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the ups and downs of vertigo

if you've been following my blog for a while, you might remember that i suffer from vertigo. of course, if you're a new reader to the blog, you could also just click here and read my original post about it. long story short, i get very dizzy. way dizzier than that time you stood up too quickly on an empty stomach.



now, i realise that there are way worse things i could have. i can breathe [well, mostly], i can move all my limbs, i can see and hear and do all sorts of things that i take for granted, but sometimes, having an unexpected attack of vertigo just sucks. here's why:




and i promise, those things look and feel way worse in person.

in case you hadn't guessed, those are my knees. there are also random scrapes and bruises on my elbows, arms and hands, but the knees caught the worst of it. "it" in this case being a quick introduction to the pavement outside du college metro station in montreal.

i wasn't exactly running late for work, but let's say i hadn't given myself a lot of room for error. since i knew i was in danger of missing the bus that only comes about every half hour, i bounded up the stairs at a fair clip. now, my bounding isn't like an olympic qualifying run. i was going quickly for me, but let's just say that i wasn't going to set any records for the world's fastest run up an escalator. [i'm sure it exists.] for starters, i can't run all that fast, because that triggers asthma attacks. for finishers, i'm just not that much of an athlete.

i'm telling you this because i want to make it clear that i wasn't exhausted from running or anything, just a little bit winded.

and for once, i can say that this wasn't clumsiness. i didn't hit an uneven patch or miss a step or any of the million things i normally do to injure myself. i felt what was happening and i recognised it.

basically, as soon as i exited the station, my femurs and tibias just went. i was trying to move them towards the bus, but they were wiggling in the morning breeze like overcooked linguine. and if you've ever tried to walk on stalks of cooked linguine, you know that you're not going to get very far.

"not very far" in this case took me about four yards short of the bus door, but still in full view of the driver and most of the passengers.

what was truly mortifying about this, because collapsing for no reason onto pavement in front of strangers and getting your blood everywhere isn't so bad, was that i then had to try to explain via hand gestures to the bus driver that i wanted him to wait- which he's not technically supposed to do, but let's face it, if he'd left, he'd have looked like a magna cum laude from dickhead university.

you see, when you fall from a vertigo attack, it's not like those times when you trip and get up quickly and hope no one will notice. when you're down, you stay down until your brain is good and ready to get back up. so having collapsed, my only course of action was just to lay there on the pavement for a couple of minutes, while the very non-dickhead driver watched with a sympathetic expression on his face.

so now it looks like i'll be spending a good part of summer wearing pants or long skirts, since the option is treating everyone to a nice eye full of disturbing scab. on the other hand, at least i'll have a great visual aide the next time someone asks me why i don't like to drive.

[thanks to dom for the cool poster art.]

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