The Helium In My Head

So it will be 20 days tomorrow. When I woke up on the morning of May 6th, I couldn’t stand, my chest was tight, my head was spinning and nausea rolled over me, wave after wave. The Urgent Care center thought it might be a stroke so I spent the night in the hospital. After a dozen or so tests, including CT Scans and MRIs, they said it wasn’t a stroke and sent me home with a swat on my ass, telling me to hydrate, don’t operate heavy machinery and follow up with my Primary Care physician.

Doctor D sent me to an ENT as the consensus was BPPV (Benign Persistent Positional Vertigo)… well, after a dozen more tests there yesterday, that’s not it either. She said I needed to be more thoroughly tested for a neurological explanation—back to a possible stroke, perhaps a micro neurological event.

The good news is my inner ear is not the cause of my dizziness, slow speech and thought processes, and the persistent nausea. That’s also the bad news. If it was in fact a micro stroke I will have to retrain myself to balance. And my beautiful Gretel, who is only weeks away from having to return to chemo is playing chauffeur and nurse maid to me. Fuck my life.

One of the tests yesterday at the ENT office, was a warm air irrigation of the inner ear canals. At about 30 seconds the vertigo began (as expected) then lingered for five or ten minutes afterward. Then the other ear got its equally destabilizing attack. And ever since, the dizziness is substantially worse. That was 24 hours ago.

I wondered if instead of warm air, the doctor had used warm helium and only stopped after my head was full. The effect isn’t quite enough to get me off the ground but it sure makes my head feel lighter. I should have warned her there were large voids inside my head where the gas could get trapped. But hey, I’m working under diminished capacity here–not really my fault.

So, what to do, what to do? Well, I’m writing. That’s a start. Gretel is at the farm packing up the last of her pottery studio and bringing it home to our house in town. I don’t want to jinx anything, but it looks like we’ve finally sold the farm. If all goes as planned (and when in the last year has everything NOT gone as planned), we should be back in cereal and gas for the foreseeable future. No more having to worry about or lament the fall from the best sellers lists.

But we’re going to miss that farm. It was my retirement gift to Gretel. It had everything she loved; a river, organic gardens, forest, fields of wild flowers, a pottery studio I built for her, and chickens…she loved the chickens.

For me I had a fully outfitted woodshop to build furniture and boxes, though to be honest, once I started writing I didn’t use it often. I liked having space to target shoot. I’m a little bit of a gun nut (not much, but enough to make prowlers nervous). But more than that, I got to see my Gretel happy every day. Yeah…we’re going to miss the farm.

Anyway, there wasn’t really a point to this post. If I don’t write something up here every week or so, I start getting private messages from friends and fans asking if I’m okay. Yeah…I’m okay. We’re moving along, putting one foot in front of the other (though at the moment, Gretel is doing it more steadily and more often than I am.)

We’ll keep going until we can’t go anymore. Then one of us will tug on the other for a while, trying to get a few more steps. That’s what people in love do…drag the best out of each other.

8 thoughts on “The Helium In My Head

  1. Helium in your head is better than the “Lunatic” in your head!
    as they say in Scotland ‘Lang may yer Lum reek’ long may you live…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your books and am looking forward to the next Scott Wolfe adventure. However real life and the health of you and Gretel come first. Hope you are both getting better.

    Liked by 1 person

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