It was sometime in the middle of the night. I was asleep on my back. I turned over to my left side, and I felt this weird sensation. I felt like the room was moving. This can’t be! I thought.
I opened my eyes, and the room was spinning to the left. I quickly flipped to my back. I saw the room twirling to the left at merry-go-round speed. I began to panic and at the same time feel nauseated. I quickly closed my eyes but still felt like I was moving. Or was it the room that was moving?
Afraid to open my eyes, I just lay there. As still as I could. Then I slowly gathered the courage to open my eyes again. The room was still going by in a counterclockwise direction but not as fast this time. I forced myself to keep my eyes open, and the room movement slowed. The merry-go-round was coming to a stop. And then it stopped.
Vertigo Is Back
I lay there not wanting to have any of this happen again. I was breathing rapidly. I was panicked.
My first thought was, This was a one-off weird thing that just happened to me. I’m fine now. But I knew better. I have had vertigo before, but this was different. In the past when I experienced it, the room would wobble. Now the room was spinning. I knew it was back. Oh no, my vertigo was back.
I started to assess how this might change my life. Could I read? I picked up my Kindle to see if I could focus. If I didn’t move at all and kept perfectly still, I could read. But if I moved, the words on the page wobbled.
Could I Stand?
I flipped my feet off the bed to the floor. No vertigo. I froze then stood up. As I walked to the bathroom, the room felt bouncy. With each step, the room went up and down a bit. By the time I got to the toilet, everything was normal again.
My mind raced. What about driving? Could I ride my motorcycle? Would I be able to take a walk? Play golf? Sit and enjoy a meal? Meet with people and be able to concentrate? Write?
I returned to bed and settled onto my back very deliberately. I decided to test my vertigo by turning on my right side this time. As I began to roll over, I felt the room begin to move again.
I decided to stay on my back and try to get some sleep. I prayed, “God, please heal me. Take this from me. Return me to normal. Allow me to function as I did before.”
I Slept Fitfully
When I finally woke up, I went straight to my home office. I sat in my easy chair and started to pray, “Lord, fix me.” I needed to call Sanford Bennett, my chiropractor. He fixed this problem years ago, and I desperately hoped he could fix it now. I called him at 7 a.m. on Palm Sunday. He didn’t answer so I left a message communicating my sense of desperation. I went back to praying.
He called at 8:22 a.m. He told me to come to his office right then. I got in the car and decided to take my time getting there. I wasn’t sure of myself. If vertigo returned while driving, I would surely wreck the car. He adjusted my neck which is the source of the problem due to an old injury. I rested in his office for thirty minutes and hoped I was on the way back to normal.
All day I was afraid to lie down, to be horizontal. I was in a constant conversation with God. My thoughts bounced between imagining losing my independence and recapturing my life as I knew it. But the time came when I had to go to bed, and I was all right. Not perfect, as there was still some movement, but the merry-go-round sensation was gone. Thank you, Lord!
Change Will Come
I’m still experiencing vertigo, but now it isn’t nearly as bad as that first night. But it has me thinking how quickly my life can change. And not change a little but a lot.
- Some changes, like aging, happen slowly over the years.
- Some changes hit full force like the flu.
- Some changes impact our lives for a few days.
- Some, like cancer, last for a season.
- Some affect us for the rest of our lives.
I now know the change from normal will come. I just don’t know when.
I Must Serve Him
When it hits, I will live a new normal. A normal with less freedom to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I am resigned to this. In the midst of this confusion and prayer, God spoke to me. My life is lived in sickness or health to serve him.
What I can and cannot do is irrelevant. My purpose does not change. In fact, the greater my physical changes, the more I rely on God and the less I rely on myself. It is through his power that his purpose is accomplished through me. It is not me. It is all God.
Happy Easter. Christ has risen!
Also published on Medium.