Posted tagged ‘vertigo’

Where to Go?

June 17, 2021

clark park

Back when I worked for big industry, Hughes Aircraft Company, to be exact, I used stop at Craig Park in Fullerton, CA on my way to work to do my reading, writing and  sometimes-meditation.   Craig Park is one of the beautiful and expansive parks in the Orange County Regional Park system, this one built into a hilly piece of land near the 57 Freeway.  Every morning, a small brown woman in a traditional saree would walk slowly by, stopping to say, Good morning, Sir.   She shuffled more than walked and up close I’d have guessed she was in her eighties but she still navigated the three mile perimeter of the park everyday.   After a while, we began to talk, her about her family here in California or her life in India before moving here to live with her son, I about what I did sitting in my car by the lake every morning and what I did for a living.   Her name was Hasna, and we became friends, even though she always approached my car as if she were afraid to interrupt and never stopped calling me Sir.   She told me that it was hard living with her son because her daughter-in-law didn’t like her, which was why she walked so much.   Still, most times when I asked, How are you doing? she would simply respond, Oh, I’m alright for a woman my age in an Indian accent so heavy that I sometimes had to ask her to repeat herself several times. (more…)

Vertigo

April 16, 2011

Last week, I had a minor incident of vertigo climbing the stairs in our house which I talked about lightheartedly in my post, Where to Go?  It may have seemed as if I wasn’t taking the incident seriously but that is anything but the case.   Unfortunately, vertigo is exactly the kind of thing that reaches down and connects to my tendency to have panic attacks and before long, my racing mind had me having a stroke.   As I sat there trying to calm myself, repeating to Muri over and over, It’s a panic attack, I know it is, she looked me in the eye and said, Smile.   I thought she was crazy, but she wasn’t trying to cheer me up, she was giving me the first of the tests for a possible stroke from the National Stroke Association (if one side of the Face droops, it may indicate stroke).   She then asked me to raise both arms over my head (one Arm drifting downward indicates stroke), then say something (slurred or strange Speech may indicate stroke).  You can find the stroke test here but it’s easy to remember as FASTFace, Arms, Speech and finally, Time … which is critical if any symptoms are present.  I still needed a Xanax and a nap to settle my anxiety, but knowing I wasn’t having a stroke sure helped.  The woman is a wonder.

I talked to my doctor about the vertigo yesterday (as I promised I would … Meleah), and he gave me one more tip.   He said that if vertigo is worse when you move your head, it indicates an inner ear problem not a brain problem.  He was a little concerned when I told him I didn’t think it was worse when I moved my head (truth is that in my anxiety I didn’t notice) but relaxed when I told him my wife had given me the FAST test.  He was also quite impressed.  He advised me to let him know if it happened again but not to worry.

I hope you and yours never have to deal with vertigo or do the FAST test … but hopefully you’ll remember my story if you do.   Consider it a gift for your mental medicine cabinet.

Where to Go?

April 9, 2011

Back when I worked for big industry, Hughes Aircraft Company, to be exact, I used stop at Craig Park in Fullerton, CA on my way to work to do my reading, writing and (even back then) sometimes-meditation.   Craig Park is one of the beautiful and expansive parks in the Orange County Regional Park system, this one built into a hilly piece of land near the 57 Freeway.  Every morning, a small brown woman in a traditional sari would walk slowly by, stopping to say, Good morning, Sir.   She shuffled more than walked and up close I’d have guessed she was in her eighties but she still navigated the three mile perimeter of the park everyday.   After a while, we began to talk, her about her family here in California or her life in India before moving here to live with her son, I about what I did sitting in my car by the lake every morning and what I did for a living.   Her name was Hasna, and we (more…)