7 February 2009


Labyrinthitis is a balance disorder. It is an inflammatory process affecting the labyrinths that house the vestibular system (which sense changes in head position) of the inner ear.
In addition to balance control problems, a person suffering labyrinthitis may encounter hearing loss and tinnitus. Labyrinthitis is usually caused by a virus, but it can also arise from bacterial infection, head injury, extreme stress, an allergy or as a reaction to a particular medicine. Both bacterial and viral labyrinthitis can cause permanent hearing loss, although this is rare. And my wife, Shirley, occasionally has to wrestle with this nasty condition.

This morning, as I awoke, she told me that she would not be going into work at the health centre because her old enemy had come to call again. I knew that meant she would have to spend the better part of the day lying absolutely still, perhaps listening to the radio and occasionally sipping some water. I had to get off to work myself. I gave her the things she needed - mobile phone, bottles of water, house phone and zoomed out of our house to the car parked up the hill as it has been all week.

It was sad that the labyrithitis had paid another visit because we had tickets to see Keane in concert once again at the Sheffield Arena. Of course, Shirley couldn't go so instead I picked up our son from his workplace in town.

As usual, Keane were quite brilliant. The concert was well stitched together around the latest album - "Perfect Symmetry"with some great background visuals but of course the highlight was again Tom Chaplin's amazing voice - pitch perfect and rich in emotion, soaring high into the metal rafters of the vast arena. One of the best moments was their rendition of a Sheffield band's most triumphant hit - "Disco 2000" by Pulp:-

Oh Deborah, do you recall?
Your house was very small, with wood chip on the wall.
When I came around to call,
you didn't notice me at all.

I said let's all meet up in the year 2000.
Won't it be strange when we're all fully grown.
Be there at 2 o'clock by the fountain down the road.
I never knew that you'd get married.
I would be living down here on my own
on that damp and lonely Thursday years ago.


  1. Please pass on my commiserations to your wife. I too get bouts of this vertigo - usually comes on in the night and it can wipe a whole week out of my life. And it lingers so that when I roll around on the floor pretending to be 'yogic' I can feel all a over k...

  2. Ouch, my brother suffers occasionally too; I know how nasty it can be.

  3. That's a nasty complaint. I do hope Shirley will soon feel better. In the meantime, looks like the housework, cooking etc is down to you. :)

  4. I do hope Shirley gets over this bout quickly. Sounds horrible. The show sounded good 'though.

  5. Anonymous9:55 am

    Sorry to hear of your wife's illness. Your Keane concert sounds good, particularly as I just missed Leonard Cohen's last concert. One of the best live versions of his "Suzanne" was by a young English exchange student singing in a tavern in Chagrin Falls Ohio many years ago.

  6. Sorry YP, this is my first time blogging and the previous "Anonymous" should have read "Birt"

  7. DELWYN - Thanks for your good wishes and sorry to hear you have similar bouts of tjis kind of sickness.
    CROFTY - Also sorry your brother is a sufferer. By the way there is a support website - easy to search for.
    JENNYTA - Unfortunately housework is something I am very poor at - I just don't have the talent for it but cooking okay. I am like James Martin in the kitchen.
    KATHERINE - Thanks for your good wishes and yes it was a great show. If they come to NZ please try to get a ticket.
    ANONYMOUS - Thanks for the comment, Yes I saw that English guy too. He was brilliant!...I think I sniff a feeder of pigs!
    BIRT - Mmm.. I haven't looked yet but I am thinking Kondas!

  8. Your post's title reminded me of the opening lines of Francis Thompson's poem, The Hound of Heaven:

    "I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
    I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
    I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
    Of my own mind, and in the midst of tears
    I hid from him...."

    It's not often I get to type the word "labyrinthine"...thanks, awfully, old chap!

  9. and I thought the song 'oldest swinger in town' was about somebody made up! best wishes to the missus for me though, sounds pretty crap what she has

  10. I hope your wife is feeling better soon, YP. How are you doing snow-wise? Will you have to make up any of the days you may have lost?

  11. Poor Shirley - and even worse to miss the concert. Chaplin did Springsteen's The River at Nottingham - his voice really is incredible.

  12. Give my best to your wife mate, I know how debilitating illness can be.

  13. I hope Shirley is feeling better. It is a shame she missed the concert. My youngest sister has always loved "Disco 2000", an anthem of her youth. Thank you for your kind comments over at my blog.


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