Vertigo is ruining my life

This is a hard topic to talk about. One, because I hate admitting that there is something wrong with me and two: because I’m always a…


This is a hard topic to talk about. One, because I hate admitting that there is something wrong with me and two: because I’m always a bit reluctant to talk about health issues online.

There are plenty of times when I see people comparing illnesses, it’s as if unless you have it worse than everyone else, you don’t have the right to complain. I’ve always found that frustrating, like the time someone compared depression to cancer on Twitter. You can’t compare someone’s experience of cancer with someone’s experience of bipolar with someone else’s experience of MS or someone else’s experience of being paralysed. They’re all devastating illnesses that can impact the life of the sufferer and the sufferer’s family in a big way. So without meaning to compare what’s going on with my health at the moment to anyone else’s health issues, I want to talk about my health and how it’s making my life hard.

Vertigo is ruining my life

I’m 30 years old. I have a job that involves me walking around and being on my feet 80% of the time. I love going to the gym and running, cycling and being active. It’s important to me because it helps me feel better about my body to keep myself healthy. I like going out for meals, nipping into the shops by my gym and pride myself in being fit and healthy so I can use my body to do the things I enjoy.

vertigo is ruining my life

How my vertigo started

Just over a year ago I started feeling odd. I kept feeling like my brain would just stop for a split second. As if I would fall over and have a fit.

I’ve never had a fit, but that’s what I imagine it to feel like right before. Like someone pressing down on my brain. Not my skull, but my actual brain. I thought I was just tired and drinking too much coffee.

It went on for months.

One day, it got really bad. I had to sit down in the canteen at work and I couldn’t walk or stand. Even sitting was a struggle. It felt like everything was moving and I was on the verge of passing out. I couldn’t shift the feeling. After about an hour I had to go home.

I booked a doctor’s appointment the next day. I remember the receptionist down the phone telling me there were no appointments and I cried and said I couldn’t cope. She asked if it was a medical emergency. I doubted myself but said yes.

As I had no idea what was wrong with me, I had built up in my head that I would be rushed straight to the hospital for a brain scan. I prepared myself not to come back home. I know that sounds dramatic, but the way I was feeling was terrifying and intense.

I’ve you’ve ever felt like you are not in control of your consciousness, then I’m sorry. It’s scary to feel like any moment, you’re just going to go.

When I went to the doctor she listened to my symptoms and diagnosed me with vertigo. I was given some tablets to help the dizziness and told to rest. Recovery time? Could be a day, a week, a month. Who knows?

I had four and a half days off. I went back to work still not feeling 100% but was able to walk.

Over the past years, I’ve had incidents where the vertigo has played up. I would just take medication and sit down for a bit and most of the time it would be gone within the hour.

Over two weeks ago, I had a flare-up at the gym. I stopped exercising and went home. The next day I felt fine. Went to work, to the gym and again, the vertigo struck. The next day I wasn’t working but still had vertigo during my day off – unusual to say I’ve not been moving much.

The next day, work was hell. I had to get someone to carry me to my car to get my medication and it just wouldn’t shift. Eventually, it got a bit better so I could carry on until the end of my shift. On my next shift, it was so bad I had to go home sick. It’s been over a week since I went off sick. I tried to go back last Thursday but just walking into work made me ill. I managed three hours of utter pain and anxiety before I had to go home.

I don’t usually suffer from anxiety. I’ve had around 3 panic attacks in my life – all triggered something terrible – not because I’m an anxiety sufferer. I sat in the canteen at work and had that feeling. My legs go numb, my arms and face tingle, my stomach feels like it’s fighting to get out. I was feeling this because I was worried about getting back to the office only 10 feet away. I was getting this because I was worried about going to the toilet in case I couldn’t get there without passing out. I couldn’t even stand up to get myself food so had to ask someone to get me some crisps out of the vending machine.

I went to the doctors the next day and they told me what I had been told before. Just rest and take pills.


I do not feel any better. Each day, the feeling is the same. I try to go to the supermarket and have to leave in a panic. There are people in the way and they won’t move fast enough but I need to get back to the car ASAP.

I spend days sitting on the sofa, as advised. I feel no better.

I get up and wash the dishes, change the bedsheets and I feel it in my head. It’s there all the time ready to hit me bad when I walk longer than 5 minutes at a time.

I don’t even know what the point of this post is. I’m just venting, I guess. I feel utterly useless and I can’t shake this fear that I’ll never get better. No improvement after two weeks. None at all.

I finally have an appointment with the Ears, Nose and Throat specialist for the end of January. I had my medication changed yesterday so will hopefully see an improvement. If not, I may look into physical therapy.

All I want is to be able to go to work, finish a shift, go to the gym and then come home and enjoy a glass of wine.

I never realised how lucky I was to be able to do those things without vertigo ruining my life.


How I manage my veritgo – May 2019.

I wrote an update about my vertigo in August 2021 here.

Update May 2023

Just wanted to do another quick update as plenty of you lovely people are still finding this blog post from Google. Firstly, I’m sorry that you are also suffering from vertigo.

I still get it from time to time vertigo is not ruining my life as much as it was. I stopped drinking caffeine before Christmas and that seemed to help a lot. I’ve always known coffee was a trigger for my vertigo. I stopped drinking a few times and then stuck to the rule of just one coffee in the morning. But since having a baby I’ve suffered from sleep deprivation and that lead me to have more coffee, I was up to about 3.

I was at my son’s Little Gym class one day and I felt particularly bad. Then I remembered I had rushed two coffees quite close together and I started with the hot flushes, veritgo and feeling sick. That’s when I decided to stop drinking coffee.

I still get dizzy spells but it’s not as bad. I stopped getting the random hot flushes which triggered my veritgo. It was quite easy for me to get rid of caffeine as I just switched to decaf. I have a decaf coffee in the morning and then decaf tea during the day. If I go out, everywhere has a decaffeinated option but I usually opt for a hot chocolate.

It’s only a small adjustment and makes a big difference. I did have headaches midmorning for about a week but when that went, I started to feel better. I’d recommend giving it a go and seeing if it is also a trigger for you. Of course, we are all different. But it’s worth a shot

Do you suffer from veritgo? Have you figured out how to get rid of veritgo? I’d love to hear your experience!



  1. Sounds terrible. I hope the new doctor will give you more details in January and that the new medication will help. It’s amazing how we take some things for granted without appreciating how nice is to have them.
    Hugs xx

    1. Hello, I’m sorry to hear your going through this. I am as well. It’s horrible , awful and really that doesn’t explain it. It’s going on 3 months for me been 2 2 doctored, physical therapy and then EZnT. Ent helped the most but it came back again this week plus it’s never fully went away. I’m frustrated and need relief as well. Also, am at the point needing letter written to excuse me from things. I basically sit try to do something but ended up sitting back down. I have the anxiety and panic every time it returns but it has caused anxiety in everyday life. I’m hoping your finding relief and answers. If I may ask what medication did they give you? I was told to take Aleve some vitamins and to record a diary. Thanks for your venting

  2. Uggghhh Corinne, that is just the pits. I hope with all my heart that the ENT specialist sorts it out quickly and you can have a half decent Christmas in between.

  3. I’m so sorry you’re going through this Corinne. It’s so hard and frightening to be so out of control of your own body so I really hope that the new medication makes a difference and you’re back on your feet soon. | Lightly We Go

  4. It sucks so much when your body decides to be a dickhead.
    Hope the specialist gets it all sorted – and quickly! X

  5. It’s crap, but hopefully once you’ve seen the ENT consultant you will get some answers and maybe a different treatment that will sort this out once and for all!

    Sarah 🙂

  6. I’m really sorry that you are experiencing this. I really do feel your pain. A few years ago, I was minding my own business sat at work when suddenly the whole room started spinning. I felt really sick and disorientated and I somehow managed to get myself home. I was off for a week. I got back to work and felt fine for a while. Then it hit me a lot worse. I had to take lots of time off work and the vertigo was so intense that all I could do was lay in a dark room all day. No TV, laptop or phone as the screens made it worse. To cut what is a very long story short, I had to wait over a year to see an ENT specialist. My original doctor diagnosed Labyrinthitis but the specialist determined it was in fact Vestibular Migraines. He gave me loads of information on how to avoid it, how to behave when bouts did come on (basically to lay in a dark room!) and since that meeting, any experiences of vertigo I’ve had have been minor.

    I just want to say that it *does* get better. Whilst I don’t know the true extent that you are suffering, especially comparatively to how I did, but seeing an ENT is definitely a big step in the right direction. If you need anyone to talk to, I can definitely relate. x

    1. Sorry to hear you’ve been though this! I thankfully havent had to wait that long for an appointment, though it did take a year for them to refer me. I’m thinking it’s not an ear infection as I have it often, it’s just usually mild.

      1. It always takes a long time to see a specialist which is really annoying as I don’t know about you, but I found vertigo really scary to experience. Hope you are on the mend now x

  7. I’m sure you found this post incredibly hard to write, but it’s an important thing to share. I often worry about some of the things I write but blogging is about sharing your life not just the best bits. Vertigo sounds vile and hard going especially as you say you have an active job and life. Hopefully with a referral to ENT they can offer you some help and advice to make the symptoms easier. Health is the most important thing and we all take it for granted till it plays up. Take care Lucy x

  8. Vertigo is truly debilitating. My medications often don’t work for it which sucks. My super low bp also contributes to the symptoms. Sorry you’re suffering so much x

  9. I typed in “vertigo is ruining my life” and your blog came up!
    I am open to any suggestions you may have to deal with the symptoms. I have unilateral vestibular deficit. I broke my foot /ankle last fall and in October I shattered my elbow, because of falls. I do exercises that I was given the at the National Institute for Dizziness and Balance. They worked for a while but now don’t seem to help any longer. I truly am incapacitated most of the time. Sometimes I pray for the Lord to take me. My life has no quality. Did you see a neurologist?
    I saw a ENT doctor who referred me to the Institute. Thanks for the blog, Thanks for the opportunity to vent to someone who can relate to this condition.

    1. I saw an ENT who referred me for an MRI but it came back clear, then they discharged me and said I’d see a neurologist. I was referred but I was in the middle of moving to a different city so didn’t get chance to make the appointment as it would have been in the wrong city! I’ve not been too bad since. I just get if on and off and it only lasts a day now.

      It is awful when you feel like that. Especially when you are told that it might last weeks, months, nobody knows. I was terrified it would be a permanent thing but luckily it wasn’t. Keep talking to the health professionals about it to get the help you need.


      1. Hi Corinne,

        I am going through the same thing and I’m so happy to find that I am not alone. All the specialists I have seen have told me the same thing – it will go away and there is nothing serious. This is the closest I have come to fear the worst but from what I’m reading it feels like it gets better with time. I have an MRI scheduled next week but what I find shocking is there is no medication/ permanent treatment really for something so simple in this day and age when medical science has apparently advanced so far…

  10. Hi,

    Two weeks ago I had my first ever panic attack and went to the ER. They cleared me and said that nothing was going on with my blood pressure, pulse or heart rate and discharged me. A week later, I go to the ER cause I’m dizzy and nauseous and now I’m diagnosed with vertigo. Went to my doctor and he claims to just take meclezin and rest and it will go away. A week later and I still feel the same. I went for a ct scan in the brain today and I’m hoping for good news in the next two days. I know everyone is different but do you have any recommendations on coping with this because I can’t go to work or drive. I’m 22 years old and it’s destroying my life.

  11. My name is John. I also suffer with vertigo and have it most of the time. It wakes me up at night. I can’t look up, bend over, climb, rush around or turn my head quick. I Woke up one morning with my wife having our morning chat as we do, rolled over an my life changed in a split second. It started almost 2 yrs ago. There are times I think maybe it’s going away but bang its back again. I’m a very active person but this vertigo has stopped me from living my life. I have had a few broken bones in my time but would take a broken arm over this any day.

    1. Hi John,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your experience. It’s such an awful thing to have as it controls so much of your life. I’d also take a broken arm over it. I hope you manage to get some rest from vertigo soon. I have vertigo most of the time also but it’s pretty mild, even that is frustrating so I can’t imagine how you must feel.

  12. Hi Corrine ve been reading your blog how are you now ?
    I suffer too and am really interested to hear how you are . X

  13. Omg. You have described perfectly what I have been going through the last 3 and 1/2 to 4 weeks. I’m sorry that you’ve gone through this and I’m sorry that I’m going through this but I want to thank you so very much because it validates exactly what I’ve been feeling I thought I was losing my mind. I too almost went to the emergency room because it got so bad. I just wanted to thank you I know it’s been a long time since this post.

  14. I had bpv diagnosed by a consultant 17 years ago and it has plagued me on and off ever since. It does get better on and off. I had a bad attack recently while driving which was really scary and I had to pull over and call my husband to collect me. Had to just leave the car until the morning. I had an mri too back then and was convinced it was a brain tumour, but it was clear. It also caused panic attacks as it was so hard to cope when you can’t walk as the world is spinning. I really feel for you as nobody I know suffers with this and I feel very alone in this illnesses. People just laugh it off as they just don’t get how debilitating it is. Would rather have a broken bone than this horrid condition. It can strike out of the blue, but I find lack of sleep and exhaustion and stress can cause an attack. I really sympathise with how you are feeling and hope you get some relief asap.

  15. Hi Corrine,

    Your article has perfectly described how I am feeling and have been feeling for the last 12 months. I can’t look up or down, turn my head fast, I have a permanently foggy head, severe headaches in one side of my head and a vertigo that stops me from doing basic daily tasks- I’m struggling to work and I love my job, I fear not being able to get back to the office or fainting in the middle of my workplace on my own. I can’t go to the supermarket, shopping, I don’t socialise anymore. I’ve tried multiple medications that aren’t relieving my symptoms. I have an MRI scan this Thursday which I’m hoping will come back clear. But then what? I just wish I could live a normal life again without the anxiety this brings.

  16. Hi , I am in the sofa with bad vertigo! I feel like pressure in my head , my ears feel blocked and I keep getting a rumbling in my left ear. I do suffer with vestibular migraines but this is the worst it’s ever been I feel upside down lol

    I’m waiting for ENT and a scan but need to get better as I’m so down from feeling poorly

      1. Hi just read some of these blogs. It is just dreadful to be suffering like this. I have Vertigo too for past 3 months. I’ve had 3 episodes where I was unable to get off bed with severe vomiting. Lasted 1 to 2 hours. I’m on meds for it now and have appt. with E. N. T soon. Don’t know what to expect It is so debilitating and frightening. Never know when next bout is coming. It’s like a journey that you don’t want to go but have no choice. My best wishes to everyone who has it. Any tips much appreciated.

        1. Hi MK, so sorry to hear that you are suffering with this, my father gets vomiting episodes when he has it too. Hope you find some meds that work for you, remember to ask for new ones if they aren’t working! The worst thing about vertigo is that you never know when it will get better. A chiropractor may be able to help so is worth look into, but some people aren’t a fan of them so research first and make your own choice.

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