Thursday, October 21, 2010

Somebody's innards becoming somebody's outwards

I have one of my favourite bloggers
Radgery to thank for that wonderful title.

After losing my voice last week on the day of my job interview (Love Chunks had to ring in and ask nicely for it to be rescheduled so that my answers didn't involve embarrasing attempts at charades and hand signals) I've now got Labyrinthitis.

So, let's just stop for a second. I've been a stay-at-home, freelance writer for three years now and, just two weeks before I leave the comforts of study, dog and ugg boots for full time work outside of the house, I suddenly contract all manner of illnesses.

Firstly the cold. No voice for two days which, though painful for me, was peaceful for Sapphire and Love Chunks.

Then, hayfever which, after avoiding me for ten years now decides to pay me a rather long and powerful visit. I sneeze so often and so loudly that tissues are useless against the power of a mach-three-speed snot oyster which shoots through the flimsy material and usually splats itself noisily somewhere much less desirable such as the kitchen door, the tram stop timetable or Love Chunks. My eyes are permanently itchy and I want to be able to ram my hand up inside my throat to scratch and wipe away the torturous tickliness that makes my head feel as though there's a Van Der Graaf Generator Appreciation Society meeting occurring inside without prior approval from me, owner of said head.

Thirdly, diarrhoea that comes and goes on a whim - sort of like the 7.20am Newmarket to Flinders Street train and, finally, Labyrinthitis.

According to the confusingly named Wise Geek, Labyrinthitis is
'a relatively common condition in which the labyrinths of one or both ears become inflamed. It is most often noticed by people feeling suddenly dizzy, or nauseous. Labyrinthitis is difficult to treat, since the cause is not always obvious, and it can persist for a few weeks to few months.

Some known causes of labyrinthitis include bacterial and viral infections, seasonal allergies, decompression sickness, or foreign matter blocking the ear. When foreign matter is the cause, or even a wax plug formed by the ear, this is usually easily treated and removed. When bacterial infection is the cause, it can be treated by antibiotics.

Recent medical literature suggests that the virus group most likely to cause labyrinthitis is the Herpes group
(excuuuuuuse me?). This includes many viruses, not simply those transmitted sexually. Labyrinthitis may occur after a long respiratory infection. Disturbed balance can create in many a sense of nausea or “seasickness.” The most common medication recommended to reduce nausea is the over the counter product meclizine. This is also recommended for people who get car sick or seasick, and it does seem fairly effective. The downside of meclizine is that often makes people feel tired or sleepy, and driving or operating machinery while taking it may not be advisable.

This all makes me feel like I'm drunk (without the fun of becoming so beforehand) and therefore stagger around crashing my sides into doorframes or sit up and saying 'Whoah' like a ancient, white female Bill and Ted before groping around for something to support me.

So, picture this: every sneeze (several hundred each pharken day right now) has weakened all of my torso muscles so that they're now accompanied by a explosive fart which means my entire body is torn in twain from the expelling from both pipes. I then clutch at my head in agony, fall sideways due to dizziness and apologise (if I've the wit left to remember) to anyone who heard the fart or whom I fell on top of.

And today's the day I venture into the shopping centre to look for some clothing that might be more acceptable (yes, even at uni) than my welded-on work-from-home uniform of polarfleece, trakkie daks and ugg boots. Heaven help the sales assistants and clothing racks.....


Miles McClagan said...

Does Labyrinthitis basically mean you're going to do a terrible job babysitting and then David Bowie is going to steal your brother?

I loved Jennifer Connelly - what's she doing now?

Kath Lockett said...

Something like that but add in the fact that I'll probably squash the kids (and sneeze on them) and it's pretty much what I expect that 9-5 at university will be like.

Jen Connelly - living in poverty and total obscurity, methinks :)

Miles McClagan said...

I don't think anything she ever did would beat this...

I so want a copy...

Kath Lockett said...

And she's on a record....! Battled David Bowie, married Paul Bettany, put up with Russell Crowe and worn bad Balenciaga (yes, I pay attention) fashion - has she run for public office yet?

Miles McClagan said...

"Since 2005, Connelly has served as Amnesty International Ambassador for Human Rights Education for the United States"

What a woman!

Wally The Walrus said...

I've been fortunate enough to have Labyrinthitis on and off (mostly off) since about 1983. Back then the attack was so bad I could not get out of bed for a week. It took months to clear up.

Since then every time I got a cold, for about the next 5 years, it would rear up and smack me again - each time with less severity.

It still comes back to taunt me now and again, and its no fun at all.

It seems the most frequent cause is a virus, there is not much you can do apart from put up. It will eventually pass, but don't expect it to be over with in a day or two.

Elisabeth said...

All those terrible ailments, no voice and now no balance. your body may be trying to ell you something, as our bodies do when we fall foul of them.

A similar message as I copped from my broken leg, perhaps. Slow down, take it easy rest and recuperate.

Things can only get better.

Radge said...

I'm a title! Woo-hoo!

Happy to see you turned your comment blogwards. Feel better soon.

Helen said...

Oh dear, one of the guys I work with has had labyrinthitis a few times and it sounds AWFUL! Feel better soon.

And if you have to shop then take a lesson from one of my good friends: the sales assistants should be kept busy. There's nothing wrong with writing down a list and sizes and making them do the hunting, they know the shelves better than you. And you can sit in the fitting room and feel miserable instead of running around looking for the perfect black pants or whatever.

*shudder* I hate shopping. Get better soon!

Kath Lockett said...

Oh Wally, that's really awful for you. Maybe having a drink will just make me (and your good self, when similarly afflicted) feel like we've regained our balance? *hic*

Elisabeth you're spot on. Ailments aside, my life is pretty damn good and it's providing a bit of amusement for Sapph and Love Chunks.

Radge you are a title indeed. May I ask where 'Radge' and 'Radgery' come from?

Thanks Helen. I hate clothes shopping two and had had enough after two hours. I said to one girl, 'Why do I keep gravitating to the guys clothes? I'm so used to jeans and t-shirts and am NOT going to wear heels, skirts that require pantyhose or anything that needs ironing.' No surprise, then, that I came home tired, dizzy and with very little in my hands...!

River said...

Your description of hayfever is so much more colourful than mine.
I suspect I have a touch of the Labyrinthitis too, since I've been a little off balance the last coupe of days. AND, the Zyrtec, which worked so wonderfully in the beginning is now almost completely useless now that everyone's Jasmine is in full bloom. Instead of the "one-a-day" I'm taking two at a time, 3 times a day.

Radge said...

It's explained here, I think. So tired I can't really see.

nuttynoton said...

you seem to be unlucky and have a few health problems it must be making up for all your other good points. sort of a ying and yang

All I have to worry about is getting a 10000 word dissertation for next thursday and mouth ulcers, hope you feel better soon!

fruey said...

I'm going to go out on a limb here, but have you considered psychosomatic effects?

Changes in life / routine are often stressful, and increased levels of stress have a provable impact on the immune system. That means you're more likely to have recurrence of typical illnesses to which you may already be susceptible.

It's important to try to keep perspective on the mid term - things will be good, even if it's going to be tough for a few days/weeks. Make sure you make time for yourself in the stressful days and try some good relaxation techniques to let your body recover.

Deep Kick Girl said...

I hear you re: the allergy thing. My hay fever at this time of year has got worse each year for the last few years. Never had it before about 3 years ago.

Now I'm constantly sneezing, blowing my nose and my eyes look like I've been crying for a week. Not to mention the itchy nose and itchy eyes. Sheesh!

I really ought to check out the over the counter drugs because it is driving me nuts (or nuttier).

Kath Lockett said...

River, I've been trying Zyrtec too and haven't noticed a scrap of difference. Today - being a rainy Saturday - I might just have a nanna nap and maybe wake up with a clearer head (in both meanings of the word).

Radge - I must say, therefore, that I've got a radge arse fart of a cold then!

nutty - 10,000 words and mouth ulcers surely that adds up to STRESS?

Fruey it's the one thing I've been trying my hardest to NOT think or worry about. I've already got a tendency towards stress, depression and physical ailments that yank the 'emergency stop' button but I'm hoping that this Labyrinthitis is just bad timing.

DK girl - go for the drugs. Sometimes they work; sometimes they don't but they're always worth a try.