Katherine Hayton | The latest fad
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22 Nov / The latest fad

Eight years ago when I experienced my first bout of Vertigo there were very few people around me with whom I could compare symptoms. I had the weird fortune of having a disease which nobody else seemed to have had.

This meant a few things. First, I could make stuff up about how awful it was because who was there to contradict me? Second, I could offer up my own recuperation period for exactly the same reason.

I greatly enjoyed the week I had at home to recover. Especially the three days after all my symptoms disappeared.

Also, because this happened in the distant past, people weren’t in the habit of looking everything up on the Internet in the same way they do now. Doctor Google and his cancerous tumour answer for everything was still a thing of the future.

Nowadays, I’d be hard pressed to get away with the same level of deception.

Which is a pity because I’ve had the unluck to fall ill with vertigo twice in the past year. Each bout worse than the last. It does make it easy on my doctor to prescribe medication because it’s already sitting on her computer screen. My disease recurred with such haste it didn’t even drop to the second page.

Last week my darling’s mother became poorly. Well, she became poorly twice earlier, but they were things which could be addressed at the doctor’s office at her inconvenience the way treatment should be administered.

In fact, just hours before calling for an ambulance, she’d been sitting in the after-hours clinic having a hair pulled out of her eye. If she’d just stayed put for a few hours there wouldn’t have been half the drama.

But that’s in crystal clear hindsight.

After becoming dizzy for a while during the day, she laid down to have a rest which made her feel far worse rather than far better. You know you’re ill when lying in bed doesn’t cure you.

After the ambulance was called and the patient sent to hospital they discovered her blood pressure was out of control and my darling settled in for a long wait.

The cause of this illness? Vertigo.

Been there, done that. Without the blood pressure bigness. Unless it got really high and I just didn’t notice because I didn’t ever think to take a reading.

In the days that followed it turned out that most of her village had experienced vertigo. Many of them within the past few months as well (if their memories can be trusted).

After that, a woman on the radio started blathering on about how she’d been feeling sick for the past week or so and what did she have? Yes, that’s right. Give the man a cigar.

Common illnesses aren’t any fun at all. You can’t exaggerate a symptom that everyone else is experiencing. The recovery time can’t be stretched out into a nice comfortable allowance.

It’s like getting a cold in the middle of winter. Right when everybody else in the office has one. You sneeze and cough and feel as bad as anyone has ever felt – even yourself when experiencing colds in the past because no way have they ever been this bad, right? – but nobody cares because they’re all wrapped up in their own disease and every time you complain of something they have exactly the same thing. Even when you exaggerate for sympathetic effect they have it. And they’re NOT lying.

So, no more vertigo for me for the time being. Until it goes back to being a disease of comforting rarity I will expect my immune system to get on board and go find something a bit more exotic. Go fetch!

By Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog

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