Monday, October 7, 2013

31 Days: Vertigo

Today I noticed that I did not have vertigo.

About a week ago, I started feeling sick. Unsteadiness, nausea, dizziness. Terrible vertigo at night.

First, I thought it was the new iOS 7 on my iPhone update (seriously, it's making some folks sick). I switched the settings.

It didn't help.

For a week now, I've felt off. And extraordinarily grumpy. And every night, when my head hit the pillow, the room would spin violently. It was horrible. And it continued, any time I moved during the night.

Convinced it was some sort of ear infection, I got some amoxicillin. I tried decongestants. But every day I was grumpy, and every night my world turned. Way too much.

I decided I'd go to the doctor Monday morning, so I spent some time doing research on vertigo last night (God bless the internets). Based on my symptoms, I decided I likely had benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Essentially, some "debris" in my ear had entered one of the semicircular canals, causing vertigo.

At least that was my diagnosis.

So I figured I knew what I had; but I also wanted to know what to expect in terms of treatment.

God bless youtube.

I found videos - lots of videos - demonstrating the typical treatment for vertigo. It's an adjustment made by a licensed professional - like my chiropractor - that would reposition the calcium carbonate debris and solve the problem. I watched several videos, all of which showed the same basic technique.

I had a thought. I think I can do this myself...

Dangerous words, I know. But it didn't look that difficult.

And it wasn't.

I did the "treatment" once and it didn't work. I decided to try again.

It worked.

I slept better than I had all week long. I felt good - really good - when I woke up. So good that I was astounded to comprehend how awful I had really felt the week before.

I saw the doctor anyway, and we talked through my self-diagnosis and treatment. He applauded me (and boy, was I proud of myself) and told me to continue to do the treatment for three consecutive days. We talked a bit about the hidden impact of vertigo on the body; when neurological paths are interrupted even just a bit, the body functions with a "ghost" self that keeps everything, every day, just a bit "off". Things don't line up. Moods are altered. Reflexes are dulled. Fog is prevalent.

That explained a lot.

This is a long blog post for a "what I noticed" series. However, I thought maybe it would be helpful. I've heard of people suffering vertigo before, but never experienced it myself. Of course, my circumstances and outcome may not be typical, but the doctor thought it was absolutely fine to have treated myself. Maybe somebody else needs some encouragement and information.

It's called The Epley Manuever. Here's the actual video I watched (about seven times). I did it alone, although I suppose it would be nice to have somebody hold my head. Maybe I'll ask my husband to help next time.


Lori said...

Cool... I'm glad it worked. Keep this video, it's a good one.

Shannon Baker said...

It sounds like an interesting series. I will check it out

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Jayne said...

That's just so interesting Beth. So glad it worked!

annie said...

I had a friend who recently had this problem and had to do this maneuver too!

I;m glad you got it figured out and are feeling better.

I wrote yesterday about being grumpy, It's a bit weird how some of our posts have paralleled each other.