Trog and Other Animals: Home from Hospital

© irene waters 2014

© irene waters 2014

Jerry’s partial destruction of the fence meant the dogs were locked inside until it could be repaired. This didn’t worry them unduly as they tended to lie about where they could smell or see me and only if I was doing something did they move around.
As I couldn’t manage the shop alone whilst Roger was in hospital I managed to get a couple of our occasional workers to come in and help out in the store. The next day Roger went by ambulance to Taree, 75 kms away, for a CT scan of his head to see if there was anything sinister happening, which luckily there wasn’t.There had been no improvement in his condition however and all he wanted to do was lie in a darkened room with his eyes shut and not move. He didn’t even want me to talk to him as he became nauseated at any movement and I apparently made him move. The diagnosis that he was eventually given was labrynthitis, an inner ear problem, which causes severe vertigo and vomiting. Infection  is often the cause of this condition but I believed that  Roger’s was due to severe stress and tiredness. They were treating him with stemetil but it didn’t seem effective in stopping the symptoms.
On the third day I received a call from Roger insisting I come straight in and get him. He was ready to come home. Luckily I had help in the shop and raced into the town of Gloucester. I sat down beside his bed to wait for the drawn out discharge procedure.
“Quickly” Roger said. “I’ve only got a window of half an hour before the drugs’ll wear off. You’ve got to help me dress and get me to the car.” It was a hurried exit from the ward and by the time we had reached the front door of the hospital Roger was starting to buckle. His world was spinning. I left him sitting and got the car so he didn’t have so far to walk and we drove home.
The welcome from the dogs was overwhelming but all Roger wanted to do was collapse on the bed.
The next day with him still feeling lousy I insisted that he get up and repair the side fence. Protesting he did this. Luckily the nausea subsided over the next few days but his balance has never fully recovered. For many months when we walked the dogs he would ask me if the horizon was moving for me also and he complained of feeling as though he was permanently fuzzy in the head, as though he had a perpetual hang over.
This illness made us reassess our position and we finally decided to get permanent full-time staff to work in the shop and started to discuss our strategy for leaving Barrington General Store.

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. I followed this by doing a Master of Arts by research graduating in 2017. Now I live to write and write to live.
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7 Responses to Trog and Other Animals: Home from Hospital

  1. Sherri says:

    Really glad that Roger came through it but so sorry for all you both had to go through.


  2. I am glad to hear that Roger has at least recovered enough to have a life. Labrynthitis is a very debilitating inflammation and many of my friends have had it. I have had it mildly twice, but we have very good drugs to help alleviate it. I can ask my husband what he considers to be some of the best (he’s an MD), if you want. For acute cases, he usually prescribes benedryl, since it makes the patient sleepy and reduces swelling in the inner ear.


    • Noelle that would be good if your husband could suggest some drugs but will understand if he doesn’t feel comfortable about it. Roger over the years has tried all sorts of things ester C, magnesium are a couple I can remember. He’s not too bad now but he still gets vertigo and the fuzzy head to a small extent. Cheers Irene


  3. Tincture of time and dramamine (OTC) are the best treatments according to Gene, but if the symptoms last more than two weeks, he will need to see a specialist.
    Acute labrynthtis is usually treated by:
    Serious meds include benzodiazepines which reduce activity inside your central nervous system.
    Antiemetics such as prochlorperazine treat the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness. These are considered as an alternative treatment to benzodiazepines.
    Corticosteroids such as prednisolone are used if the symptoms are particularly severe. They are often effective at reducing inflammation.
    A small number of people do experience symptoms of dizziness and vertigo that last for many months, known as chronic labyrinthitis. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) is an effective treatment for people with chronic labyrinthitis and is usually carried out under the supervision of a physiotherapist.
    Not sure if any of this helps….


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