Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dizzy Broad

My Uncle Tony always said I was a dizzy broad. He was totally right.

For the past 12 years or so I've been struggling with intermittant bouts of severe vertigo. Sometimes brought on by stress, pregnancy, hormones, sickness, what have you. Sometimes brought on mysteriously.
But always very disruptive to everyday life.

It's not like I get a little head rush and call it a day. No way.
To experience the symptoms I get stand up right now. OK. Spin around and around in a circle like a little kid. OK stop!
You feel how the world keeps spinning while you seem to be falling over the other way? OK.
Now do that about every 30 minutes for four or five days.
Sounds like fun huh?

Saturday I had my most recent attack of what I affectionately call "The Spins"
Great name for a bedraggled, guylined Emo band. Not great for me.
The Spins usually start very suddenly and violently. As though someone is trying to spin me around hard. Though, noone is...usually.
Then I get queasy, the spinning sensation comes and goes, I get hot and clammy...it's all very sexy.

After 12 years of this bullshit I finally got fed up with it and went into the Urgent Care to beg for help. Like, if you need to take out half my brain that's fine! Take out the half that loves chocolate, cheese and "The Hills". I think I'd benefit all around from that operation.

Urgent Care (not even staffed by an actual doctor, mind you) said I'd probably need an MRI as I very likely have a brain cloud.
No. They didn't say that. No craniocumulitis for me!
But they did say, MRI stat!

Ugh.
MRI = bleeding uncontrollably from my eyes, or anus...depends on which episode of "House" you're watching.
MRI = Scary.
Which is why I skipped the scheduled MRI 12 years ago. Duh.

I called my regular doc Monday morning and got an appointment for the referral that afternoon. He scoffed at the suggestion of the bleeding inducing MRI and instead suggested that I go to physical therapy for my Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.
Or for short, BPPV.

B enign - Non-fatal
P aroxysmal - comes on suddenly
P ositional - when I move my head certain ways
V ertigo - gut wrenching spins

This morning was my first session with the therapist. She said I have a "classic" case of BPPV and was surprised, nay, downright shocked when I told her that it had been going on untreated for 12 years.
She did some sort of crystal repositioning treatment on me (which totally sounds New Age-y but actually just involves moving my head around to relocate calcium deposits in my inner ear) and showed me how to do it at home also.

The treatment has an 80 percent success rate, so...let's hope together that it works!
Here's how I'll beat my BPPV!

11 comments:

Amy said...

Are you supposed to do this standing on your head?

Jessica said...

No! Silly girl.
Laying in my big orange bed!

Jessica said...

So weird! I didn't even know that was a thing. I mean, I've heard of vertigo, but this sounds nuts. Good luck! The odds are in your favor.

On a side note, I just rescued my neighbor's two Yorkies who had gotten out of their home and were vigorously attempting to be run over or kidnapped, whichever came first.

Jessica said...

I totally didn't know it existed either...but it turns out, lots of people have it, including my own mom!

Amy said...

So what, you're supposed to twist your head lying down, then sit up, turn it again, and lie back down? Or are the photos on the bottom showing in more detail what the top photos are telling you to do? I dunno, it's very confusing, it is making me dizzy trying to figure out how to be undizzy.

Jessica said...

Me too! But I hope it helps!

The second set of pics are indeed detail pics.

You sit up, turn your head right then lay down keeping your head at that 45 degree angle. Then you wait 30 seconds, turn your head to the other side's 45 degree angle, wait 30 seconds.
Then you turn all the way to your left side and look at the floor, another 30 seconds.
Then you sit up.
Phew.

Very weird. It's supposed to work though.
And it's the opposite for the other side...you start left and go right. But I only have to do one side.
My mom said it worked for her, but naturally, I'm a special and unique flower and probably need extra special treatment.
Like hot rock massaging back rubs and exfoliating seaweed steam wraps and whatever else they have at the day spa.

Meredith said...

FINALLY!!! Remember you had this really bad senior year - probably due to the whole stress of graduating and finding a real job, growing up, etc. They should have totally figured this out sooner - especially if your Mom has it!!

Jessica said...

I know right!!!

It was all that etc... that really messed up my head senior year. :)

Amy said...

I just want you to know, that I woke up this morning so dizzy, out of the blue dizzy, I rolled over after turning off my alarm clock and the room spun, and I was turning my head every which way, trying to realign the crystals in my ear, but couldn't remember which angles your stupid photo said to turn. I tried to get up, and almost fell into the closet door getting towels, so I just went back to bed. This is your fault, you and your head crystals.

Anonymous said...

Finally a diagnosis! All this time I thought you had the spins from DRINKING!!! (Har!) Hope your therapy works, XOXO, Joan

Jessica said...

Amy: You crack me up!
Sorry about your mishap!
It's a mad mad mad mad mad world!


Joan: I too probably attributed a great deal of my dizziness (and poor decision making, aka, the etc...) to the collegiate habit of imbibing alcohol....
Turns out...it was only PARTIALLY the Pabst Blue Ribbon...no no, wait...
It was Olympia!