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In a spin: acute vestibular neuritis
  1. Phil Smith
  1. Correspondence to Professor Phil E M Smith, The Alan Richens Epilepsy Unit, Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff CF14 4XW, UK; SmithPE{at}cf.ac.uk

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One Friday in March 2007, I woke with the ceiling light fitting rocking back and forth, but no nausea, photophobia or headache; I suspected migraine and went to work. By mid morning in clinic, dizziness and nausea accompanied every movement. I dropped a tendon hammer during an ankle jerk but dared not pick it up. Between history and examination of my last patient, I stumbled to the toilet and vomited. Suspecting labyrinthitis, yet naïvely optimistic of rapid improvement, I drove to a midday meeting. After vomiting in the car park and palely joining the group but unable to move or contribute, the drive home was desperate and dangerous, my head as still as possible, vomiting immediately on arrival, and taking straight to bed.

The two long days immobilised in bed—on the right side—were the worst (in regard to my health) of my life so far. Keeping eyes closed yet unable to sleep, I could not watch television or read, nor re-tune the radio without assistance (the news …

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