Living with Vertigo – A Reminder

Maybe I got a little cocky, saying I’d had no extreme vertigo episodes for almost two years and it had been a year since I’d had a sign of anything. Shortly after I said that to someone who asked how I was doing, I had a “not quite right” week. My body was reminding me that it was still there and I shouldn’t take anything for granted.

It’s been four years since all this began. The first two years were horrible and seemed to last forever. The last two have been wonderful and have flown by. This is the way my retirement was supposed to be. So any sign of it brings back all those terrible memories.

This time

I need to say, nothing I experienced recently was extreme. Mostly, I just felt a little off and fuzzy-headed. I had a few days where I’d bend over and experience a momentary dizzy feeling. It always came and went quickly.

I had the same thing happen a few times at bedtime. I’d lay down and my head would spin for two seconds. That’s it. But I didn’t like it because it was too close to a dreaded episode. That’s when all those terrible experiences come back to haunt me and I don’t like it. It messes with my confidence and frame of mind.

I knew I had a chiropractor appointment in a week and her hours are so quirky I decided it was easier to just wait until my scheduled time. I never know if my visits make any difference but I’m not ready to give them up.

During this time, I also got a new hearing aid. It’s actually a nice one and I can see no connection between it and my issues. It’s rechargeable so I don’t have to mess with batteries anymore and that annoying ding, ding in my ear when they need to be changed.

So, I lived with the little reminders for a week and then saw my chiropractor.

I needed an alignment, which somewhat confirmed there could be something going on. And it took her two tries to get it to stick. I’ve never had that happen before.

That night during dinner, I felt something that lasted longer than a few seconds. I was able to finish my dinner. Tim asked if I wanted to lay in bed but I didn’t feel like I needed that. He’s told me since that he can tell when it’s happening to me. He can see it in my eyes. He told me I looked like the Good Doctor, who never seems to be focusing on anything!!

I just wanted to sit in my recliner and close my eyes. I had already planned to use the heating pad on my neck that evening, which is something I have done after chiro visits in the past, especially after an alignment. So I curled up with it and my afghan.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had this experience after seeing her. I’ve wondered if it’s my body adjusting to the new alignment. It’s a positive, however, that it wasn’t a full-blown episode. And I’m grateful for anything that isn’t debilitating. But I slept enough in my chair for my FitBit to register sleep!!

It took probably a couple of hours and then I felt fine. Maybe kind of groggy but no fuzzy head feeling. And I slept fine that night.

The next day, I still didn’t feel quite right and stayed in all day. I had a brief sensation in the mid-afternoon but again, nothing that required my life to stop. With these things, the biggest impact is mental and not physical. I don’t think it’s feeling sorry for myself. It’s more like no energy or interest. Maybe a little depression? It’s definitely something I can’t control.

I don’t remember exactly which day it was, but possibly by the second day, I felt “normal” again. It’s strange how I’ve become so in tune with these feelings. My mood was better as well as my confidence. And I’ve been fine ever since. Back to not thinking about it constantly or afraid to go out of the house. This is the me I prefer to be!!

But – I do need to pay attention. This is a reminder that every day is precious and I need to appreciate each day when I feel good.

It’s too bad we need reminders, isn’t it?

13 thoughts on “Living with Vertigo – A Reminder”

    1. Thanks Erica. It is frustrating but I’m grateful it appears to be under control so not as debilitating as it was.

  1. I’ve experienced BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) and I know how debilitating it can be. When I lose my balance on the way to the bathroom to vomit, I know it’s not going to be a good day. I’m happy to say that I haven’t had a severe episode for ~ 2 yrs. A massage therapist recommended sound therapy which i do on a regular basis. During the worst episodes, I had success with acupressure treatments. Feeling a little off and fuzzy headed is exactly how I describe it when it’s not full blown. Be well.

    1. Thanks Mona. I feel bad for anyone who goes through this. I have to remember that I have many more good days than bad ones.

  2. I don’t even want to write about vertigo in fear that will somehow make it come back. I’m in a good place now. That’s all I’ll say about that. The only other thing I was going to mention is that two of my previous episodes followed rounds of really good golf. So maybe movement (chiro) has something to do with it. I also had new glasses that weren’t quite right, and I believe there’s an association. I feel for you, because vertigo sucks.

    1. Yes it does suck. And I know what you mean about not writing/talking about it. When it first started I didn’t want to talk about it at all and everyone kept asking me about it. Notice I waited to write this after my week of fuzzy headed brain. I wanted to make sure it was gone!!!

  3. I hate to hear this, LInda. You’ve been so much better lately! Let’s hope it’s just a little “bump”. I had a friend who was experiencing vertigo and has been to physical therapy for a pinched nerve and has experienced great relief. It is scary when we feel something is just not right. Curling up with a heating pad and an Afghan sounds like just the right thing to do. Take care and listen to your body!

    1. I’m not assuming anything at this point in terms of whether or not I’m doing OK and definitely looking at it as a little “bump” in the road. I don’t think it’s time to rush back to Mayo or anything. I’m trying to accept that I won’t always feel 100% and who does anyway?? I asked Tim why couldn’t I have “regular” old age pains and not this? But I’m still OK with where things are right now.

    1. You’re right. I need to consider it self-care more often and not feel like it’s a weakness. Thanks!!

  4. I had severe vertigo years ago, to the point of throwing up, but my physical therapist cured it with 3 sessions of the Epley Maneuver. Since that time, I have only had one very insignificant episode, and I did the maneuver once and done! I assume if you are ‘living with vertigo’ you must have tried that already.

    1. Yes, mine isn’t related to the crystals in my ears. It’s been diagnosed as either Meniere’s Disease or vestibular migraine. I’ve been to Mayo and have been taking a medication for two years. That and my chiropractor appear to have it under control. But nothing’s ever certain with this.

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