Monday, April 27, 2009


A couple years ago, just before we went on a mountain biking road trip in the Lower-48, I started getting dizzy. I'd be in the shop talking to someone and lose my sense of which way was up. I'd steady myself on a counter or a bike or a fixture but the feeling of being unsteady on my feet had me worried. Probably caused by a sinus infection, my doctor figured, knowing that fall is the time of year when I historically got them. So, off I went on vacation with a bunch of drugs.

I remained unsure of my balance for several months. Wouldn't even get on a ladder. The strange thing is, I never felt off-balance when I was on my bicycle. When the vertigo returned a few days ago, I didn't want to drive to work. I just didn't feel that safe, but on my bike I had no sensation that the earth was tipping above and below me in different directions. I felt perfectly normal. And this, according to my doctor is a perfectly normal phenomenon that happens to people with vertigo.

Everyday things like walking around or looking up toward a high shelf can cause me to reach out for something solid. But when we're doing our sport, our "thing," it goes away. But I think the sensation is clouding my days a little, making it a bit tough to concentrate, like something's moving around in my head. Then this morning, the clock-radio turned on and there it was: a story about little rocks in a sack that help us keep our balance.

I'd tried some of these maneuvers before, but the link to this particular movement looked pretty simple, so I tried it. Jon watched the video and timed me as I turned my head to different positions, then sat up. But the thing is, it made it worse! It's like I took the antidote while recovering and now it's come back as strong.

So I'm walking a little slower through the house, being careful of my every move, hoping that soon my balance will be fully restored. It's like vertigo is a metaphor to my life right now... there's something to ponder!

I'm signed up to race this Sunday in the Bike for Women. Not a long race, just a nine-miler with 500 women. I'm glad I still have my balance on the bike, but I'm resetting my expectations for how fast I can be. Wish me luck.

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