It was 4:00am, I turned in my sleep, when the ceiling hit the floor and the room began to spin.


As if a puny, mortal howl could bring the cyclone of my spiralling bedroom back down to earth. I flung myself on to the whirling mattress and held on for dear life. It stopped as quickly as it started. An expletive drooled from my lips. My bleary eyes opened and despite the ceiling and roof above my head, I saw stars.

Hello, Vertigo. Back with a bullet for the third time in four weeks. I should have known that you never left. Between the first two bouts, I was still feeling dizzy when I leaned over to smooch my sleeping prince. I’m no princess, I should have figured it out.

Benign Vertigo

I lay drenching the sheets of my memory-foamed life-raft, iron-gripping my pillow, weighing my options. There weren’t many. One tilt of my noggin in the wrong direction and I’d be gyrating on the hellish Half-Cups at the “amusement” park of my youth, tortured forever by a notorious public barf as I spewed and staggered down a wooden ramp, grossing out the crowd.

In my head.

As the world turns.

Send in the Clouds by Brenda Keesal

It’s not easy staying still, but the spinning wheel going round-and-round forced me down and I lay prone for weeks, whispering to myself and watching the clouds drift by. I was too woozy to work, but oh my people, how the tears did flow. I was flooded with frustration, itching to get back to the roller-coaster ride of my writing life. Two months later, as I type this post, it finally hits me what I learned from lying down: I needed a break.

Here’s to happy endings, new beginnings and the year 2014. Thanks to a friend’s referral, I was blessed to be treated by a brilliant, vestibular physiotherapist with boffo bedside manner, who diagnosed me with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) and then kicked its butt out of my inner ear. With my sweating head in his steady hands, he performed the Epley Maneuver, brought me into the spin and beyond it. He promised he wouldn’t make me puke, and I didn’t. A Christmas miracle for a dizzy Jew.

C'mon and do the Epley with me!

C’mon and do the Epley with me!

*20-30% of the general population is affected by dizzyness and vertigo.

*It is coming to my attention that many people suffering from vertigo don’t know about the Epley maneuver, so please tell them about it and/or share this post! 



Donate Button


GOOD NEWS FLASH: My vertigo tale has been published on Huffington Post right here! Check it out and keep your feet on the ground.

Wondrous song-stylist Lullaby Baxter, pianist Robinson St. George, lyricist Lutwidge Sedgwick and sound engineer Howard Bilermanare cooking up a breathtaking stew befitting our gorgeous new year. Check outL’Heure de L’Etoile, support great indie music with a jazzy, vintage/vibe and listen to your heart.

Lullaby Baxter and Robinson St. George


Click on FOLLOW THIS BLOG VIA EMAIL and join the party. Don’t forget to send back the confirmation email you’ll receive.

For pix and an almost daily fix, click LIKE BURNS THE FIRE on Facebook.

Please COMMENT, QUESTION, DANCE and SHARE, and help spread the good word if you dare!