I began this journey over twenty years ago. It’s not one I would have chosen. I can’t even say it’s been easy or that I’ve faced it like a warrior, because I haven’t. There were times I wanted to give up.
I didn’t always see the light at the end of the tunnel.
In the beginning I experienced debilitating vertigo that would last around eight hours at a time. Nausea, dizziness and balance issues would follow these rounds of vertigo that I experienced once or twice a week.
I should mention tinnitus and ear fullness were my most persistent symptoms. The tinnitus has never stopped. The ear fullness comes and goes. My hearing fluctuates, though only minimal hearing loss in my right ear.
I, also, started seeing trails even on “good” days. I think my eyes weren’t tracking. It’s called Palinopsia, though frankly until just this minute I didn’t realize it had a name.
I want to mention that most of my chronic health issues began or exacerbated at this time.
The trails and dizziness were probably symptoms of my migraines. At this time my three month non-ending migraine began. I still get trails once in awhile, but usually when I am very tired.
I found myself getting slammed backwards as if someone had shoved me really hard. I called them slam attacks. These are drop attacks. I had them in between the vertigo attacks. I know now how fortunate I was that I always had a wall or at work a shelf to stop me from being thrown to the ground.
Throughout all this stress my fibromyalgia pain and symptoms kicked into high gear.
When I stopped working in 2002 because the fluorescent lights triggered both migraines and vertigo, I was having attacks every other day. I found that by taking away the stress of disappointing my boss that I had less vertigo attacks.
Still I ended up rarely getting out of bed unless we had some one to visit or something to do. Between the pain, the anxiety of having an attack and the actual vertigo itself I felt safest in bed.
I started writing. My husband bought my a desktop computer and I got out of bed. Then I found a local writing group and my life changed. I still had vertigo attacks, but they weren’t as frequent and the drop attacks stopped.
I went into remission in 2011 or there abouts. I only remember one attack during that period and nothing until December 2017 when I came out of remission at Disneyland.
Still, I didn’t have a full blown vertigo attack until May. Remember I consider a full blown attack as vertigo that lasts for hours. Though what I had at Disney was close, though it was more disequilibrium and the walls were wavy instead of spinning. I overheated and thought that going on Space Mountain would cool me off. Sensory deprivation is not good. It made me sick to my stomach and despite the fact that I rarely throw up, I had to find some place after unsuccessfully controlling my stomach while waiting for Ralph and Colleen to get off another ride. I had to sit out half a day of rides.