilarious-as-some-people-seem-to-think local stuff. I’ll make a separate post about this in a minute. Thanks for reading.

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