Just Bitchin’ – The “Manoeuver”

I learned something valuable the other day and thought I would share!!

For two weeks I had been experiencing vertigo – not all the time – mostly when I went to lie down, roll over in bed or sit up.  It’s a horrible feeling of your world turning upside down…….not unlike those foolish younger days when one had far too much to drink, and went to bed only to find yourself with what I called “the black whirlies”……..one hand on the wall, one foot on the floor……you get my drift.

The same thing had happened to me (vertigo, not the black whirlies) about a year ago and it eventually disappeared on its own.  At my annual visit with my ENT (Ear/Nose/Throat) doc – we hearing impaired folk usually have one of these – I mentioned it and he told me to call if it ever happened again – that he could do something about it.

The cause of the vertigo is little bits of calcium that get stuck in the wrong place – could be as a result of something as simple as rolling over in bed.

So I called – they squeezed me in – and thus I learned about “the manoeuver”.

This usually very gentle man pushed the patient chair down to a flat position (I’m still sitting up), took my face in his hands and literally flung me down to a horizontal position with my face turned to the right, telling me to keep my eyes OPEN.  OMG.  I thought I was done for.  Not only did the world spin violently (he’s lucky I didn’t upchuck), but my eyeballs were quite literally bobbling around to the extent I thought they might pop out of my face!!  He is staring into these bobbing eyes – apparently in doing so – he can determine which ear is the culprit.  Next he advised me we were going to very quickly turn my head to the other side, facing the left.  The next phase of the process involved a “flip-over” (yes, picture it) so that my face was looking down.  I wouldn’t have thought it possible to make these sorts of moves in a chair – but, he had a hold of my head so there wasn’t much choice.

The last instruction was to refrain from bending over AND from lying down for 24 hours.  The days of hip replacements came in handy – my grabber served to put the cats’ bowls on the floor – and to pick up the things I dropped (one drops everything when you aren’t supposed to bend over) – but sleeping in an upright position was a challenge.  I started off in my la-z-boy chair with pillows and a blanket – and I think I slept about an hour or so.  Then I headed off to bed with 6 pillows of different shapes and sizes propping me up to ensure I didn’t roll over and lie down which by this time, I so wanted to do.  That netted me another couple of hours.

The next day eventually came – and, since I hadn’t yet fulfilled my 24 hour mandate, I still had no idea if “the manoeuver” had worked or not.  I wasn’t looking forward to a second visit to repeat the process.

Needless to say I went to bed early that night, first gingerly rolling from one side to the other……then with a bit more gusto….until I was fairly convinced the vertigo was gone.  I repeated the tests the next morning – successfully.  IT WORKED!  I was so happy I called my ENT’s admin assistant to tell her and she related stories of people who came in bouncing off the walls (in far worse shape than I was) and who left walking upright and smiling having experienced “the manoeuver”.

After relating this to a friend, she told me this happens to her on occasion, and that she somehow manages to shake her head and throw herself down on her bed in such a way that her vertigo goes away.  Brave lady!

So – now you know.  If you experience vertigo, call your ENT – or try the self-treatment my friend uses!




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