But I never looked at the sun…

You know how when you look at the sun, or another bright light source, and then look away, everything you look at has a big bright spot that prevents you from seeing the details of what you are looking at? Well that happened to me today while reading an article on my laptop. The strange thing was, I never looked at the sun or any other "bright light source". I looked out the office window at brightly lit buildings, trees, and a clear blue sky, but the sun is on the other side of the building and not at all visible from the office.

It was quite disorienting, this fluctuating prism point of light that prevented me from even reading the text on the screen. My peripheral vision was fine and I could see the text directly to the left and right of where I was looking, but that wasn't very helpful -- I couldn't concentrate. I tried closing my eyes, flexing them by looking all the way to the left and right, and looking in the mirror to see if there was anything odd in my eyes. Nothing helped, and besides feeling a little dizzy when I got out of my chair, nothing else was wrong physically.

After about 10 minutes, the bright spot got bigger and moved slightly to the left. Now I could see the text I was looking at but there was this huge L shaped blurry spot everywhere I looked. Another 10 minutes went by, and the blurry spot moved further to the left and increased in size, eventually moving entirely out of my vision. By this time, I realized I had a bad headache and decided to do some quick Googling to see if I could learn anything about what I just experienced.

Apparently, those symptoms point to a sinus infection or other flu/sickness. This makes sense, since I have been battling a never ending cough for about a month now. The recommendation? Lots of sleep, water, and no stress. What have I been doing for the past month? I have been getting very little sleep, drinking lots of coffee to stay awake (caffeine results in dehydration), and trying to meet deadlines at work.

But no excuses. I am healthy, I have always been healthy, and I always will be healthy. Life is Good.

Dizzy Spells – Viral Labyrinthitis?

A few weeks ago I experienced a sudden dizzy spell, which was so intense it nearly knocked me over. It happen two or three more times over a five minute period. I don't get dizzy very easily; things such as spinning around or riding a roller coaster don't make me dizzy at all, so this came as a huge surprise. Following the dizzy spell, I felt very nauseous and wanted to throw up. During the next few days I felt very sick, headaches, loss of appetite, more dizzy feelings (though none nearly as intense) and just overall sick. Then it went away and I figured that was the end of it.

Then today, while sitting at my computer working for Aerva, I became extremely dizzy. It felt as if the entire building was falling over on it's side. My hands slammed down on the table in attempt to brace myself. Then I felt sick to my stomach, and wanted to throw up. After a few minutes, I tried standing up but felt as if I was about to fall over. The dizzy feeling continued for another hour, however I didn't feel anymore extreme dizziness. During that hour I did some googling to try and figure out what the hell was causing this.

I finally came up with Viral Labyrinthitis (lab-uh-rin-thahy-tis), or VL for short. I came across this post on Rich's blog about his experience with VL. Hundreds of other people who also had VL started leaving comments on his post. The comments grew to the point where his post was being used as a sort of support forum for those with VL. He had to break up the comments into 7 different pages. Anyway, after reading about 50 comments from people who had many of the symptoms I have (some had the exact same symptoms), I think its possible I have VL. Of course I should go to a doctor to confirm because there are lots of other things that could also cause the extreme dizziness.

My first thought, when this first happen to me a few weeks ago, was that it was a low blood sugar issue. When someone's blood sugar levels get low enough, they can feel very dizzy, weak, and even faint. Generally your blood sugar levels get very low when you don't eat enough, or you don't consume enough sugar (in the bodybuilding world, sugar is generally bad, so obviously I avoid it. Go figure). I had not eaten much during the day, and I usually forget how fast time passes when I'm in the programming “zone”.

Around 3:00pm, I realized I had not eaten anything since 8:00 this morning, so I went to the local Whole Foods Market and bought an avocado sandwich, a natural protein shake, and a couple of energy bars. When I got back to the office, I ate the sandwich, drank half the protein shake, and ate half the energy bar. Then the dizzy spell happen and I instantly lost my appetite. I checked the nutritional content on what I had just eaten and added up the sugar: I had just consumed over 45g of sugar in a 3 minute time span.

Wait a second... If I had low blood sugar and I just consumed a bunch of sugar, that should be a good thing, right? Well actually, when you consume a lot of sugar and your blood sugar is really low, your body releases insulin to control the amount of sugar entering your blood. If your body over compensates and releases TOO much insulin (which could happen if you consume too much sugar in a short period of time), this can cause your body's blood sugar level to suddenly plummet (insulin helps restrict and control sugar levels), thereby causing the extreme effects of low blood sugar. This is probably what happen to me.

Being the way I am, I probably won't go to the doctor unless I continue to feel really dizzy or if any symptoms get worse. My yearly checkup is coming up, so I'll just mention it to my doc when I see him. As of this post, I still feel a little dizzy, but I'm able to eat and don't feel quite as sick to my stomach.