Thursday, March 19, 2009


"It's all fun and games
until somebody gets hurt"

Ok, nobody got hurt.
However, somebody did get pretty sick.

I posted some photos earlier this week of our boy doing 360's in the last remaining snow patches in our "yard".  He was really having some fun spinning and spraying fountains of snow in wide circles.

Monday morning however, our boy wasn't feeling so good.  He was nauseous and dizzy.  We attempted to go to his Mayo Clinic appointment (post jaw surgery check) inspite of the nausea.  However, by the time we got up to the 12th floor, the poor kid was feeling really bad...and really dizzy.  I had him put his head between his knees.  BAD advice.  That made him much worse.  Our turn to see the doctor came while Nate was in the bathroom.  They patiently waited.  When we finally got to the examining room, Nate was very pale.  He looked terrible.  Appointment was postponed, and a wheelchair called for me to take him to the car.

Poor kid felt dizzy and nauseous all day....and was in no condition to drive back to Winona to attend his (full) day of college classes.

After doing some research...and talking to someone who has experienced this, I think we have figured out Nate's problem....

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV for short)
According to Mayo Clinic:
Inside your ear is a tiny organ called the vestibular labyrinth. It includes loop-shaped structures (semicircular canals) that contain fluid and fine, hair-like sensors that monitor the rotation of your head. Other structures (otolith organs) in your ear monitor movements of your head and your head's position. 

These otolith organs contain crystals that make you sensitive to movement. 
For a variety of reasons, these crystals can become dislodged. When they become dislodged, they can move into one of the semicircular canals — especially while you're lying down. This causes the semicircular canal to become sensitive to head position changes it would normally not respond to. As a result, you feel dizzy.

The symptoms:
Dizziness, A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving
Lightheadedness, Unsteadiness, Loss of balance, Nausea, Vomiting.

The signs and symptoms of BPPV can come and go, with symptoms commonly lasting less than one minute. Episodes of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can disappear for some time and then recur.
Activities that bring about the signs and symptoms of BPPV can vary from person to person, but are almost always brought on by a change in the position of your head. Abnormal rhythmic eye movements (nystagmus) usually accompany the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Although rare, it's possible to have BPPV in both ears (bilateral BPPV).
Diagnosing:        Dizziness with specific eye movements that occur when you lie on your back with your head turned to one side and tipped slightly over the edge of the examination bed.
 Involuntary movements of your eyes from side to side (nystagmus)
I had our boy lie with his head back as I watched his eyes.  And...mercy me....his eyes did this crazy rapid back and forth movement...then stopped.  It was a little creepy.  But it pretty much made me SURE he was dealing with some "relocated crystals" in his ear.
When I talked to him last night, he was still having moments of slight dizziness.  But the nausea was subsiding....and he has been attending classes.
Who knew?  Crystals .... in your ears....of all things.
I'm just glad our boy is feeling better.


  1. Been there...Done that!!!

    It's an awful thing, Glad mine was only several hours and not DAYS like Nate. Glad to hear he's doing better.

  2. Oh poor Nate... not good! Hope he's better quick and it doesn't come back!

  3. Anonymous7:21 AM CDT

    I hope Nate keeps feeling better! Uncle Bob does think that Nate and Kirk should be wearing helmets while acting crazy on the 4 wheeler. However he did admit that a helmet would not have prevented the dizziness!

  4. Thanks everyone! I'm almost completely recovered now... At least I think. I was even able to go running today without feeling too dizzy afterwards.

    I am so glad it's over, I don't think I'd wish this even on my enemies, it was horrible, and even the brief and very mild dizzy spells I am still getting every now and then are enough to make me be a lot more careful about four-wheeling 360's in the future! haha


Stop back to read my response :)
Your comment may not appear right away.