Many years ago I suddenly found myself suffering from a bad case of vertigo. It was horrible. I couldn’t move my head at all without getting ‘the swirlies.’ The swirlies felt like being drunk without the fun of drinking. Dizzy head-spinning frustration consumed my life for weeks. Unfortunately, this meant I couldn’t drive or work. It sometimes meant I couldn’t walk into the next room without help. The ‘swirlies’ made my life a living hell. Trying to find a cure wasn’t easy, either.
There are a whole lot of remedies for vertigo. I tried them all. There were a slew of home remedies. No relief. The docs gave me pills. They didn’t work. They suggested something called the Epley maneuver. This consists of lying down and turning your head. You turn your head 45 degrees and then get up and down. Lie still and then turn your head 90 degrees and so on. Up, down, 45 degrees, 90 degrees…it was a veritable geometry lesson. As I worked my way through the steps, I had a sneaking suspicion that I would end up as an isosceles triangle. I did do a fair impression of a lopsided octagon, but it didn’t matter because it didn’t work.
I saw more doctors. They were stymied. This had gone on for weeks! Was this going to be my life now? I was in panic mode. I was in “I’ll do anything if it will help” mode. I wasn’t hopeful but I decided to try one last-ditch effort by seeing an ear, nose and throat specialist in the big city.
I walked into the exam room and the doc was older. A lot older. He told me he was just temporary and he was doing this rotation as a favor. He had come out of retirement to “help out.” I was not encouraged. All I could think was that this guy was probably old-school and wouldn’t have anything new that might help me. After all, none of the typical remedies had helped and I was sure I wasn’t going to get anything new from him that the other docs hadn’t tried. You know, they always say that you can’t judge a book by its cover. That phrase was certainly true in this case. I was right in that he didn’t have any fancy cutting-edge technology, but he certainly had a unique solution.
He asked me what I had tried. I gave him the list…pills, herbs, the Epley Maneuver, and as soon as I said that, he stopped my recitation. He said: “Ok, I want you to try the Epley Maneuver again.” And with that, I stopped him mid-sentence. “I told you, it didn’t work. I tried and tried and it did nothing for me!” He just smiled and said: “I want you to try it again but this time I want you to use a vibrator.” Huh? “You want me to what!?” My mouth opened so wide that my chin was on the floor. How on earth would THAT help!? He smiled again and said: “I want you to put the vibrator against your ear when you are doing the Epley maneuver.” Ohhhh…ok…I guess. It sounded ludicrous but what could it hurt? At that point, I would have tried anything.
So I had to find a vibrator. I figured I’d find one online and it would arrive in a discreetly wrapped package. Yes, that was my plan. But fate stepped in. On the way home, we stopped to get groceries. As we were headed for the checkout line, we walked past the clearance bin. I don’t know why I looked but there were these boomerang-shaped things with a tag that boldly announced that they were vibrators! What!? Vibrators in a grocery store? Just at the time I needed one. On sale! I’m not sure what possessed me but I picked up all four of them and headed to the checkout aisle. I figured if this worked, I could do my vibrating Epley Maneuver anywhere in the house. Plus, if one broke, I would have backups. I know I wasn’t thinking logically but there they were, when I needed them, and on sale. Who wouldn’t buy them all?
This serendipitous discovery was made in a local grocery store. I was in line and had two other people with carts behind me when I noticed that the checkout person was a woman I went to school with. Any sane person would have gone to another line or put the things back hoping to get them later when there wasn’t a childhood friend working there. I thought about it, but I was desperate. I wasn’t going to be deterred, even if it was going to be embarrassing. My head was swirling and all I wanted was to get back to normal. I wasn’t going home without those vibrators! And yes, I know how that sounds, but you know how desperate I was! Ok, that made it sound worse…I’ll just carry on.
Finally, it was my turn to pay. In between the celery and peanut butter, my school chum found four brightly colored, boomerang-shaped objects that sported big red-lettered tags proclaiming they were vibrators. There was NO way anyone could miss them, or mistake them for something else. My old friend started to scan them and hesitated for a fraction of a second. She gave me the quickest of glances and then she looked back down and turned bright red. Yes, I could have explained, but who would have believed that I was buying a vibrator to cure my vertigo?
It was only after I got home that it occurred to me that scanning one vibrator might have been a little embarrassing considering we were school friends, but scanning four might be a little much. I’m not sure what went through her mind but I would bet that any scenario she came up with was pretty scandalous, and nowhere near the truth.
The good news is that my vertigo was cured almost overnight. And now, here I am, the proud owner of four vibrators…and no vertigo. What’s a woman to do?