My So Called Dizzy Life

My Chronicles of Vertigo, Nystagmus, Imbalance & Dizziness

Vestibular Rehabiliation Therapy Week 16

on October 15, 2012

October 8th was my sixteenth week of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy.

I continued to keep a journal of all my vestibular rehabilitation therapy exercises. I recorded if I encountered any exercises that were too easy or too hard and I recorded every time I performed the exercises.

I continued with the challenging elements that my physical therapist added in during week 15.   I also continued rotating in the Wii Fit every 3rd day into my therapy (so two days of vestibular rehabilitation therapy, then a day of Wii Fit).   On some days, I completed both my VRT exercises and used the Wii Fit.

Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy Exercises

In week 15, I learned that the new challenging elements to my exercises were hard for me.  They were tougher and definitely made me more dizzy.   Also, with the season changing I couldn’t count on performing my exercises in our backyard.  Erik cleared a space in our dining room/living room and I performed these exercises inside when it was too cold/wet.

Exercise 1: Walking in a Spiral: Walk initially making a large circle toward the right and then progressively decreasing size to a smaller circle.  Perform this exercise while staring at my feet.  Rest to let any dizziness settle.  I repeat this 2 times.  I noted in my journal that this exercise was dizzying. 

Exercise 2: Walking in a Spiral: Walk initially making a large circle toward the right and then progressively decreasing size to a smaller circle.  Perform this exercise while turning my head from side to side every couple of steps. Rest to let any dizziness settle.  I repeat this 2 times.  I noted in my journal that this exercise was dizzying.

Exercise 3: Walking in a Spiral: Walk initially making a large circle toward the right and then progressively decreasing size to a smaller circle.  Perform this exercise while nodding my head up & down every couple of steps. Rest to let any dizziness settle.  I repeat this 2 times.  I noted in my journal that this exercise was dizzying, but easier to do then turning my head from side to side.

Exercise 4 Figure Eight exercise: Walk, making a large figure eight pattern.  Perform this exercise while staring at my feet. Rest to let any dizziness settle.  I repeat this 2 times.  I noted in my journal that this exercise was dizzying.

Exercise 5: Figure Eight exercise: Walk, making a large figure eight pattern.  Perform this exercise while turning my head from side to side every couple of steps.  Rest to let any dizziness settle.  I repeat this 2 times.  I noted in my journal that this exercise was dizzying.

Exercise 6: Figure Eight exercise: Walk, making a large figure eight pattern.  Perform this exercise while nodding my head up & down every couple of steps.  Rest to let any dizziness settle.  I repeat this 2 times.  I noted in my journal that this exercise was dizzying, but easier to do then turning my head from side to side.

Exercise 7Forward Progression with 360 degree (Full) Turns: On solid ground, walk making a slow full turn in place, leading with head and eyes, toward the right every 4-6 steps while continuing on a straight path forward between turns.  Rest to let any dizziness settle.  I perform this exercise walking up & down a long hall.  I noted in my journal that this exercise always made me feel dizzy.

Wii Fit Therapy Exercises

I started each Wii Fit session by performing a “Body Test,” where the board calculates your weight and then gives you 2 games to test your balance.  This test is what determines your “Wii Fit Age.”  My best Wii Fit age was 31, my worst was 55.

Depending on the day, I played different games.  I always made sure that I played some Balance Game, like Soccer Heading, Ski Slalom, Table Tilt, Balance Bubble and Penguin Slide.

I continued to play Yoga Games, like Deep Breathing and Half-Moon.  I also played Aerobics games like Free Step & Hula Hoop.  The longest I played the Wii was for 50 “Wii” minutes (which doesn’t include time spent doing the Body Test) and the shortest amount of time was 30 minutes.  I was proud that I was able to devote so much time and energy to the Wii this week.

This week I played some new games.  The first was Perfect 10.  In this game, my Mii is surrounded by 4 mushrooms, which each have a different # on them in every round. I have to shift my weight on the Wii Balance Board and bump mushrooms on the TV with my hips in order to choose the #’s that add up to 10.  Not only does this game require balance, but you have to think too!  The second new game that I played was Snowball Fight.  In this game you also have to shift your weight on the Wii Balance board – this time to avoid being hit by snowballs.  You also use your Wiimote to aim & throw snowballs.

I told my physical therapist this week how much I am enjoying incorporating the Wii Fit into my vestibular rehabilitation therapy.  As you can imagine, it is way more entertaining than all the VRT exercises that I do.

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2 responses to “Vestibular Rehabiliation Therapy Week 16

  1. Barb says:

    I am so glad I ran across your blog. I have have been diagnose with Sudden Sensoral Hearing Loss (SSHL) and stumbled upon your page by trying to find the name of a certain test I had performed. The Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (I believe that is one based on your description of the electrodes down your neck. Although I didn’t have to do the head turning, etc.)
    I have a question if you be kind as to respond.

    At any time during this test did you feel what I assume were the impulses actually going down the nerve? The side I have an issue with, felt almost like little zings going down the nerves in my neck. My good side I felt nothing. I can’t find anything on the internet where someone else experienced this. Everything I have read said it is not painful and you feel nothing. Since this test was performed on me on an emergency basis, I had no time to do any research or know to tell the doctor that I felt it somewhat pop down the nerve.

    It appears that you have been through a lot and sometimes patient’s feedback can be more helpful than asking a doctor. I am going to call my doctor tomorrow and let them know this happened, but I would love to know your reaction to the test, or any other of the auditory tests where electrodes were used. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Emily says:

      Hi Barb,
      I am *so* sorry for the delay in responding to you. (It turns out that having a Vestibular Disorder is exhausting (!) and I, unfortunately, just haven’t had the energy to do everything I would like to do, so this blog became neglected…)

      I do not recall feeling zings going down my neck during my VEMP test, but, to be honest, my memory hasn’t been the greatest since my dizzies started so it’s possible that I just don’t remember. (I think my brain is spending so much energy trying to keep me balanced, that it doesn’t have time to remember everything…at least, that’s what I tell myself when my husband tells me that I already asked him the same question…multiple times…;)

      I hope you are doing OK – a sudden hearing loss is a lot to cope with. If you have a chance, I would love to know how you are doing and if you found out more info about the test.

      Best Wishes,
      Emily

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