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Vertigo - Pam Hastey

On June 21, 2006, a little before lunch, Pam Hastey was sitting in her backyard enjoying a cup of coffee, the weather, and her beautiful garden when she decided to embark on a project. So she set down her cup, got out the ladder, and climbed 9 feet up into the loft above her garage to retrieve a really tall lamp she wanted to convert into a plant stand.

She had no way of knowing that plant stand would end up nearly costing her her life.

Sitting on her heels in the loft, as she had so many times before, investigating the lamp, Hastey was suddenly overcome by the feeling that she had perched too close to the edge. Then she lost her balance and fell out of the loft.

"It was as if someone literally grabbed me and threw me out of the loft," she says. "I remember grabbing for a beam on the way down, and it slipped right through my fingers, allowing me to fall 9 feet onto the cement floor of the garage."

No one else was home. And there she lay, unconscious, with minor fractures to her back and skull, her body battered and bruised.

"I remember coming out of a black hole," she says, "and thinking I needed help. I think I went out a few more times, but then I crawled on my hands and knees into the house. When I reached up to grab the
phone, I felt the back of my head, and it was so enormous it scared me. I grabbed some frozen vegetables out of the freezer; lay down on the couch with the bag under my head; and called first my husband, then 9-1-1."

Hastey assumed the nausea, dizziness, and almost nine hours of constant throwing up were a result of her skull fracture and concussion. And they may have been. What she didn't expect, but later learned, was that she had vertigo, a spinning sensation caused by a disturbance in the inner ear. It is likely the vertigo that caused her to fall.

"It was my neurologist who thought I had vertigo," she says, "and who told me that it's curable normally in just a few treatments. He said I would need physical therapy for this. I was hoping I would get someone who really knew their stuff and who would understand me and my problems, somebody really knowledgeable and compassionate. And I did. I got Eric."

Eric Folkins, physical therapist, doctor of physical therapy, and orthopedic clinical specialist, had the vertigo resolved in two treatments.

"Eric did a series of head maneuvers to reposition these little crystals that had managed to break off in my inner ear and cause me to be off balance. Since having the treatment, I haven't experienced any more problems with vertigo.

"I'm grateful to all who helped me through this journey. I am counting my blessings, many times over."

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