Sunday, September 15, 2013

Vertigo: Giving 'blurred lines' a new meaning

Vertigo has made another unwanted appearance in my life this weekend. What is Vertigo? Its technically defined as a sensation of spinning and whirling that causes loss of balance, originating by a disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve. In basic terms, it's severe dizziness to the point of suckiness. That's right, Vertigo sucks!
It's not a fun kind of a dizzy, like the spinning round right round, like a record baby, in circles that you did when you were a kid, or that great rush you get when getting off a whirling rollercoaster. It's unsteadiness that can be brought on for NO apparent reason. A Vertigo attack can happen by simply standing up from a sitting position. Can you say 'head rush times ten'?!? Or even by walking into a brightly lit room. Target, for some reason tends to trigger my Vertigo. The intense lighting mixed with the tiled floor and rows of racks does not bode well for me. Aside from dizziness , I also get added symptoms of nausea and terrible headaches as sides to my main order of dizzy.
Attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days, and in some cases, even longer. It hinders daily life. Walking or trying to do normal tasks is an effort. Trying to drive while having an attack is virtually impossible. I once had an attack while driving on the freeway and I suddenly turned into 'Cher' from "Clueless", literally screaming "The freeway!! Oh my God!" Fortunately I made it off the road safely.
Vertigo affects upwards of 90 million people around the world. It can occur in people of all ages but is more frequent in older adults, age 65 and up. I am well below the age of 65, so I guess it's just the luck of the draw that I've contracted the disease.
Having suffered from this long enough, I've learned that my Vertigo is triggered by extremely hot weather, anxiety, and stress. I've learned that it's my body's way of telling me that I need to slow down and take it easy. The best cure for me is a cool room, and sleep. Although I have missed out on fun social events with friends and obligations at work due to this disease, I've been lucky enough that my attacks generally last only 2-3 days.
On the plus side, Vertigo has allowed me to hole up in my bed with ice cream and a marathon of Kate Hudson movies. Mmmm a pint of Ben and Jerry's peanut butter cup as treatment! It could be worse, way worse!

Do you suffer from any illnesses? I guarantee you are not alone. Don't be afraid to comment and share below!

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