Don’t Try This At Home

I suffer from a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which is triggered by certain changes in head position, such as tipping the head up to one side or the other. In my case, it’s also triggered if I lie down perfectly flat on my back.

The first time BPPV hit me, I was in my late twenties lying on my back on my waterbed and I suddenly I got very dizzy. I felt like I was on a compact dinghy in the ocean in the middle of a hurricane. Everything felt like it was spinning and before I knew it, I was vomiting into my toilet. Whoa, it was a totally surreal feeling, as I’d been on boats many times before but had never felt seasick.

These episodes of severe vertigo were recurring and I went to see my doctor about them. He referred me to a neurologist, who examined me and said that it was unmistakable that I was suffering from BPPV. He told me not to worry because it’s not so much a serious medical condition as it is an annoyance and it usually can be controlled by avoiding those positions that trigger the vertigo, including lying in the supine position. Still, he sent me to get a head scan in order to rule out any kind of brain tumor.

Fortunately, the scan was negative, and I was happy to not have to have a chunk of my brain removed. But still, when these bouts with vertigo hit me, they were more than just an annoyance. They were disabling to the point that I’d have to get in bed and sleep it off and hope that when I woke up, my vertigo would be gone. And that was the case most of the time.

I have learned to avoid putting my head in positions that bring on vertigo, but sometimes it’s almost unavoidable. Then I read about something called the Epley maneuver. It’s a type of exercise that helps to treat the symptoms of BPPV, and, of course, my interest was immediately piqued.

The Epley Maneuver

I called my ENT, the one who operated on my ear to remove a growth in my middle ear a few years back, but I found out that he had retired shortly after doing my surgery. They referred me to one of his associates and I told him that I wanted him to perform the Epley maneuver on me pronto. But he was booked up for the next four months and rebuffed me when I tried to bribe him to see me sooner.

But then I heard that there are videos on YouTube that show you how to do the Epley maneuver by yourself in the comfort of your own home. I persuaded my wife to assist me and we walked through the steps as shown in the YouTube videos.

Almost immediately after step 1, I got very dizzy. I felt like I was on a compact dinghy in the ocean in the middle of a hurricane. Everything felt like it was spinning and before I knew it, I was vomiting into my toilet.

My advice: don’t try this at home. I’ve set up an appointment next week with a different doctor who said he would perform the Epley maneuver on me in his office. Wish me luck!

This mostly factual post, but with a few small embellishments thrown in, was written for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (compact), Scott’s Daily Prompt (whoa), My Vivid Blog (unmistakable), Your Daily Word Prompt (supine), Ragtag Daily Prompt (chunk), Word of the Day Challenge (pique), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (pronto), and E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (bribe).

Fibbing Friday — Valentine’s Day Edition

Frank (aka PCGuy) and Di (aka Pensitivity101) alternate as hosts for Fibbing Friday, a silly little exercise where we are to write a post with our answers to the ten questions below. But as the title suggests, truth is not an option. The idea is to fib a little, a lot, tell whoppers, be inventive, silly, or even outrageous, in our responses. Today is Frank’s turn and he wants to know…

  1. Why is St. Valentine’s Day observed on February 14th? Because that was the date that Frankie Valentine was elected as the first president of the American Heart Association charity.
  2. According to legend, what is supposed to happen if a groundhog sees his shadow on February 2nd? The groundhog gets so scared that its little groundhog heart stops beating and it dies on the spot.
  3. Whether you call it Mardi Gras or Pancake Day, what is the day after “Fat Tuesday” called? Vomiting Day.
  4. What does Presidents Day commemorate? The day that the Presidents Cup horse race is run every year at Churchill Downs.
  5. What is the story of “Beauty & the Beast” about really? Sonny and Cher.
  6. What allows Peter Pan to fly? A tab of blotter acid (aka LSD).
  7. Why did the princess kiss the frog? To cure her of warts.
  8. What is “Pinocchio” about? It’s about a man who took a Viagra pill and whose erection lasted for more than four hours but who chose to not go to the doctor.
  9. Why did Little Boy Blue need to blow his horn? Because he was auditioning to be a member of a jazz and blues band.
  10. Why did Jack and Jill go up the hill? They went up the hill to do yoga and to meditate.

Friday Fictioneers — Out To Pasture

“Hey Emery,” Raymond said to his old friend. “Whatever happened to that old, light green Ford flatbed truck you used to have back in the day?”

“Oh, you mean old Nellybelle?” Emery said. “I finally had to put that old workhorse out to pasture.”

“So you traded her in, huh?” Raymond asked.

“Nah, I didn’t trade her in, Raymond,” Emery said. “She wasn’t worth a bucket of spit at the end.”

“So you junked her?” Raymond asked.

“Nah,” Emery said. “Like I told you, I put her out to pasture. Literally. She’s sitting out in the pasture behind the barn.”

(100 words)

Written for Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ Friday Fictioneers prompt. Photo credit: Bill Reynolds.

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — February 11th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 11th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on February 11, 2018.

Sunday Photo Fiction — Room at the End of the Hall


“It’s the door at the end of the hallway on the third floor,” the guy in the glass-enclosed reception station at the rundown boarding house said. He reached through a small opening in the glass partition and handed Eddie the key. “The one with the fire extinguisher on the floor just outside the door,” the guy added.

“What a fuckin’ dump,” Eddie said aloud, even though he was alone, as he opened the door and stepped inside the room. Eddie’s gambling addiction had cost him his job, his marriage, and his home. And so here he was in a small, smelly room at some crummy flop house.

Eddie had paid for the room for a week in advance and couldn’t afford to lose what little money he had left on another bet. So he was happy that the room he had rented didn’t have a TV in it. If it had, he knew he’d be watching the Winter Olympic Games and calling his bookie to bet on Team USA in one or another event.

But then Eddie walked over to the small window, opened it, looked out, and saw the sports bar across the street.

“Fuck me,” he said.

(199 words)

Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction prompt. Photo credit: J Hardy Carroll.

FOWC with Fandango — Pronto


It’s February 11, 2022. Welcome to Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (aka, FOWC). I will be posting each day’s word just after midnight Pacific Time (U.S.).

Today’s word is “pronto.”

Write a post using that word. It can be prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction. It can be any length. It can be just a picture or a drawing if you want. No holds barred, so to speak.

Once you are done, tag your post with #FOWC and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Please check to confirm that your pingback is there. If not, please manually add your link in the comments.

And be sure to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this prompt. You will marvel at their creativity.