So some of you know my best friend is Forest.  He has always been kind and supportive of me and loves me despite my illnesses, my moods, and my availability. On Friday he got sick. I was worried that he had had a stroke. When he tried to stand up, he would fall over. He needed my assistance to walk. Of course I rushed him right away to the emergency hospital and they did a full workup on him. His blood panels and neurological functioning all came back excellent. Everything was fine. Turns out he is experiencing a bad case of vertigo. I know what that feels like. I’ve been there.

Mine was brought on by a medication I had been taking for years, I just eventually developed vertigo as a side effect. It would come and go and usually I could wait it out. One day, however, it was worse than it had ever been before. I lay on my bed with my eyes closed but I could feel the world tilting despite not seeing it. I couldn’t keep my eyes closed because it was fascinating, how rapidly the room spun around me. However, having my eyes open was a big mistake. I ended up nauseous. And I had already laid there for quite a while. Eventually I needed to get to the restroom. I couldn’t wait any longer. Very slowly and with careful movements I attempted to move to the edge of my bed where I planned to slowly lower myself to the ground.

I failed in grand style. I got to the edge of the bed but as soon as I dropped my closest leg off the edge of the bed, my entire body hurtled itself toward my nightstand, and the lamp followed me, crashing to the floor. I panted and heaved as I tried to regain my composure. It had been exhausting just getting to the floor. I still had to make my way to the bathroom and new I wouldn’t be doing it on my feet. If I was going to get there I would need to crawl. It wasn’t far, just across the hall. I would, like a baby, reach my arm forward and then my leg, my other arm, and then my other leg and then, PLOP, I’d fall straight sideways. I would literally flop onto my side. It took me an hour to get there.

Forest isn’t as dumb as me. He is keeping his eyes closed and sleeping it off as much as possible. He also has the benefit of an anti-nausea medication and he is receiving water through a subcutaneous bag I hook him up to each day. Like my vertigo, this is episodic. Unlike mine, however, he will likely continue to experience this off-and-on for the rest of his life. It’s a blessing though. I mean, he will recover. He is otherwise very healthy and in zero pain. I went out and found him a great fashion accessory, a handle! Diagnosis: Old Dog Vestibular Disease.

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