Here is part three of My Adventures in Dizzyland. Hopefully, you are enjoying it so far. Leave me a comment if you're so inclined.
Adventures in Dizzyland Continued...
Before any of this happened though and I was still unsure of my driving ability, I stopped driving, except for taking my kids to and from school and to the local store. Why chance it, right? I did teach my daughter to steer when she was thirteen and drive while she was fourteen, just in case she had to take the wheel. The first time I had a panic attack on the road, I was by myself. I was tired of being stuck home, not being able to drive, and the ironic part was that I was driving to a natural medicine clinic that I thought might be able to shed some light on this mysterious illness I had. Well, I was lost to begin with. I had no clue how to get to the place and the dizzy spells were getting worse. The familiar panic starting welling inside me (and yes, I had had many panic attacks in the past not related) and I knew what would happen. My heart was beating out of my chest, my hands became cold and sweaty, a feeling like I would die right then and there was so overwhelming, I began to hyperventilate, which made the dizziness worse. I managed to pull into a gas station and sit there, trying to get a hold of myself, while people stared at me as if I might go insane. I had to call my mother, who lived just up the road, to come get my husband from work, who was thankfully only minutes away. We only had one car. Both of them showed up about fifteen minutes later, and by that time, I had calmed enough that I felt like I would live. My husband drove me home and went back to work, but by then, all I could do was sleep. I felt like I had just run a marathon. It wiped me out.
After that terrifying experience, I relegated myself to my home. I became agoraphobic, afraid to leave my house. I swore I would never go through that again. Well, because of that vow, I made myself a prison—within the walls of my own home. This was not the life I wanted to lead, which then propelled me to becoming a research maniac.
Let me tell you, the internet is a wonderful tool, but it can also be the devil. What I mean to say by that is we humans are curious people, even downright obsessive when it comes to our health. Any abnormal bodily change was an urgent alarm in my head to find out what I “had.” I was, I admit, a hypochondriac. It started in childhood. I was afraid of everything! I was afraid of the wind, thought it would blow the house down, (Three little Pigs must have traumatized me or something) afraid of thunder, (not sure why) and lightning, thinking it would split our house in two (was told a relative’s house was struck by lightning, therefore, ours was bound to as well) and afraid of every spider there was. Didn't help that as a child I was bit by a wolf spider that sent me to the E.R. in the middle of the night, with a fever over 104. To me, these were legitimate reasons for my fears, but alas, I obsessed over my health, and the internet became my connection to every disease on this planet. So, naturally that’s where I went when I wanted answers, at least ones I could take to my doctor. I wanted him to know I was intelligent when it came to my health, you know a real sleuth. I was taking control.
I turned on my computer, went to my trusty search engine (Google) and typed in dizziness and off-Balance feeling. I got #6, 524, 345, 678 results! Ok, I would be there a while, I figured. After seven hours of searching over everything from constipation to cancer, I couldn't see straight and a panic attack was knocking on my door. I had to downsize. So, I just typed balance problems. Better, now it was only a couple thousand pages—that I could handle. Armed with my new-found information, I headed to the doctor. He did a complete exam, looked in my ears and said, “You have a red ear.” Red ear? Was it bleeding? A sore, what? An infection. Ok, have had ear infections for years, no biggie. Take an antibiotic? That’s it? I had my stapled concoction of possible diagnoses and he tells me an ear infection? Well, my ears did feel full and stuffy, and to think about it, I would slap anyone who touched my sinuses, so yeah, made sense. I’ve always had sensitive ears, a stink load of infections as a child. In fact, I had an infection so bad; my hearing was almost gone in my right ear. My mother never took us to doctors. Whatever we had would be cured by herbs. Too bad my rotten teeth couldn't be cured by that.