One morning last August, while making my bed, my entire visual field shifted sharply to the left, as though I were watching a movie and someone had bumped into the projector. After half a second, my vision snapped back into position. I froze, pillow in hand and carefully looked around. The furniture in my room was still, apparently innocent of whatever had just happened. But I felt a lingering unease that my surroundings were not bolted down.
I went for a jog along the East River, in Brooklyn. Everything seemed to be in the right place—clouds above me, wooden boardwalk below. Still, the 7 a.m. sunlight seemed brighter than usual, and the water rippled in a disjointed way, like a film reel missing a few frames. My head was heavy on my shoulders. Confusingly, it also felt as though it might float away.
Back in my apartment, I rolled out a yoga mat and stretched. When I tilted my head to touch my foot, the room began to rotate like a carrousel. I'd had dizzy episodes before, but never anything this intense. I lay down, but the spinning only sped up. I curled up and waited—prayed—for it to end. When it didn't, I reached for my phone and called a friend who lived nearby.
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