Today I had another dizzy spell, the third in a week. The room began spinning and I had to sit down. The vertigo made me nauseous, and the nausea created sweats then clamminess, and I was suddenly weakened as surely as if I was Superman staring down kryptonite. Having recently gone through CPR training with women’s less obvious symptoms still on my mind I thought, “Is this a heart attack?”
Thank God, it wasn’t. My doctor called it an “inner ear irritation.” Well, I’m the one who’s irritated! Not sick, exactly, but due to the inflammation in my inner ear I can’t move very quickly or even stand up straight without risking mild seasickness. I feel weak and wimpy, unable to trust my body. This is so not me!
But, I’m coming to realize, perhaps it is good FOR me. Perhaps it is good for me to set aside the busyness and just empty my brain of what MUST be done, and instead follow doctor’s orders to just. be. still. It’s okay that the Christmas cookies won’t get made today. It’s alright that I’m missing the holiday party tonight. No, really, I don’t mind waiting another day to get more of my Advent decorations out… Really.
At least that’s what I’m telling myself to cope with not being active. And I’m trying to focus on what I can do. For long periods today, all I could do was to lie still, merely blinking. And yet, my mind could still function. And suddenly I felt a kinship with not just fictionally-kryptonited Superman, but also with real-world physicist Stephen Hawking. Professor Hawking lives his life in this immobile state, but oh! what he thinks, conceives, and achieves with his mind! Perhaps I should take time to exercise that grey muscle more often, if only to count all the ways I am grateful for the small things of which I am capable.
Would I have taken the time to just be an empty vessel and meditate on life if this little “irritation” hadn’t forced me to? Probably not. Every night I run through a list of blessings as I fall asleep, but earlier today, forced to lay still, the gratitude that this forced immobility is hopefully just a passing experience was profound. I can not wait until I am well enough to ride my bike, to run through the neighborhood, to feel the joy of unhindered movement again.
And then I’ll get to baking those cookies. 🙂