My So Called Dizzy Life

My Chronicles of Vertigo, Nystagmus, Imbalance & Dizziness

What I Mean When I Say I’m Dizzy & Why I’m Sometimes Frustrated

on July 15, 2012

Fair warning: this post started out as a PSA and veered off into another direction…

When your Vestibular System is out of wack, that’s when you can experience dizziness or even vertigo.  For me, vertigo is more of a horrible, spinning sensation.  A tilt-a-whirl you can’t get off of.  An amusement park ride that’s not so amusing.  Extreme nausea.  The feeling that I’m weighted down and falling to the floor (which I’m pretty sure I would if there was no one there to hold me up).

My Dizziness is sometimes more like a little ripple of the vertigo, this weird uncomfortable sensation: like if I turn my head, it feels like my head hasn’t caught up to where I am.  My head feels unsteady.  I feel unsteady.  When I’m dizzy I can feel nauseous.  I feel it if I turn around too quickly or when I’m practicing some of my vestibular rehabilitation therapy exercises.  And like butterflies in your stomach when you feel naseous, I also feel the butterflies in my head, spinning around, making me feel woozy.  When this happens, I want nothing more than to close my eyes and pray for the tranquility of stillness.  When I’m really dizzy, I have no balance.  I’m more than clumsy.  If I walk, I look like I’m drunk.  Unsteady and stumbling.

The other night I felt so dizzy; it was like there was a violent sea in my head, waves sloshing around so that I couldn’t find my balance.

It’s not normal to feel dizzy like this.  It’s not normal to feel dizzy if I turn my head “too quickly” (which would probably be a normal speed for you!).  It’s not normal to feel dizzy if I tilt my head to the side.  It’s not normal to feel dizzy if I tilt my head back.  It’s not normal to feel unsteady when I walk.  And you know what else?  It’s not fun either.  Heck, spending my days trying to stay balanced, battling this dizziness, and doing vestibular physical therapy is draining.  I may look perfectly normal and healthy to you when I’m sitting down, but I don’t feel that way.  This is not a vacation.  This is not fun time off.   This is not me lounging around.  This is not a relaxing break from work.  This is a struggle everyday.

And I’m not trying to sound negative, angry, or invoke a pity party; I don’t mean it that way.  Sometimes you just need to vent (& I’m pretty sure that somewhere on this blog I warned you that this was my space to vent).  I know my body and I know what I’m feeling isn’t normal.  I know that I won’t ever let another doctor disregard me when I tell them something is wrong.  I know that there are people that think I’m just at home, relaxing everyday.  I know I can’t do anything about what they think and I know I shouldn’t care what they think.  I know that this will be a struggle, but I know am tough enough to fight this.  So to heck with the boneheads and the dizzyness!!

2 responses to “What I Mean When I Say I’m Dizzy & Why I’m Sometimes Frustrated

  1. Erik says:

    Are you still suffering from this?
    I am in a similar situation. It’s been 3 months now and I’m about ready to go bonkers.
    Any words of wisdom for me?
    I can’t work and can barely function at home.
    This is so frustrating and debilitating – yet I look normal to everyone else.

    • Emily says:

      Hi Erik,
      I’m so sorry to read that you’re in a similar situation. It flat-out sucks and it can be so maddening – I know. I’m really glad you found my blog. Personally, I have found it so helpful to know that I’m not alone. Of course no one wishes this on anyone else, but it feels less lonely and isolating to know that you’re not the only one out that with these awful symptoms. Even if the symptoms aren’t exactly the same, there is a shared sense of understanding about what it takes to live with an invisible illness.
      Without knowing your exact situation…have you found a doctor or physical therapist that can help you? I don’t know if this counts as words of wisdom, but be persistent. Trust your body! If one doctor isn’t helping you, find another. It’s their job to help you and if they aren’t helping, then they are *not* doing their job.
      I am still suffering from this. Not to the same degree that I did in the beginning, but it’s still there. Unfortunately for me, it is always there. In the past 6 months, I have had more good days than bad days. My physical therapy has helped me to function better. I also believe that positive thinking helped. It is very easy to let all of this get you down. Have I gotten depressed? Sure. Have I felt anxious? Yup. But I try not to stay in those places because I know that they won’t help me heal. I try my darnest to think positively, even when I didn’t feel positive.

      Wishing you many “good” days in your future,

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