On Friday I had an inner-ear infection. I’ve never had one before. I’ve heard people complain about these, but I always figured it was like an earache, only – I dunno – maybe it hurt more or something? Turns out inner ear infections don’t hurt at all. At least mine didn’t.
What happened was that my inner ear (both ears, I guess) stopped working, and I lost all sense of balance. And I do mean ALL.
Every kid has spun around in circles until they were so dizzy they couldn’t stand. This was the same feeling, only it was more intense, and it was constant. It was actually kind of scary, since I couldn’t stand or sit up. I wasn’t sure how long it would last.
The slightest movement would make me nauseous. It was like my ear was telling me I was spinning, but my eyes were telling me I wasn’t. I found that if I lay on my side in the dark and didn’t move, and if I had a fan blowing on me, then I wouldn’t be nauseous. It was like my inner ear was saying, “Hey, we’re spinning!” and because I could feel the moving air and I couldn’t see the room, I could just go with it. “Yup, we’re spinning. Whee.”
It only lasted about 12 or 16 hours. Once I was able to stand up without throwing up it got to be sort of amusing trying to get around the house. I thought, “I don’t need my inner ear. I can just judge balance by looking at the floor.” Sadly, this doesn’t work. I walked in a weaving side-to-side motion, and more than once made a left turn into a wall for no reason.
Which brings me to the following question:
Taste, Touch, Smell, Sight, and Sound. Why isn’t balance included in our list of senses? I promise you, life without balance is more debilitating than life without hearing. It’s way worse than life without smell. I would put balance just behind sight and touch in order of importance.
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