At that point I awoke from sleeping on my right side (which I normally never do because it tends to hurt my jaw). My jaw did not hurt but when I opened my eyes everything was spinning horribly. I shut my eyes again and tried to roll over onto my back. Still spinning and spinning. I shut my eyes for a few more minutes on my back and then tried to sit up a few inches slowly. More spinning. This cycle of me trying to gently reposition myself or sit up went on for about a half hour or so before it finally subsided. I managed to get in a few sips of water and about half a bottle of boost that had been sitting on my nightstand and once the dizziness had passed I fell back asleep for about five more hours but did not lay back down and slept sitting up the rest of the morning because I was afraid the vertigo might recur. All in all I slept for a total of ten hours last night (that's a lot of sleep for me in the same night!) although it was broken up for about an hour so make that two five hour naps. Around noon I woke up groggy and exhausted from another dream where I was jogging and then watching hula dancers walk on water beachside at sunset. Not a scary dream but supernatural and vivid nonetheless. What did I watch before bedtime to elicit such vivid dreams? Nothing but an episode of 'What Not to Wear,' harmless and largely lighthearted entertainment in my book. I never watch anything too heavy before bedtime because I know I'm prone to nightmares.
What scares me much more than the nightmares though, was the vertigo I experienced last night. I have grown used to being lightheaded and experiencing the all-too-familiar pre-syncope sensation but this dizziness was spinning, violent, uncontrollable. Normally when I feel a little dizzy it is relieved by laying down flat. This vertigo was not. Something similar happened to me when I awakened in the early morning a year or so ago but the spinning didn't last this long. I can't help but wonder what caused it considering my blood pressure and heart rate appeared to be normal even while dizzy according to my accurate automatic monitor. My gut instinct tells me this episode wasn't blood pressure related. When it happened to me once before a physical therapist told me there were these inner ear crystals inside everyone's head that sometimes detach and cause positional vertigo. There is no definitive test for these elusive ear crystals and no real treatment except to try to reposition the crystals back into a normal place to alleviate the vertigo. There are also other more serious causes like Meniere's Disease which is apparently quite rare. Then again, so is ehlers-danlos syndrome and POTS, both of which I am afflicted with, so I never know what other rare illness might strike.
My theory at this point, although not incredibly scientific, is that I may have somehow cut off the circulation in my own neck during my sleep because of the odd position that I woke up in and the fact that the ultra-firm pillow was uncomfortably pressed into my neck. I have been vertigo-free the rest of the day once it subsided. I have also remained upright all day because I am scared to get it again. Every time a strange and debilitating new symptom like this occurs I live in fear that it will return again, or worse, that it may never go away. That's what I was thinking this morning as I had to lay there perfectly still in silence with my eyes shut held hostage by the violent vertigo.
Hopefully this attack was random and will never happen again. My sleep had been getting so much easier lately and I finally felt like I had a handle on it until now. Now I am scared to go to bed for fear of waking up to another vertigo attack. I really hope it is not somehow related to my ears. If I lose my hearing and balance I will not be a happy camper. All I can think on days like these is wow, I must have been quite a terrible person in a past life to deserve all this! Maybe I'm being a tad dramatic here but really. Can't I be done dealing with new medical conditions for now? The two majorly debilitating ones I have already are quite enough to manage.