Jason Hautala RN
Hopefully someone much smarter than I will respond to your question, but until then, I have never heard anyone ask which direction the room was spinning and have no idea why that is important. Some docs used to ask if they were spinning or the room was spinning around them, but it turns out that isn’t really useful information and most don’t ask that anymore.
The only thing I can think of is if he was actually trying to ask you on which side do you get dizzy (on your left side or right side.) This is an important question for at least one type of vertigo, BPPV. They need to know which side is the dizzy side so they know which way to turn your head for the first position of the Epley maneuver: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZgUx9G0uEs
Other than that, I don’t know of anything in which direction of the perceived spin is important.
We’ll let one of our neuro nurses handle this one. Hope you feel better.
All that said, the other symptoms you describe would make me hope the doc checked you out for near syncope in addition to vertigo, as sweats and palpitations aren’t really associated with many causes of true vertigo … as far as I know.