Tag Archives: vertigo

The Day Baked Beans Made Me Cry

bakedYou know that whispered word, beginning with an ‘R’ and ending in ‘elapse’?

Well, I’m not sure if it’s a flare up or the dreaded ‘R’-word. Whatever it is, it’s awful.

It started over a week ago with the usual brutal, gatecrash-entry that MS specialises in.

A sudden, total collapse in energy, not seen since 2011. Garbled speech, crazy balance and a sense of being utterly spaced out; so much so that I have now nicknamed myself The Space Cadet.

Just to make things even more interesting, I’m having weird jolts of vertigo. Not continuous (I can just about cope with that), but sudden, horrible shifts in my vision, like a camera-shutter adjusting itself rapidly (younger readers, you may have to google this).

And if that wasn’t bad enough, I’m now feeling nauseous every evening.

Oh, and one more thing. The bizarre crying. I cry at everything. A piece of music, a random comment, the cat running up my curtains. And baked beans.

That was the final straw. Who on earth cries when they make baked beans on toast?

The Teenager had requested this particular meal choice when I was writing the shopping list for the week, a monumental task. So, great. Easy, fairly healthy, quick.

On the fateful evening, I assembled everything and served it up. I looked at the plate and burst into tears. The beans just looked so … sad. So vulnerable and innocent and somehow, a little bit lonely, even though they were surrounded by other beans. It was then that I realised I needed professional help.

So I called the MS team this morning and left a rambling message. I had a call back soon after and blurted out my tales of woe, capping it off at the end with, ‘and apart from that, I’m fine!’.

The Teenager is away in London this weekend, so maybe I will have some time to gather myself together before I go back to hospital with my Baked Bean Saga. How embarrassing. Kittens, babies, parcels tied up with string I can understand, but baked beans? I have a feeling I’ll never live this one down.

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Just Gimme The Cake (And No-One Gets Hurt)

41 and countingIt’s almost that time of the year again – whisper – hint – one more candle?

Yup, even before I’ve recovered from my 40th birthday (or to put it more starkly, the first year of my fifth decade), my 41st rolls round in less than two weeks.  Wouldn’t you know.

I’m at the very great age now that people start putting fewer candles on my cake, not more, i.e. four rather than forty. Perhaps making up the deficit with an indoor sparkler. Fire hazard? Sparing my feelings? Or just cheapskates?

And not only that, my cute, bonny wee baby turns FIFTEEN a mere week later, the effrontery. He was actually due before my birthday in 1999, but was so lazy he decided to doze off and hang around a bit longer before tidying his ‘room’, a portent of what was to come.

Anyway, with the onset of August, and the inevitable countdown to Christmas (grrr), it’s time for me to gaze at my naval once more. I do a lot of that. It doesn’t get me very far, but at least I’m seen to be trying.

So what do I wish for this birthday? Looking back at all those fruitless wishes of yesteryear (My Little Pony with the lightning strike, Cabbage Patch Doll twins, Fuzzy Felts At The Zoo), I won’t be getting my hopes up.

There are a few reasons for this:

  • I pretty much have all I could possibly want. My joy was complete when I brought my new bread-maker home a few days ago. And my new set of ceramic pans arrived this afternoon. Bliss.
  • I am grateful for all I have. Even when I hold my breath on entering The Teenager’s Lair. I’ve just been up to check – four plates, three forks (should I be worried?), a pyramid of coke cans on his windowsill, a pile of GCSE revision books stuffed into the corner and a pair of swimming trunks on the floor.
  • I have to save all my angst and energy for September, when I start my MA. I am now fully enrolled and fully scaring myself silly.
  • After it threw that curve-ball of vertigo at me a few weeks ago, MS seems to be on half-days for the summer. It won’t last, but I can pretend.
  • It’s raining. Hallay-loo-ya. Goodbye hot weather, heeeeellllllooooooo cool breezes and rain. Lots of it. Uthoff’s, begone.

Before The Official Date, I am chillaxing (ooh, get me), in the knowledge that this month will be Cake Month. Oh, and the next. It’ll be my two year Blogging Anniversary. How did that happen?

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Mother's RuinVertigo. Vile, evil vertigo: ‘a sensation of whirling and loss of balance’ according to my dictionary.

There’s two reasons you’ll get no sympathy for sharing this MS symptom with anyone else.

First, if you say, ‘ooh, me vertigo’s playing up something awful today’ as you fumble blindly for something to hold on to, you’ll inevitably hear, ‘oh yeah, I hate heights too.’ (Grrr).

Or they’ll say, ‘ha! Thought it was wine o’ clock and you’d already started on the Mother’s Ruin’ followed by them imitating your rolling gait in a totally exaggerated fashion.

This happened to me a couple of days ago and my ‘audience’ was non other than The Teenager, so I kind of expected just a tiny bit of concern on his part. Not a bit of it.

I was helping him to pack his bag for London, i.e. I was holding up clothes for his Romanesque thumbs up or down.

(Looks up from his phone for a nanosecond – snort, snigger) ‘Muuuuuuum, I know I’m going away for a week but did you have to start the celebrations early? Like, really?’ (imitates my rolling gait).

I did my best to explain in a non-worrying manner, playing it down, good parent that I am, trying to move ever so slowly so I didn’t fall flat on my face.

‘Vertigo? Yeah, I get that too. Dad took me up The Gherkin in London and I was like, woah, bit scary. But I didn’t look like you do. And I got some sick (sic) photos.’

After waving my little cherub off to the bus-stop I sank onto the sofa. The world stopped moving for a while, if I closed my eyes. But then I felt sick. My phone went.

‘Muuuuuuuum. You know when I get back next week, seeing as you’ll have missed me, can I have a Domino’s? Pleeeeeeeaaaaaase?’

‘Sweetheart, you’ve been gone all of three minutes. We’ll talk about it later.’


The rest of my first evening of child-freeness was spent attempting to walk the length of my house without veering off to one side. The world didn’t stop moving. Everything was spinning faster than I could walk. I gave up and went to bed early, mega early.

The next morning, I woke up to a panicked message from a friend, saying she couldn’t get hold of me last night and was worried. I explained I’d gone to bed with vertigo at 8-ish and had put my phone on silent.

‘Oh yeah, I hate heights too. What were you doing? Rock climbing?’

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Retail Therapy

Another day on the MS rollercoaster. To add to the long list of weird and wonderful symptoms MS has given me, I have just experienced vertigo for the first time. It started two days ago and I still have it, but I had to go Christmas shopping with my mum yesterday.

I finally decided against wearing black to the Christmas Day lunch (see December 13th post!), so I thought a cheery, berry red sparkly top would be perfect and we went to town to find one. First mistake was getting a bus. When you can’t move your head without it spinning, it’s hard to sit still on a packed bus as it bounced over every pothole, swung sharply round corners and took a roundabout at top speed. Second mistake was assuming that as it was Christmas, the shops would be filled with cheery, berry red sparkly tops.

There were lots and lots of black tops, black sparkly tops and black lacy tops. Lots of hideous prints. No velvet tops, which was odd. The only red tops I could find were either prim, buttoned-up cardigans or sheer, floaty ones. Nothing cheery and sparkling. We went in and out most of the shops on the high street and eventually I found a cream sparkly top. Result! I also treated myself to a necklace with a single silver star on it. Now I’m all ready for the big day, but the jury’s still out on whether I should accessorise with reindeer antlers or flashing Christmas tree earrings.

My mum bought me a Sarah Lund-ish  jumper for Christmas (yay!) and I cheered myself up with some goodies from Waitrose, then a stroke of luck as we were headed back to the bus stop, laden down with bags. My builder friend was working nearby and offered us a lift home. We must have looked a right pair, cramming my mum’s shopping trolley and four large carrier bags into the back of his van but we managed it.

Anyway, the vertigo is still here and it’s the oddest thing. Everything spins and I feel constantly dizzy and ill. The only way I can get any relief is to lie down, but that’s not really practical when I’ve still got work to do, but I’ve been bravely battling on. If I can just put in another few hours, I have a huge bag of chocolate toffees to chomp on later. And I can definitely eat them lying  down, with my eyes closed…


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