Monday. Start of the week. I awoke shortly before six am, aware of giddiness. I got out of bed, but couldn’t walk in a straight line. I did a few basic health checks. Steady pulse. Normal blood pressure.

I tried a few meditation techniques, followed by attempts to balance on one leg, but the unsteadiness persisted.

I popped out to the local cafe for a roll and coffee and could barely walk downstairs.

It felt as though I were on a ship in rough seas – hence, the title of this post and the poem on the sister blog.

Reluctantly, I had to cancel my work for the day. A few hours later, the GP got back to me by telephone.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, he explained and suggested I look up the Cawthorne-Cooksey Exercises on google.

Eventually, I found the exercises and had a go. Five days on, the vertigo has almost completely gone.

The Cawthorne-Cooksey Exercises, considered by some to be less effective than the Epley Manoeuvre and other modern techniques, tackle the problem from a different angle.

Instead of eradicating the cause of the problem, the exercises enable a person to build up a tolerance to the vertigo in varying degrees. After a while, the nervous system stops responding to the mixed incoming signals (a result of the imbalance in the ears) and the vertigo fades or disappears altogether.

Today, I practised the piano for the first time since waking up with BPPV and I managed both Liszt’s nineteenth Hungarian Rhapsody and his first polonaise without any problems, dizziness, or auditory discomfort.

I look forward to returning to normal after the weekend.


At the start of the week, I wrote a poem entitled Le Mal De Mer, A Ship At Sea for the sister blog, in order to capture and convey an element of the giddiness. Happy reading.

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