The ground seems to be coming up to meet me. It see-saws under my feet. If I turn my head too quickly it is like a stop motion animation, and my balance wavers. I am reminded of the feeling following a journey on the sleeper from London to Fort William, or if I have stayed afloat for several days. I am unsteady, destabilised. I cannot drive. I cannot ride a bike.
The kerb seems too high and I dare not risk stepping off it. I hug the inside of the pavement, scared I might suddenly fall. My hand reaches for rails, walls, any support that offers. My feet move slowly. I need to make sure I am in contact with the ground.
A colleague talks about hypertension and blood tests. She looks knowing, as though I am being blind to something obvious. I feel vaguely irritated by her, and fairly certain she is wrong. I manage to get an appointment with the GP. A young woman, she is reassuringly thorough and competent. On the wall behind her is a poster about tinnitus.
Mother had tinnitus and Menière’s Disease. She would feel sick and fall over. Nearly thirty years ago she had a drain put in her head to stop the fluid from building up and making the world whirl about her. When it stopped working doctors thought she was too frail for the same operation, so she elected to be made completely deaf in the affected ear.
All I have is a viral infection in my inner ear. I need rest and medication. My blood pressure is fine. The sun is shining.