I was sitting in class today watching a movie and struggling to stay awake. My neck started stiffening – probably from trying to stay upright, I think. Then I notice that my right ear is aching. Later I have a headache and notice that my eyesight is unfocused…not really blurry but not focusing on any one thing. This is concerning. I don’t like feeling off. I know that something isn’t right, but it isn’t unusual for me either. By the time I get home, I feel a bit light headed. Sit down and eat dinner, but when I go to get up the movement makes my vision shift, and I am listing to the left as I walk. Now I know what is going on. I am having vertigo.
I have been dealing with vertigo for several years. I know that I cannot watch computer screens zip by, I have to be careful with sudden movements, and there are some things I can do to help myself. The first time I suffered with vertigo was scary; it was also the worse it has ever been. I drove in to work and when I got out of the car, I was walking like a drunken person. The lack of movement stimulated by the car sent my balance reeling. I got to work and called my husband to come get me knowing that I wasn’t safe to drive home. Two hours later, I was sitting in the emergency room. Every movement made me sick to my stomach. My head wouldn’t stop reeling. I was given anti-nausea medicine and valium to help with the symptoms. They helped, but it was a full month before I was myself again. I couldn’t move quickly, driving made me sick, and reading and watching things were out of the question. I went back to work at risk of losing my job. I had a difficult time processing my thoughts and understanding what others were saying to me. I know that given time it would pass and I would get on with my life. And it did, sort of. The vertigo looms in the background. I know that something can start it up again.
I have learned over time that several things set it off more than others. Dehydration, stress, and barometric pressure change are the leading causes. I try to stay hydrated, but I am not a big water drinker. I go until I am dry then I will drink. Some days this has me drinking 4 glasses of water instead of the recommended 8. Typically I drink 6. This helps, but if stress or a storm comes, I will have problems. I have had a drink water app on my phone before, and I found it helped. Then I get busy and start ignoring the reminder. I know that sitting and letting myself relax helps too, but once I notice the vertigo, I keep catching myself checking for it. That is worrying not relaxing. I have tried meditation, but not during the symptoms. Going to bed does help.
Recently, though I read that ginger can help with vertigo and to keep it away. It is something to try. I take ginger capsules or candy when I fly, another thing that affects the vertigo, so why not take it when I am having problems?
Today, I am stressed about my family coming and getting everything ready in time and it all working out okay. Also there is a series of storms coming in this week, so the pressure is changing. And, I didn’t drink enough water. So three against me. I did learn something though…I have some warning that vertigo is coming. I hadn’t put that together until just a little while ago, but thinking back, these are symptoms I get the same day I get vertigo. I can watch for the symptoms and hopefully the ginger and some water will stop it before it actually develops.