August 20 – I don’t know how many of you have ever heard of Benign Paroxzysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV, but I can tell you that if you ever develop it, you are fortunate if you can find a specialist in the field; one who treats you not only as a patient, but as a friend! If BPPV sounds interesting, you can find a good many references to it on the Internet. In short, BPPV develops when small pieces of calcium break free and find their way to the tube in the inner ear. This causes your brain to receive confusing messages about your body’s position.
Several years ago I was lying quietly in bed while Dale was still asleep. As I slipped my legs over the side of the bed, I fell flat on my back, and was so dizzy that I couldn’t understand what was happening. Unfortunately for Dale, I had to wake him up to see if he could figure out that dizziness that had taken complete control of my body, and maybe my head as well! If I shut my eyes, I was even more dizzy, so I tried to keep them open, even if I couldn’t read or even listen to quiet music.
Several hours later, since nothing had changed, Dale called for an ambulance to take me to the hospital. Now that was not a joyful trip! With the ambulance weaving here and there along the highway, I couldn’t stay completely still, and wondered what the hospital folks could do about the problem. Test after test later, and a promise that I could go home that evening if all went well, I was not too concerned. But when the doctor decided that I was really not getting any better, and that I would have to stay overnight, I was more than disappointed, and still very dizzy. That night, another doctor came to check on me and to announce that he would be sending me to the MABI center that dealt with dizziness and balance problems.
That’s when things took a turn for the better…but not immediately! Dr. Jerry Lampe, the founder and owner of the clinic, became one of our good friends through the months that followed. I remember writing in my journal after an appointment back in May of last year, “Really good to see Dr. Lampe, but NOT for the treatment!” When someone is a friend, even the treatment isn’t as bad as it might be, but it’s not good, either! At least if dizziness has been an enemy of yours as it has mine, so much of my life.
About a year ago, Dr. Lampe showed me what he calls “the log roll treatment,” which helps with the BPPV symptoms. He told me to keep on with this exercise that would help to keep me away from MABI. As we left, he remarked that it would be nice to keep in touch, but not for treatment! And thanks to the log roll, which I do every morning before getting out of bed, I have not needed a treatment since May of 2014, over a year without being dizzy! What a real joy it is to face a new day without THAT problem.
Dale and I have kept in touch with Dr. Lampe, and he has graciously welcomed us to MABI from time to time just so we can catch up on what’s been happening in our lives. One of those visits took place last month, and it was so good for us to give him a hug and wish him well. A half-hour visit was enough for us to renew our friendship and to assure him that he was in our thoughts and prayers as well. His friendly smile and words of encouragement were so typical of our friend. We were surprised when Dr. Lampe opened the big bottom drawer of his desk, and came up with a large folder, saying, “See, I have that whole series of stories you wrote about your experiences in Africa.”
And I would be shirking my duty if I didn’t mention his new office manager, Patrice! Lots of adjectives came to my mind as I listened to her words and noted her smiles and winks as she greeted the patients. She is funny, jolly, outgoing, and cheerful! As we entered the receptionist area, Patrice smiled from ear to ear and asked, “Now what are you having done today?” When I answered, “Nothing; I’ve come to see Dr. Lampe,” she immediately said, “Oh, you must be Chris and Dale! Did you bring us any treats?” She must have heard that if our garden was producing well, we might take the doctor some fruits or vegetables.
As she continued to talk, I told her I had my camera and wanted to take her picture to put on our blog. “Oh, you do!” Immediately she posed, and I mean really posed, with bright eyes shining, and a smile bigger than any I had ever seen before. “How about another one?” I asked. “Yes, take as many as you like,” she said, as she stood with her chin cupped in her hand. Because of this little incident, that lovely young lady has signed up to receive this blog, so welcome Patrice! And be sure to give your big boss and our great friend, Dr. Lampe, our greetings!
Oh, one last word about dizziness. There is nothing in the world good about that word or problem, but sometimes if you can take the bad, you’ll find some good in it, too! – CHRIS