How a Weird Illness Became My Awakening

Sometimes a little health scare can put life into perspective

Jakob Ryce
The Startup

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Photo by Karina Carvalho on Unsplash

I recently developed a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). It’s a condition triggered by tiny calcium “crystals” inside your inner ear that help keep you balanced. But on the off chance they move into an area called the semicircular canal, they can trigger a feeling of dizziness. As the name suggests, it is “benign” — but this condition turned my life upside down, and perhaps in a good way.

We’ve all heard stories of people making ‘major life-changing decisions’ after or during periods of chronic illness. For some, it’s akin to a midlife crisis where they may have a sudden revelation to scale a mountain or sail around the world. It’s the only time when an illness (providing it’s not life-threatening) can be a blessing in disguise. You either become a victim or rise above it with a deeper appreciation of life.

During the first day of my affliction, I felt a dull headache and was a little dizzy, and chalked it off as dehydration. But it was the second day it hit me. I woke up to the entire room spinning. I couldn’t eat and whatever I had eaten I couldn’t keep down. Walking was a challenge. I had suddenly turned 93 overnight — walking slowly, bumping into everything. Suddenly, simple everyday tasks…

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Jakob Ryce
The Startup

Writer and wayfarer of a digital age. I write articles concerning writing, self, society and well-being. @JakobRyce | www.jakobryce.com | jakobryce@gmail.com