Monday, May 09, 2011

Vertigo, again

It's been a long while, but over the weekend I had another case of vertigo. It was in the evening and at first we were blaming it on the extra large (venti) Mocha Chip Frappuccino I had. Even though it was made with decaffeinated coffee, it was still a lot of sugar. Looking back at it now though, I don't think the frap really had much to do with it at all.

Vertigo is a pretty weird thing to experience. Basically, every time I moved my head I would experience a strong 'spinning' sensation that would make me dizzy, even nauseous until I could get it settled down. It was worst when I would go from a standing position to laying down - or vice versa.

Luckily I didn't have the other, more worrisome symptoms that can sometimes go with vertigo - ones that might indicate something far worse, like stroke or multiple sclerosis. I was and currently can still move my eyes to look lower than the mid-point, I did not have any loss of feeling on one side of my body, etc. For me, this was just plain old boring vertigo. About the only other possible diagnosis might be Menier's Disease, but that's so rare that I don't even consider it a real possibility. Also, there is nothing temporary about my hearing loss (one of the symptoms).

It was something that was a little controllable too - I knew that if I was standing, I should stay standing, for example. I was able to run out to pick up some takeout food and made it back home without incident. Of course, I didn't plan on taking a nap at the restaurant, so I was ok. Also, after settling down on the bed again, I waited for the spinning to stop and then I was generally ok - I was even able to play some Minecraft without getting dizzy. It isn't something that was visually stimulated - it was stimulated by head movements.

Ok, that's probably more words than I thought I would write about my vertigo this weekend. I can't remember the last time it happened, so I figured I should post something here and tag it for future reference.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Remembering Derek Miller

Almost three weeks ago I was having coffee with Bill and he was telling me about his plans for later that day. Bill was going to visit Derek, presumably for the last time. Derek, a mutual friend of ours, was suffering from colon cancer and was in the final stages. (warning, the link for Derek might not load right away. His website is getting a LOT of traffic right now and you might have to try again later.)

Anyway, at that time I asked Bill to pass on my regards to Derek, as I knew that I already had my final, albeit brief visit with Derek, back at his living wake. While the wake was a raucous success, Derek was struggling with an epic case of laryngitis that left him virtually voiceless, and with literally hundreds of his friends and family in attendance, he had time for a quick hug and about 3 minutes of conversation. It was his night, he was in rare form and it was all I needed. Then he was on to the next friend, chatting quickly, embracing and riding a euphoric wave well into the night.

Derek passed away last night, at home, as was his plan. We all knew this was coming, there were no surprises, yet coming into work today and finding out still felt like a punch to the gut. Derek made the best out of a terrible situation and managed to die with dignity and grace - even while openly blogging about the diapers and other gruesome details about his disease. His decision to blog about his cancer came from an honest place and resounded with thousands of followers worldwide. The final post was written in advance and posted on his behalf, but the words are all his. I encourage you to check it out - it's linked above.

I knew Derek K. Miller while he was alive, and I will remember him long after his passing.