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A Brief Diary of My Hideous Encounter with Labyrinthitis

First of all, what is Labyrinthitis?




noun: labyrinthitis
  1. inflammation of the labyrinth or inner ear.

More Info on Symptoms, etc, click here

Events Day 1 – 10

The first 3 days I had to write restrospectively for reasons which will become apparent.

Day 1 Sunday

I’d had a little dizzy spell and a painful ear for a couple of days and I woke up with the room spinning like the worst drunken bender one could imagine. The room was literally spinning as if I was on a waltzer at the funfair.

The vomiting started in short order. As I had not eaten since the night before I had nothing to bring up. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination,

Each vomiting session was followed by drenching sweats and shaking all over so hard and not being able to stop.

Husband rang the out of hours Dr who seemed to think that getting me into a car and driving me 15 miles to the clinic was a reasonable proposition despite the fact that I had to be carried to the toilet. Husband tried to get me dressed and failed.

He rang back. Not much help forthcoming. “Someone might ring back later and might visit”.

Eventually he became so concerned by the vomiting, sweating and shaking he called 999.

A paramedic arrived. Very nice lady called Lisa, who I could not look at because if I opened my eyes for more than a couple of seconds I threw up. She did some obs. I tried to take some stemetil but threw it up.

She called it in. She had one drug she could give me by injection but if she did I had to go and sit in A&E for 6 hours and she had no idea how she would even get me to her car.

She contacted a more senior paramedic who just happened to be working a bank shift.

He came, and injected me with stemetil.

This worked….partially….but I was still throwing up every 30 minutes or so.

At this point I had had nothing to drink because I couldn’t keep it down.

The skin on my lips was peeling off.

I was drenched in sweat and still shaking uncontrollably.

Dr did a home visit – on a Sunday – for which I was so grateful – and gave me another injection.

This one was cyclizine which, probably in combination with the stemetil, did work.

I was able to stop being sick, take sips of water, and sleep.

Day 2 Monday

Doctor visited again this morning because I was still too ill to get downstairs. I was able to get to the toilet without being carried though which was a bonus. Husband became the prop instead of the hoist!

Dr left more stemetil pills.

I was able to drink tea, and have some nice dunked rich tea biscuits.

Still unable to get down the stairs though, had to be assisted to the toilet, and slept most of the day.

Day 3 Tuesday

Continuing on with the pills, room swaying gently even when I’m stationery. Still feels like I am walking on a moving ship or I’ve been out drinking all night.

Osteopath came over to try the epply manoevre which is designed to move any loose otoliths around the ear canal and out, thus relieving the dizziness.

This didn’t work.

I was able to get up for longer periods today, and went downstairs by scooting on my bum like a 2 year old.

I also had dinner for the first time tonight.

Day 4 Wednesday

Bad night – been having awful insomnia partly I feel because it is a side effect of one of the drugs and partly if I am honest because I have been petrified of waking up with a major spin going on.

Got up again today, managed to go on the laptop for a while and read.

Still having to lay down a lot.

Day 5 Thursday

Same again really.

Day 6 Friday

More of the same.

Able to spend more time doing simple tasks.

I can at least read and type for short periods of time.

Day 7 Saturday

Still very dizzy and exhausted but I feel a slight improvement today. I have managed a few gentle household tasks (loading the dishwasher and washing machine for example) and I also convinced my husband to walk me around the block this morning as I have been going stir crazy. It was extremely disorientating to be outside I have to say but I felt quite proud that I did it even though I then slept for 2 hours!

I reactivated my ebay shop today too, as I am able to gently access goods for packaging and my husband or daughter can take them to the post.

The only other thing I’ve done is a little reading. I find that my concentration is poor as a result of this and only short bursts are possible which is a little galling as the one time I have hours in which to read I have to stop and start all the time.

Lots of time to think….been considering future plans and hoping I will soon be well enough to implement some of them!

Day 8 Sunday

After the positivity of Saturday I am feeling really depressed about the whole affair to be honest. I’ve been having a couple of bad days dizziness wise, and I feel so tired all the time. I’ve tried to reduce the tablets to one a day which was a failure, now on 2 a day, but again this makes me feel so tired. I wonder if I overdid it, although a 5 minute walk around the block is hardly the London marathon!

Panicking about work – I can’t make it up the road to get there, and if I did I can’t manage stairs, can’t bend, can’t get up and down on the step. As I work in a bookshop that pretty much renders me useless to be honest. They are being supportive, but it’s a small business and they need to cover the shop….so wondering how much longer I am even going to have a job.

Day 9 Monday

Worrying about money – no sick pay where I work. Trying to get my head around claiming sickness benefit is difficult. Dr is calling back about a sick note today in the hope that I can actually get something.

So, I forced myself to shower, and get dressed rather than mooching away the day in Pjs. Having to sit down on the shower floor makes me feel about 90. But then scooting down the stairs on my backside makes me feel about 3 so I guess it balances itself out. I’ve even pushed the boat out and got myself dressed so I at least look like a normal person and my poor husband doesn’t have to look at me in Pjs 100% of the time!! He’ll be ridiculously pleased about it when he gets in, which is a bit sad really.

Been online – and all I read is how people are still suffering a year down the line and I wonder if this is forever….

Later  having wallowed in self pity a bit I plucked up all my courage, and a walking stick, and walked the dog around the block. 10 Minute walk took 20 minutes. It was unnerving but I did it!! I felt rather proud of myself.

Doctor left me a sick note and instructions to keep resting.

Mother-in-Law had a flood so I had to cook dinner whilst husband sorted that out.  Interesting and rather spinny time in the kitchen resulted in a rather good vegetarian cottage pie.

Then I konked out on the sofa for 2 hours.  Everything seems to exhaust me very quickly.

I feel a bit more positive, and somewhat proud of myself.

I am also back down to one tablet a day.  Go me!

Day 10 (Tuesday)

I’ve managed to do a little gentle work on the computer today and package some items up for shipping. I am also up and dressed again today and doing some laundry.

The dizziness remains, and is worse on rising, diminishing the more I move around during the day.  Not sure if I am getting better or just getting used to it.  That said, I have gone a full day with no tablets and seem none the worse for it.

Vision is still a bit below par, and the room still moves slightly even when I’m stationary but I find focussing on something close by helps with this feeling.

The ringing in my right ear is a lot worse today though – it sounds like a mosquito on speed – and I also have a rather delightful crop of mouth ulcers to be going on with.

I am starting to feel a little like I am getting over a horrid flu – that weak and lightheaded feeling one gets on the outward curve.

I’ve also got to that stage where I am well enough to feel bored.  I never feel bored because I am always doing something.   I do not like this ‘bored’ thing at all.

Plan is still to take each day as it comes. It remains frustrating as hell.