Vertigo: Day 58

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.

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