Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Main Course - Vertigo/With a Side of Imbalance

Definition of Vertigo
Vertigo: Aside from being the name of a classic 1958 Alfred Hitchcock film (with Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak), vertigo is a feeling that you are dizzily turning around or that things are dizzily turning about you. Vertigo is usually due to a problem with the inner ear. Vertigo can also be caused by vision problems.
The word "vertigo" comes from the Latin "vertere", to turn + the suffix "-igo", a condition = a condition of turning about). Vertigo is medically distinct from dizziness, lightheadedness, and unsteadiness. See: Dizziness, Lightheadedness, and Unsteadiness.

It has been 4 days now awakening with the dreaded vertigo. First I open my eyes and then I turn my head and whoa, someone stop this merry-go-round. With perfect stillness the ride stops and lets me off and I attempt to raise my head carefully off the pillow, hoping to make it to the sitting position when gravity grabs my head and drops it like a rock back to the pillow. Eventually with as little movement of my head as possible I make it to the edge of the bed where I sit hoping for a successful attempt to the upright position. Some days I get lucky and make it on the first try but others not so lucky. This is so annoying.

A precursor to this wonderful phenomenon for me is a weird sensation in my left ear. Strange thing is years prior to my MS diagnosis I had frequent bouts of vertigo which were always thought to be "inner ear infections."

Tips I try to remember during these periods: don't stoop to pull weeds in lily bed or hubby may come home and find me face down among the lilies; when assistance is needed, ask for it; assistance when getting up during the night is best to prevent episode of imbalance and falling backwards into hard objects. This happened last night and my left shoulder blade has the bruise to prove it. Yikes.

I know, this too shall pass. Hopefully it is sooner than later.


  1. Yuck. I do not envy you the vertigo. It sounds GOD awful. If it ever enters my list of waxing and waning symptoms, I hope I remember your advice since I suck at asking for help. When I read that you needed to ask, I thought, "Of course. That makes sense." So, thanks for the reminder.
    Hang in.
    Lazy J

  2. Kelli, I still a terrible with asking for help. It makes me feel fragile and needy. The need to feel independant is my weakness. I have been in a medical and physical mess since I was 23, 21 if you want to count the fight I had with cancer at that age.
    I have always been a happy, vibrant, fun loving country girl and now I am supossed to ask for help to get up or get across the room when I am having a flare up or when my muscles don't wanna work like they are meant to?
    It is hard enough for my kids to care for me when needed. I am not done caring for them yet. This is backwards way to early in my life. A battle that fights in my head often. I keep throwing in the towel in my mind, and for what?

  3. Julie,
    Thanks for dropping by and for your concern. You are very welcome for the reminder to ask for help when needed. :-)

    My dear Conni there comes a point when we must ask for help. Don't feel guilt or less of a human being for doing so. I know how difficult it is to lose our independance and to accept the help of others. It is all part of the process. You are one of the strongest people I know dealing with the chronic pain of RSD, 6 children and everyday life. You tie a knot in that towel and hang on my friend.

  4. Hi Kelli, I've found you in the blogosphere! :) As you know vertigo is something we both share. I'm kind of used to it now though since I've had it since I was 18. Still sucks when people think I'm drunk though. LOL

  5. Jacq,
    I am glad you found me. Yes it does suck staggering like a drunk.LOL Thanks for dropping by.


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