I’m convinced I have Ménière’s Disease. I’m not a hypochondriac. I promise. In the last six months I’ve been hit on and off by periods of vertigo and then lingering dizziness. Throughout the day, my head will feel so heavy that I have to lay down for a few minutes. Rather than go to the doctor, it made a lot more sense to head to the internet to better understand what was going on. I plugged my symptoms into WebMD and the top hit was Ménière’s. I read down the list of symptoms and near the bottom it listed “loss of balance”. I was so happy I could scream! All those years of inexplicably falling when standing completely still made sense. I no longer cared about the dizziness or the vertigo. There was a reasonable explanation for my clumsiness. I have Ménière’s Disease!
While I fully intend to go to the doctor to find out what actually might be wrong, I seem to have completely accepted that I have Ménière’s because yesterday I told someone I had it. You see I fell down a flight of stairs in front of a woman I had only just met. Melody was there and she just smiled, helped me and dusted me off, none too fazed because as I said I fall all the time. The woman on the other hand was completely shocked. As if to relieve her and to provide some sort of explanation, I said, without even a moment’s hesitation, “I fall all the time. I have Ménière’s Disease.” WHAT?! I’ve managed to convince myself so much that I am now telling others. Oh dear.
On Saturday I was out with Maria on a walk. When I strayed off the path to get a drink of water, I fell and landed right on my tailbone. Later on Saturday, I stood in the living room talking to Z when I fell over backward (fortunately, he caught me before I fell onto the computer).
I have a long, long history of falling but there are some truly epic stories. In ninth grade, I fell down the auditorium stairs in front of the entire high school and got a standing ovation. In tenth grade, I fell down the stairs of an overpass in Turkey. In eleventh grade, I fell down one step in the bowling alley in Islamabad and broke my foot. In twelfth grade, when trying to get to the school bus on time, I fell and my backpack pinned me to the ground. When I eventually got up again, I ignored the honking bus driver and went home.
Adulthood has been no better. Four years ago, I fell while hiking down Diamond Crater in Hawaii and broke my foot on the first day of vacation. At my wedding, my bridesmaid Kalsoom mentioned that she was so thankful that I was getting married because she could relinquish her handmaiden duties. She no longer has to worry that at any moment I may break a bone or start some sort of catastrophe.
So, last night, when I told my husband that I had fallen down the stairs, his immediate answer was to send me to jujitsu lessons. However, I very confidently shared with Z that I have Ménière’s Disease. (So, now I’ve lied to two people? What is going on?) Of course, he just looked at me, smirked slightly and responded, “You need to go to the doctor.”