Before the doctor diagnosed me with vertigo around 4 years ago, I thought I had a brain tumour and was dying. It’s a scary feeling when your head feels dizzy and you feel like you can’t stand up. I cried on the phone to the doctor and remember feeling like I may get sent straight to the hospital for a brain scan.
Of course, that isn’t what happened. I was given some medication to help with the dizziness and told to rest; that this could stay for days, weeks or even months. Terrifying.
I’ve had 3 pretty bad episodes of vertigo where I couldn’t walk and had to take time off work. The rest of the time I can tell when it is coming, or know how to prevent it coming and you better believe me when I say I do everything possible to help myself keep that awful feeling away.
My vertigo feels like my brain is being squashed, like how it feels when you take off in an aeroplane and your head goes fuzzy. I feel like I might black out and I’ll think things near me are moving when they aren’t. It’s disorientating.
I managed to figure out what my triggers were and avoid them.
For me, my triggers are:
- being tired
- being hot
- being dehydrated
Generally, looking after myself is what makes me feel my best. Exercise, eating well, getting enough sleep and drinking enough water.
Alcohol was a big one for me. Although if I had vertigo and drink, the vertigo would go away, but then come back the next day. I decided to cut alcohol out altogether at the start of the year and it’s been the best thing I’ve ever done. I don’ have to worry if I’ll have a hangover and vertigo the next day now. It’s great.
That was a tough one of me, quitting alcohol. Because I love drinking so much. I love that feeling of being a bit tipsy. I love the instant relaxation that first sip or wine gives you on a Friday night when the weekend is done, but I had to make the difficult choice of cutting it out because I wanted my health more.
Fitness is another thing that has been a great help. I am less tired when I work out in the morning and being on a big fitness drive encourages me to keep away from the wine on a Friday and Saturday night so I can have great workouts at the weekend.
I do sometimes get vertigo and I have pills that I take when I need them, but I am very good at knowing when I need to sit down and slow down! If I listen to my body, I usually find that my vertigo is much better by the next day!
Have you ever suffered from vertigo? How do you manage it?