Friday, February 1, 2013

Adventures in Dizzyland Part Five


Today is Friday and the sun is shining!! The beautiful snow glistens in my yard and no one got hurt from these horrible storms this week! I have a lot to be thankful for. I'm also grateful I was able to do yoga last night with my awesome sister-in-laws; I come home, take a hot bath, crawl into bed and crash the whole night; it's vunderful!!

Anyway, here is part five on my continuing adventures in Dizzyland!

I, of course didn't want to hear it. I wanted to pity myself. I wanted to stew in my angry juices, let them boil and then simmer, until I was ready to face them. I wanted my dad. Now, anyone knows, your spouse, friends, family and mother are wonderful, but there’s just something about Dad that makes it all OK. He didn't have answers, only a hug and “It will all work out.” I felt better already. Soon after, I started finding natural solutions to my problem, or at least the symptoms. I tried motion sickness medicine, essential oils, aromatherapy, exercises, you name it. When those failed to work, I tried physical therapy. Maybe I could retrain my brain to deal with the balance disorder. That helped, but made me dizzier, as it was supposed to do, in order to retrain it. I did walking exercises, closing my eyes, walking forward, with my eyes open, looking side to side and up and down. Whew! In the course of my research, I thought it might have to do with my jaw. It was off and had been for years. Maybe it was putting pressure on the ears causing the imbalance. I went to a TMJ dentist. He took x-rays and said that my jaw bone, on both sides, was deteriorating and pushing on the ears because of how off they were. I needed an appliance to wear at night that would re-grow the bone and take the pressure off the ears. Sounded quite reasonable, so forked over the money and started wearing it.

Needless to say, it didn't cure the problem and only made things worse; except for it did re-grow back the bone, but changed my bite big-time! Back to square one. By this time, it was going on two years and I was getting used to this constant off-balance feeling. But, I was not giving up.



Chapter Three
What Now?
 
Just as I was getting used to the idea of having the balance problem, another symptom reared its ugly head—tinkling, or as the experts call it, tinnitus. I felt it in my left ear, almost like a high tinkling sound, akin to chimes outside your window. It drove me nuts! Was I having a stroke? Was I losing my hearing, or just hearing things, losing my mind? No, it was another pesky symptom of a balance disorder. In fact, in all my research and from being told by doctors, balance disorders make up a whole host of symptoms. I counted close to thirty of them. Not only that, but your muscles, eyes, and ears all make up your balance system. Who knew? I would learn quite a lot about the amazing labyrinth that makes up your balance and how seemingly small things can throw it completely out of whack. 

Not only did I hear that sound in my head constantly, I also started noticing tingling in my forehead. The kind of tingling that makes you feel like there’s not enough blood going to it, and that at anytime, you will keel over into nothingness. I ended up scratching my head numerous times a day to get feeling back into it. My legs also shook and felt like they would collapse, and I would go down like Gumby, after a few too many cartwheels.  I felt like I was falling apart. Of course that triggered the panic feelings, which fed off the fear, which continued to feed the panic, and well, you know. My fears were not just about me, but about my family. Would my children resent me for not taking them to the mall? Not go bike riding, or just a simple walk down the street? What about my husband? Would he hate me for not going hiking with him or go to dinner at a restaurant? Would I ever be able to get on a plane again? 

Two years ago, my husband and went on a Mediterranean cruise to Greece and Italy and I was scared to death! What happened if I panicked in a plane cruising at thirty thousand feet in the air? Or become so dizzy and sick, I couldn't stand up? I slowly prepared myself, such as walking 4-5 times a week. It did get better. I had a great time; I didn't panic. Yeah, I was a little dizzy, but Dramamine took care of that. I got to see some beautiful ancient relics and buildings, such as the Colosseum in Rome, Vatican City, Pompeii, The Parthenon, etc...WOW! I will remember that for a lifetime!

I still have the real fear of what might happen in the future, when I have grandchildren, and it haunts me daily. Will I be able to hold them without feeling dizzy? Or drive them to the movies? My son wants to be a pilot and take me and his dad all over. Can I do that with this balance disorder?