Having Vertigo - What it Taught Me


2020 has been a year and a half, hasn't it? So much has happened that it's hard to keep track. There have been good things and not so good things. The virus sits in the latter category.  


But there have also been delightful moments.

Spending more time at home has increased my awareness of the minutia. I've slowed down. At the same time, I've become more adventurous in a very non-adventurous way. I've learned new technology (while kicking and screaming), I might add. And the best thing is I now read more and chat with friends on the phone more often. Both are perks discovered during a stressful time.  


I also had my first bout of Vertigo.  

It was Tuesday, Sep 8th. The day after labour day. My husband and I enjoyed the holiday Monday with friends. We lazed in the summer heat and ate some fantastic burgers. I drank cider and sparkling rose. I felt great when we waved our goodbyes. The next day the work would begin, and I was ready and raring to go.  


Tuesday morning, I bounded out of bed. I meditated. I was about to have a quick workout before tackling my day. Molly, my neurotic beagle, needed to go outside first. On with the leash and out we went. I bent down for some reason and was instantly dizzy. "That's weird, I thought. What was that all about?" The spinning stopped, and I reached down one more time to grab something from the garden. Boom! The world went upside down. And I went with it. What was going on? I wasn't just dizzy. I couldn't tell which way was up. Everything was spinning in all different directions. I was on my personal fair ride, and I wanted to get off.  


I knew right away; it was Vertigo. I felt nauseous and couldn't seem to get the spinning to stop. I vomited more times than I care to mention, and I don't need to go into more detail than that. All I can say is it was awful.  


Five days into having Vertigo and I wasn't getting better. I did the Epley Maneuver three times. And still, I couldn't work, I couldn't cook, and I couldn't function. My eyes were in constant motion, causing more nausea. It was like having a migraine headache without the pain. I had to keep my head perfectly still. Sleep was near impossible. I couldn't read, watch TV, sit in the sun, or talk to my grandchildren.  


The first thing I noticed was how many objects I drop during the day. And how much I usually clean as I go. My tidy house was soon a disaster. Something dropped out of the cupboard. "Hmm. Oh, well." The tea towel fell onto the floor. "Oops." Forget making the bed. I went from spick and span to bachelor pad within hours.  


My quality of life plummeted to zero. I searched for help on the internet and found little. There were so many Vertigo sufferers who had borne it for decades. Their quality of life vanished. Lost jobs. Marriages. It looked so hopeless.  


I sat on the couch on Saturday and cried. What if my life stayed like this? What if this was it for me? My goals and dreams vanished. They meant nothing. All I wanted was to feel better. All I wanted was my life back.  


I vowed at that moment that I would find help somewhere. And that I would learn how to function and feed my soul even though I was ill. 


I felt a crush of empathy for those with extreme chronic pain. Or those who are dealing with cancer. I wondered how they smiled. How did they find a way to feed their souls? 


I woke up the next day (Sunday), and the movement behind my eyes had settled. My guess is the Epley Maneuver performed the day prior had helped. Although I wasn't better, I could function. And functioning was fabulous.   


I cried again. But this time my tears were happy tears. The feeling of hope can't be measured.  


I'm still on the mend, and every day gets a little better. I feel energetic again. But as soon as I walk fast, I'm reminded to take it easy and be patient. I need to allow myself to heal.  


Why do I tell you all this?  


First, life can change in an instant. As if 2020 hasn't taught us that already. But I needed to be reminded.  


Second, we cannot take our health for granted. I've been whining about my health for a while. But I never really do anything about it. That mentality is over. I need to fix the issues that caused the problem in the first place. I vow that I will never take my health for granted again.  


Third, no matter what happens in our life, we need to figure out a way to live. The saddest thing about Vertigo was having my hope stripped away.  


I never want to have Vertigo again. But life is meant to be lived. Wherever we are, we must find a way to live! Sometimes it's easier than other times. But live it we must. Because what is the point otherwise?


Finally, don't make a Yup/Nope video when you have neck issues – especially if you're dehydrated.

Here's the Instagram video I filmed on Labour Day Monday. I think this was the culprit – that and the alcohol.


I'd love it if you follow me on Instagram. It's where all the cool kids hang out.


Stay healthy, and