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I've Been Dizzy Before, But Never Like This...

I rarely sleep through the night anymore. Once I ventured over to the dark side of 60 that ship sailed and with the help of a very strong tailwind. I get up at least once, most evenings twice, and always to drain my aging bladder. I've gotten damn good at hitting the water in total darkness and given that new toilets are all 1.6 gallons per flush and have less water in the bowl, that's nothing short of spectacular. I may have lost a step or two, but my aim is still to be envied by aspiring men much younger than me.

When I'm awakened in the middle of the night, the first thing I do is look at the bright red numerals on my digital clock which I've conveniently angled towards the bed. I'm not a "conspiracy theorist ", but I'm superstitious and I believe numbers always have something of consequence to tell no matter how random. My digital clock is as accurate as any reader of Tarot cards. The number 13 has always been a lucky number for me, but not 11. If I wake up and see any hour with 11 minutes I am spooked. The Greeks have the curse of the "Evil Eye" to contend with, I have the "Damning Digital". Throw away your fortune cookies, eight balls, and rabbit's foot and start paying attention to your digital clock, it may be trying to tell you something. 

sakkmesterke. Getty Images.

Demons and Vampires are a lot sexier now than when I was a kid…

In folklore, it's believed that the "Witching Hour", a time when witches and demons are most powerful, begins at  3:00 a.m., and waking at the precise time and seeing it on the digital clock is never a good sign of things to come, and it has proven especially true for me. My favorite wake-up time is 12:34:56, it's the Royal Straight Flush of digital time and it happens twice a day. Fortunate are we who randomly see it. It brings me good luck.

Scott McPartland. Getty Images.

Schlitz, "The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous" and got a lot of kids extremely drunk in Massachusetts…

A few nights ago I awakened and immediately turned and looked at the clock to gauge my fate. It was 3:10 a.m., ten minutes past the start of the Witching Hour and one full minute ahead of 3:11, which to me, would have been a devastating sight. As I searched the room I was immediately stricken with dizziness I could only compare to my first drunk: A six-pack of Schlitz Malt Liquor consumed in the snow-covered woods of teenage delinquency amongst the loyalist of friends.

Had I consumed a large amount of alcohol my condition could've easily been explained, but this situation did not involve alcohol or hallucinogens of any kind, although a little Pink Floyd Brain Damage might've been well-suited to the moment… I immediately rose from my bed, hoping this feeling would disappear, but it didn't. As I walked out of the bedroom the space around me continued to spin and each step I took had to be swiftly countered with an opposing step to maintain an upright position. I remembered a friend of mine's father who after recovering from a stroke and hiring me to replace his water heater, was walking towards me and as he took a step with his right foot he fell to the ground on his right side. I helped him up and he said he was okay. He clearly wasn't… That was exactly how I felt.

Despite the spinning room, I managed to arrive in front of the commode and as I began doing my business I suddenly stumbled backward and if I hadn't reached out with my right hand and grabbed the corner of the vanity, I was headed ass over tea kettle into the bathtub. Fortunately, that didn't happen. We all know death will come when it wants, but certainly, we don't want it to appear during a compromising moment. Falling into a bathtub with my d**k in my left hand is not how I want to be remembered…

After I left the bathroom, fortunate to have survived, I circled the dining room table several times hoping my line would straighten and my gait would return to normal, but it only got worse. I was beginning to think I was having a stroke… I sat down on the couch and with the heat turned down for the night, I got cold and started shivering. This was not looking good… I wrapped not one, but two blankets around me and closed my eyes, trying desperately to summon my Zen… I waited 5 minutes, hoping that when I opened my eyes I'd be back in Kansas and the room would've stopped spinning, but that didn't happen.

I was getting nervous and I heard my wife get up and I thought she'd come looking for me, but she went straight for the bathroom. I waited, fully expecting she'd search for me. I wasn't in the bed and I wasn't in the bathroom… She didn't. She went right back to sleep. I decided to wait it out, hoping whatever was going on would come to pass. At 3:45 I got up and with the room still spinning like a Potter's Wheel, I went into the bedroom to tell my wife what the fuck was going on…

The room was spinning like a Potter's Wheel…

Without hesitation, she said, "You have Vertigo". She had a terrible episode several years ago, one that lasted a week and required physical therapy. At the time, I didn't consider Vertigo very high on the list of life-threatening ailments. I always say, "There's a lot of things worse than having a rock in your shoe until you have a rock in your shoe". They say "Karma's a bitch". Well, that bitch was kicking me in my nut sack and asking, "What do you think of Vertigo now?".

My wife said I needed to take some Bonine, an over-the-counter medication for motion sickness, and she went looking for it. After looking in the "top three spots woman keep their Bonine", apologies, we had our Family Feud audition last week and I can't stop hearing everything in Family Feud question form, my wife came up empty. Just as I resigned to remaining dizzy until the pharmacy opened in the morning, she brainstormed and said, "Let me check my pocketbook"… She had some buried in there and when she started looking for the expiration date, like she always does, I told her, "Just give me a fucking tablet, it's not gonna kill me, it can only help". Truth be told, the way I was feeling I would've swallowed it even if it had been three years out of date.

I took a dose and within an hour I was starting to feel slightly better. I repeated the dose every six hours as directed and although it took two days, the room finally stopped spinning.

Looking back at that night, I avoided an embarrassing death and I learned never to rank illnesses again because sooner or later, Karma will place that rock in your shoe and it will really suck!  And, when I wake up in the middle of the night and look at my digital clock, any hour in the 10th minute is gonna get my fucking undivided attention…

And here's a little "Digital Good Luck" for everyone!