On Wednesday morning I was at my desk doing some preparation for the Lancaster Beer Festival.
I've had an annoying head cold for a couple of weeks. You know the kind of feeling - like someone's stuffed a cushion into your head.
While entering data into a spreadsheet I was struck by a strange sensation. The cushion seemed to expand and shift suddenly to the right. This preceded what, had I been standing, would be described as a collapse.
I picked myself up. On my feet I crashed into doors, bannisters and furniture while my vision swirled anti-clockwise around a central point.
The calm and rational voice in me told me a head-cold can affect the magical workings of the inner-ear, the mechanism that looks after balance, amongst other things.
My inner-caveman grunted "PANIC: something terrible is happening!" while the calm and rational self looked on disdainfully.
I called a local friend who whizzed round and drove me half a mile up the road the A&E at Furness General Hospital. I staggered to the reception desk and hugged it close to keep me upright. As they took my name a wheelchair appeared behind me. In the waiting room I struggled to stay upright in the chair; I needed to be horizontal.
I was wheeled into a cubicle and heaved onto a trolley* with the cot-like side rails up.
Nurses plugged me into a machine that goes ping and inserted a
Despite the room spinning rather alarmingly and an increasing nausea I remained entirely lucid.
During the examination I started to feel sick. I've never witnessed the phenomenon known as "projectile vomiting" and I doubted such a thing existed. My doubts were banished. Several times.
An anti-nausea medication was injected via the catheter. A CT scan and blood sample were sent off for analysis.
The test were fine. Other problems were ruled out and labrynthitis confirmed. A very unpleasant ailment but far from being life-threatening. About three hours after arriving I was discharged. I was given a packet of prochlorperazine should the symptoms recur.
I missed the judging at Lancaster BF.
*The thing Americans call a "gurney". A word I find faintly disturbing.