Tag Archives: vertigo

To Dr. C

Dr C,

Talking to A Monday brought stuff up, but I’m not totally sure what. There’s a lot of the past floating around, and I’m finding myself really easily startled and frightened…

My head was literally spinning today, it triggered vertigo somehow.

There’s body stuff I’m feeling, and… I don’t even know what else. My heart races over nothing. I feel shaky, like I haven’t eaten in days, but in reality, I’ve been stuffing my face. I wanted to cut; to destroy my body; to pulverized it and stab it and shred it and break it and burn it… and by my body, I mean my pelvic area, where the feelings are creeping in again.

I wish we hadn’t talked about body. The kid really wanted to reach out, but my mouth was glued shut. I wasn’t sure how to speak about it without just screaming… so I kept quiet.

Only now the things I didn’t say are finding other ways to be noticed.

I really wish you were here coz I could talk to you about it, but you are still away through Monday… I don’t feel comfortable bugging A about it. There would be too much to explain… she kept saying she didn’t know my history; she hadn’t read what you gave her. Part of me wished she had. That way I wouldn’t have to figure out how to cram an explanation into the session and still have time to address what was happening in the moment… or just skip it all together because I couldn’t condense it that far.

I can feel the anxiety rising again. There are memories and fantasies and fears all happening in my body at the same time. It feels like I’m throwing imaginary scenarios in to drown out whatever is trying to surface. Imaginary stuff that I create in my head is much easier to control (and tolerate) than the stuff that actually happened (maybe? They’re memories, right? They’re valid? Or maybe even those are all stories?…).

I want to do that body drawing stuff she mentioned because it feels like something the kid could use to communicate. He still needs a translator, but maybe that would help? He seems connected to the idea…

I want to try some more kid techniques sometimes. Maybe the stuff that’s stuck would become unstuck? The kid that talked to De while I colored really likes that idea too. She wants to do more of that. She liked talking… I think she told the boy, because he keeps peeking around the corner wanting to try it…

There’s really not these others inside, but it just feels like there are others there, and I just don’t have a better way to describe the feeling.

SJ’s gone. I miss her. She was the most brave about talking. She was the face of the other kids. I dunno where she went. The boy misses her too, and the other girl and little blue monster all miss her. She was both 7 and 70. She was protective, but little, but also… I dunno. A container for the other kids? Now that she isn’t here, the others have to speak for themselves? Maybe she split into them when she ran off? She was older when she left though. She felt… I dunno. She wasn’t really older, but now the memory of her feels older? Does that even make sense? She left as a kid, maybe 5 or 7, but now the memory of her leaving feels like a young adult having moved away from home to get on with her own life. She pops by to say hi every once in a while, mostly to the kids, but she’s moved on with her life… like the babysitter going off to college or something.

I know these are all constructs of my head to order and make sense of things (and to keep safe), but it feels so separate. It kinda feels like other people who maybe speak a foreign language, or are extended family, or something… I dunno.

And they shift and change over time. I guess it’s me shifting and changing things as my understanding does the same. Sometimes they make sense as they were, other times the narrative needs to change to compensate for discrepancies. I guess it makes total sense if you look at it all as constructs of my head to help navigate life… they change with my understanding and head-space.

I’m really glad you will be back next week. I hope the trip was fun. I’m really glad you are back (and I was really relieved when I saw you post stuff on ig)…

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Vertigo sucks.

…but i think I’ve mentioned that before. 

Everything is slowly spinning backwards and to the right. 

I’ve tried one “fix” for it (half-somersault by Dr Carol Foster), and it helped a bit for a few minutes, but now the merry-go-round has picked up again. I need to try the Epley Maneuver, just have to find the video so i remember how to do it… this one is a bit dry, but concise enough for my attention span. 

There’s several other videos on YouTube, as well as some precautionary stuff (like make sure it’s benign positional orthostatic vertigo (bpov) before writing it off and trying a home fix.  I’m pretty sure mine is,  as I’ve had multiple scans done when it first occurred, and nothing abnormal was found. Just make sure to check with a doctor if this is the first time you’ve experienced it, or if you’ve never had further testing done to rule out other, nastier stuff. Also check with your doc if it’s happening more frequently or severely than it has previously.

I really hope this resolves before the week’s activities need to happen. L caught whatever it was I had this past week, so if I’m too dizzy to drive, nothing will get done, including doctor’s appointments (and laundry, which has taken a huge hit since L stated her treatment)…


more tests needed…

So, a huge wait and a short appointment later, it has been determined that I function pretty well between episodes (duh!). Because the vertigo at the moment it so mild, and the cognitive impairments are brief and so far between that he can’t think of anything it might be. He suggested neuropsych testing but it is quite expensive. I am scheduled for an EEG and some balance testing, but that’s only because it can happen before the end of the month (so my crappy insurance will pay for it). The neuropsych testing would take much longer than that to schedule I guess.

I really do want to figure out what all this is though. I’m hoping something will show on the upcoming tests so I can get some answers. Right now, I just get looks from professionals that make it seem like they are simply indulging my stories as they smile and nod (because nothing is really being observed or measured).

My biggest concern is losing my independence with driving. I don’t want to be told I cannot drive, but I also don’t want to put people in danger. It’s just scary when I suddenly can no longer process visual or auditory information in a meaningful way.

I did tell the doctor that at first I wasn’t sure if it was part of my normal dissociation, but the increasing frequency is causing some anxiety.

I’m supposed to go back for a follow-up in a month, unless the tests show something hugely alarming. Then I’m sure I will go back sooner, but I doubt they will show anything much because it’s so sporadic…


seeing inside of my head (literally. there’s a scary clown in there, and a fat & happy pumpkin)

I picked up a copy of my CT  scan to take to the neurologist with me today. I’m glad I picked it up with enough time to look at it myself. It’s neat to look at, though I don’t understand the totality of what I am seeing beyond the basics of: “cool, that’s my brain”… I saved a copy of the file for myself, and will probably post a still once I can figure out how to get it onto this computer (I don’t have a disc drive on mine, so I needed to view and save it to another one)…

I will have to get a copy of the scans done a year ago also. I will want a copy myself, but that hospital is suggesting I should have the Dr’s office send a request via fax. I’ll be interested to see if it’s any different now.

Anyway, so yeah, going to the neurologist today in hopes of getting closer to figuring out where my symptoms are coming from and why they are getting more frequent.

I was going to try to drive myself to pick up the records at the hospital today, but driving makes my vertigo much worse. It’s not so bad when I walk or sit, but driving really messes me up. I had to ask my mom to drive me, and she will be driving me to my appointment shortly.

One of my big worries is losing my ability to drive if this keeps up. I like having the independence and freedom to get places myself. Right now, when the vertigo and confusion hit without warning, it suddenly becomes unsafe for me to drive (think of driving while quite buzzed, bordering on drunk, only not having had any alcohol). I am super-paranoid about safe driving, and would not want to endanger other people on the road…

I really hope this guy can figure out what is wrong and how to fix it (crossing fingers).

So, just in case anyone wants a laugh (or scare) here’s a fat & happy pumpkin, and a creepy clown:

happy brain scary clown in my head

The more I look at the “clown”, the more it looks like Kermit in sugar skull makeup… hmm…


Therapy, Saint Patrick’s day, and vertigo

TM was back today. I’m not sure anymore why I thought she hated me, though I left there wanting to cry (they would have been happy tears).

We talked about values I grew up with vs values I’ve instilled in myself. I’m supposed to contemplate that and put it on paper for next session.

I held true to pulling out my coloring book, though I had to borrow her crayons since the dogs ate mine last night (I think crayola flavors them or something because the dogs hunt them down and devour them). I had given her my list from last month, though I was really reluctant to pull it out. Everything I write between sessions always feels stupid and trivial by the time I get in to see her. I put huge judgements on them and never want to hand it over… She, like TL and De, says that nothing I’ve given her has been stupid. I dunno, but she says she’s being genuine, so I’m gonna go with it.

I know we talked the whole hour, but I’m not sure what else we covered. I was having a lot of trouble paying attention and retaining anything she said for longer than 30 seconds.  I’m not totally sure where I went, but it was bothersome. I couldn’t formulate responses, or even process a lot of what she had said…

She offered another session this week to help get back in the groove. I hesitated, because I didn’t want to come off as annoying or needy. She caught the pause and asked about it. I was able to tell her that I didn’t want to be annoying. She assured me she would not have offered it if she thought I was too annoying (actually, I think she said something along the lines of having had already passed me on to another clinician if she thought I was as bad as I thought I was). So we scheduled another session this week.

On the way home, I wanted to go to the beach, but I have yet to find a parking spot. I never realized how big of a deal they make out of St Patrick’s Day here, every city is having a beach/block party that is already underway… hopefully the next parking area I try will have a space (I stopped to grab a slice of pizza coz I was starving, so no worries, I’m not driving and writing). If I do land at the beach, I’ll share some pics 🙂


I didn’t end up at the beach. I forgot spring break season is upon us. There was too much traffic, so I turned around and came home. It’s a good thing too, because my vertigo started up again. I was having trouble processing my environment on the drive. Shortly after getting home, I got really incredibly tired and slept for almost 3 hours. Last time this happened, I told myself I was going to go to the doctor about it, so that’s where we are headed. My gut is telling me this is more than vertigo.


A 2.5-hour ER visit later (complete with a few vials of blood and a CT scan), and I’m back where I started. They did give me a referral to a neurologist though, so I will try to follow-up with them tomorrow. The confusion and extreme exhaustion is what has me thinking this isn’t just vertigo, though I may be wrong. Hoping this bout leaves quickly…

 


hormones + depression + changes + holidays = holy f***ing rollercoaster!

My moods have been all over the place for the past several days. I go from being fine, to uncontrollably tearful, to angry, to really sad, back to fine all without warning. I know it’s a combination of a lot of stuff, but it’s kicking my butt. Add to that some random little disappointments, and then stress over one of the dogs’ health and I’m a hot mess.

I’ve been trying to remain social. This weekend I went with mom to a gallery opening. I went despite really losing motivation as the time wore on that day. I went because TL had urged me to force myself to follow through on plans even if I didn’t want to in an effort to stave off a crash (or at least lessen the blow of it). I went because mom was actually excited to go, and I went to support a friend who has work at the gallery… It was good. My friend ended up selling a piece (at the point that we left, I believe it was the only sale of night. There was still about hour to go, so I’m sure other sales were had). I met up with someone I knew from one of the journal classes and we exchanged info to be able to keep in touch. Then, on the way home, I was able to pick up some quality frames someone was throwing out after a move (yes, I went “dumpster diving” because when you are broke, you do stuff like that, especially when it’s nice stuff that will just end up in a landfill). There were 5 in all, one of which is a nice Rembrandt reproduction that my mom is in love with. So, happy friend, happy mom, and new acquaintance all added up to a positive night. I’m glad I made the choice to still go out that night.

I’ve also been trying to remain occupied. I’m working hard on TL’s piece as frustrating as it is. I’m trying to keep my hands busy with jewelry-making when not working on her piece (TL suggested constructing something instead of just painting or drawing as flowing motions are supposedly more prone to keep you in an emotion where as shorter, halting ones are supposed to help release emotion… I will have to look into this further, though it makes sense and I want to say I’ve heard it before TL mentioned it to me). I have my music on when I can. I’m trying to stay out of bed (yesterday doesn’t count. The vertigo hit hard and fast Saturday night and lasted almost all of yesterday so most of the day was spent in bed). I’m trying to do productive things around the house… I’ve been putting off the cat litter for WAY TOO LONG, but it takes so much energy. Hopefully when mom returns from shopping, she will have brought disposable gloves so I have one less excuse to not do it. My one task for the day is to clean the litter boxes… just one (ginormously, monumentally, hugely, immense) task. I can do this (I will repeat these 4 words until I finally finish the task).

TL had given the option of a session this week, and I was going to be good and try to not ask for it, but the roller coaster is wearing on me. I left a message with the agency asking if they could pass along my request for a session. Turns out that the office is closing early on Wed and will be closed through the weekend until Monday. Hoping TL has time, but I’m not holding my breath for it. She had mentioned Wed or Fri as session options, so I guess she didn’t realize the office would be closed for the holiday. It’s not an emergency, but it would be really helpful to at least find out from her if I need to look elsewhere for therapy, or if I will be switching to someone else in the office. I need to be able to plan around that some more. It’s causing way too much anxiety the way it is…

______________________________

I ended up doing the cat litter (go me!) And finishing TL’s piece. It’s not quite what I had hoped, but if I keep messing with it, I’m really going to hate it, so I’m calling it done. It’s ok if she ends up hating it because I really don’t like it myself. But I’m not going to make another one at this point. It’s too much work and frustration. And I’d need more of the supplies I used for it… I wish I had made the mountains smaller, and I dislike the climber, and I think I went overboard with the drips. I do like the embossed background, the image transfer of the woman, and the text effect (so basically I like the left side and hate the right side)… Oh well. At least it’s done. I wish it was better, but maybe next time. :(… (doing art for someone when I’m on an emotional rollercoaster is probably not the best idea in the world, especially when the perfectionism jumps up at me because I want it to be “just right” and it likely never will be. I hope it’s not to disappointing for her when she sees the finished product…
image


Vertigo and the Epley Maneuver

I was taking to one of my nieces about vertigo, and realized that most doctors either don’t know about, or don’t care to mention to their patients about the Epley Maneuver. It’s simple, quick, effective, and doesn’t require meds. Oh, and did I say it was effective?! It consists of finding out which ear is the one causing the issue, then doing a series of turns in a specific way to move the calcium crystals further out the ear canal. It takes about a minute to do (maybe a minute and a half), and makes the vertigo so much calmer. I went from the room spinning wildly to being able to walk a straight line immediately after we did it.  Prior to trying the Epley Maneuver, I was popping motion sickness pills like candy just to get the room to slow. I would lay in bed not moving in hopes of not making those pesky crystals shift.
There are a few considerations with it though, the biggest being able to figure out which ear canal has the crystals (generally, if you lay on your side, the world spins faster when you lay on the side with the floating crystals). When doing the maneuver, make sure you turn to the affected side. The other consideration is doing it with someone who can hold your head steady and keep time (you would be surprised how hard it is to keep your head still when the world is like a merry-go-round on coke). If you don’t hold your head steady, the crystals don’t go to the right place.  If you don’t hold the pose for the recommended time, the crystals can’t float on down to where you want them to be.
The best thing about this: it’s free and you can do it as many times as you need to. I only did it once the first time, but twice, a few days apart, the second. It sure beat all the meclizine I would have taken.
Anyway,  I will dig up the video link and post it here, along with some links to other helpful articles on vertigo. Hope no one experiences it, but in case you do, hope this can help.

I couldn’t find the site I had originally visited, but here is the link to the Johns Hopkins info page on it.