Thursday, March 4, 2010

Vertigo Again!

I have vertigo again and I'm not happy about it.  Ugh!  I have been prone to this for years, ever since a horrid episode that ended up at the ER. 

A vibrating wand with dermabrasion (mine was a very mild, $30 procedure, not the full shebang the one can purchase) placed too close to my ear knocked a crystal loose in my semi-circular ear canals....which led to.....severe vertigo and uncontrollable vomiting and weakness......which led the salon to call 911.....where it took the hospital hours to get me stabilized. 

Not fun.

After 2 long weeks of no driving and an inability to walk a straight line, let alone sleep laying down, I was sent to physical therapy where I was diagnosed with BPPV - Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and the Dix-Hallpike maneuver was done on me to determine which ear was affected. 

Did you know there was such a thing?  I did not!  Shoot, did you know we all have teeny tiny crystals in our inner ear canals?

This video is a claymation, but shows the procedure.  The figure does flail his hands a bit, but in real life, the person suffering the vertigo is scared TO DEATH as the therapist "throws" them back quickly and hangs their head off the table to watch for the nystagmus of the eyes.  This means that the eye will go back and forth rapidly if that side is the affected ear.  My arms were flailing like I was falling off the roof of a 20 foot building.  The nausea and panic is indescribable.

Here is a video that shows the nystagmus - the eye movement that diagnoses which ear.  I did not personally wear those glasses - my therapist just watched my eyes and said my eye was going SO crazy he could clearly see the problem.  Sometimes the eye movement isn't as pronounced.  At this point, I was at the 2-week mark and done with suffering!

But, the amazing result is that as soon as the therapist performs the appropriate maneuver on your based on which eye responds and in what manner, you will sit up and be cured.  I was so surprised that it was that simple.  

This time, however, they suspect I have fluid in my ears causing the vertigo, but I can tell you I am on top of this due to my balance issues in general.  I have trouble maintining my balance on a good day, let alone when the room is spinning.  I have to move v e r y  s l o w l y so as not to start the spinning, because when that happens, if I am not near a wall to grab, I can fall.  And I don't need to fall ever again.

At this point, I only feel it when I try to lay down, or turn my head too fast.  I am careful not to do that and am hoping this will resolve soon.  Just talked to my bestie Amy on the phone and she has this as well.  Gee thanks - for sending it to me to share the love, dearie!  (Sadly, she is many states away....)

If you get vertigo or know someone who does, check out these videos.  I don't know if you should try this on your own as I am not a doctor and this is nor medical advice, but definitely keep it in the back of your mind and seek help from an ENT or physical therapist, possibly chiropractors as well to get your vertigo resolved and avoid needless weeks-long suffering.  Had I known this was a possible cure, I would NOT have suffered for 2 long weeks. 

Meanwhile, I'm back to the "robot head movement" until things improve here.  

Have a great day and enjoy your non-spinning universe!


1 comment:

Thanks so much for your lovely comments!