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Life With Vertigo

If you have vertigo, and insist on living your life as usual, expect to embarrass yourself — and expect people to laugh at you. Today in the teacher’s lounge I was walking south while looking north and talking over my shoulder. I turned forward just in time to miss the hall doorway and walk into the wall. I saw the wall. I knew I was going to walk into it. And there wasn’t a dang thing I could do to stop myself.

I’d also like to mention, when suffering from vertigo, if you feel yourself falling, do not grab a swivel stool for support. And, if you absolutely must grab the swivel stool, don’t do it in front of 23 ten year-old students who will instantly point out — loudly and in unison — what an idiotic choice that was.

Also, don’t trust curbs. They change height without warning. One second they are four inches high, the next they are six inches high. I don’t know why the parent who watched me gracefully stumble over the curb, lurch across the sidewalk and bounce face-first into the chain-link fence didn’t report me for drinking on the job. I can only surmise that she plans to attempt blackmail at some later date.

My students are acting like adults. I went to pour myself a cup of coffee. Jasmine says, “Miss, that’s hot. You are just going to hurt yourself. Sit down. I’ll bring it to you.” Pansy Petite says, “You shouldn’t be walking with those scissors. You are going to hurt someone.” Rick says, “Here, let me open your milk carton. You’re just going to spill it.”

The good news is, this morning I finally get to see the doctor. I have a 10:30 a.m. appointment. Since I have over 160 sick days banked, I took the entire day off. With any luck, I won’t spend all of it sitting in the waiting room. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Quilly is the pseudonym of Charlene L. Amsden, who lives on The Big Island in Hawaii. When she is not hanging out with Amoeba, she is likely teaching or sewing. Or she could be cooking, taking photographs, or even writing. But if she's not doing any of that, she's probably on Facebook or tinkering with her blog.


  1. Morning Quill. I have vertigo so bad, that not only can I feel faint watching a movie, I can have vertigo just thinking about a situation. I walk into doors all the time. I bounce though. I’ll be at the doctor’s in a couple of hours myself, I don’t have any sick days though. Good luck.

  2. Brian — I am sorry to hear you are suffering from this, too. Lurching through life isn’t a lot of fun. I hope our respective docs can set us upright and walking straight again.

  3. Mike — I just looked up Meniere’s Disease. You know, you shouldn’t do that to a person on her way to the doc … I seem to have ALL the symptoms, but I didn’t have them before the sinus problem … I think ….

  4. Get better soon!! At least you have a fantastic sense of humor about all of it.

    You have to get better soon. Polite fifth graders??? They have to be up to something. Either that or they have an excellent teacher. 😉

  5. Brig — laughter is easier to live with then tears. My students love me — it’s the laughter thing — and they all want to be my mommy. Well, Pansy doesn’t count. I’m pretty sure she’s 35 and only pretending to be 10.

  6. Hope you can get fixed up quick and easy but I suggest pretending to still have vertigo in class. Sounds like the kids are looking out for you.

  7. Oh, Doug — now there’s a thought: 23 short people catering to my every whim.? Hmmm …. I’m off to the doctor as soon as I post this comment. Now I have something to mull-over while waiting.

  8. get well soon, quill. i’m glad your sense of humor hasn’t left you 🙂

    (off record: grrr… i’m so pissed. blogger’s down again! you did well to leave it altogether)

  9. Dear Quilly, I have followed your advice and switched over to wordpress….and I am so lost. Please help, I’m holding you responsible.

    Your friend…Sil.

  10. I too have vertigo, I bounce off walls and furniture and floors and that’s just on my way to the bathroom at night! I am the only person I know who has litterally tripped over my own two feet and fallen and broken my foot…not once, not twice, but three times! Ok so I have vertigo and I am clutz and my name is Jan.

  11. Kat — I do have an outstanding group of kids this year.

    Polona — WordPress awaits ….

    Silver — check your email …

    Jan — I suppose even when the vertigo goes away, I can still claim it to explain my perpetual clumsiness.

    Cindy — I got used to my bifocals inside of a week. THIS I could never get used to!

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