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).

41 thoughts on “Don’t Try This At Home

  1. newepicauthor February 11, 2022 / 4:29 pm

    This sounds awful and that must suck when it happens to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Maggie February 11, 2022 / 4:49 pm

    The Epley maneuver can easily be done by a qualified physical therapist. They changed my life!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. JT Twissel February 11, 2022 / 5:15 pm

    I remember my first panic attack. I was positive I was having a stroke – scary!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 11, 2022 / 10:05 pm

      I bet it was!


  4. Paula Light February 11, 2022 / 5:27 pm

    I do gentle head turns while flat on the floor, 30 seconds one side then the other. I hardly ever have vertigo attacks now…

    Liked by 3 people

  5. RuthScribbles February 11, 2022 / 6:10 pm

    I know EPPLY, I’ve done it myself! Finally one doctor shared a modified version that I was able to do. I hope your doctor helps! It’s an awful thing!! Do an internet search for “ Brandt & Daroff Exercises Patient handout.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lolsy's Library February 11, 2022 / 6:30 pm

    Oh my goodness, I’ve never heard of this before. It must be life affecting all sorts of horrible.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sadje February 11, 2022 / 6:45 pm

    I hope the procedure helps you Fandango. You’re right, one cannot do it by yourself at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. donmatthewspoetry February 11, 2022 / 6:55 pm

    This is not the usual post from you Fan You’ve always written ficticious stories to prompts. To me, throwing in prompts distracted from something which was meant to be serious. Write prompts to fiction. But that’s just me Fan…….

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 11, 2022 / 7:14 pm

      Your constructive criticism is appreciated, Don.


      • donmatthewspoetry February 11, 2022 / 7:32 pm

        Thanks. Whenever you communicate with someone you’ve never met there is always ‘hesitation’. I’m now at a stage of life when i say what I think. Of course, having learnt in the past what not to say………

        Liked by 1 person

  9. bushboy February 11, 2022 / 9:51 pm

    Quite horrible. Don’t forget to take a bucket when you see the Dr 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Books & Bonsai February 12, 2022 / 12:40 am

    I have this too, caused by an imbalance in the middle ear. Epley never worked for me, so now I have a mild medication that opens up the affected tubes in my ear…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Mister Bump UK February 12, 2022 / 12:56 am

    Mrs Bump suffers periodically from bouts of vertigo. There are indeed exercises, but you have to do them either to the left or the right, depending on… god knows!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nope, Not Pam February 12, 2022 / 1:50 am

    Nope, Jack and Jill went up the hill to captured the vampire.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 12, 2022 / 6:43 am

      What was the vampire doing on the hill?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nope, Not Pam February 12, 2022 / 4:16 pm

        It was part of a fractured fairy tale I wrote at uni

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Terveen Gill February 12, 2022 / 7:22 am

    It must be so tough to deal with this. I hope you can find something to offer you relief. Take care. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Michael B. Fishman February 12, 2022 / 11:11 am

    Your story sounds almost identical to mine except it was a sinus for me rather than the inner ear. I self-diagnosed after googling symptoms after my first bout and then my ENT confirmed BPPV by tilting my head and watching my eyes spin around.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 12, 2022 / 3:06 pm

      Yep, that eye spinning is a telltale sign of BPPV.


  15. Irene February 12, 2022 / 4:18 pm

    fingers crossed, all the best!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 12, 2022 / 5:17 pm

      Thanks, Irene.


  16. Chris February 12, 2022 / 8:34 pm

    I had a mild case of this, that thankfully went away on its own. My doctor was going to send me to physical therapy…it was extremely annoying and I still have mild bouts of it every once in a while. In short I know how you feel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango February 12, 2022 / 10:27 pm

      I’ve pretty much got it under control, but every once in a while, it hits me hard.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. parikhit February 14, 2022 / 10:53 pm

    I had never heard of this, and I can only imagine! Do take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. leigha66 February 22, 2022 / 2:47 pm

    I hope the doctor’s efforts with the maneuver proved much more successful!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Anne Groenewege March 28, 2022 / 8:28 pm

    I get bouts of BPPV now and then, scary when you experience your first attack. I went to a Physio who diagnosed it with the Epley manoeuvre then he gave me 2 exercises to follow. I did these exercises, can just be done on your bed. They have worked immediately each time BPPV pays me a visit. Cheers from Annie in Australia 🌊🌴🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fandango March 28, 2022 / 10:52 pm

      I’m glad that has helped you.


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