I often get emails and comments from readers asking me how my vertigo is and if vertigo is still ruining my life. This might sound strange to most of you, but I rank quite high in Google for this blog post: Vertigo is ruining my life. It seems there’s a lot of people struggling with vertigo and searching to hear about other people’s stories.
I did write a bit of a blog post here in 2019: How I manage my vertigo. But a lot of things have changed since then. Mostly, I have a baby now and I often struggle with lack of sleep. Getting enough sleep is one of the things that really helps my vertigo, so I just wanted to talk a little bit about my experience with vertigo during my pregnancy.
So, if you have read this blog during my pregnancy, particularly this post I put together about surviving the first trimester, you will know that I was really ill. So let’s start there.
Vertigo during pregnancy
Before I start here, it’s quite hard to tell what is vertigo and what is due to other pregnancy symptoms. When I had my blood test, I was close to being anaemic. Then I had the blood test taken again at 28 weeks and it showed my iron was low so I had to take iron supplements.
I did have dizzy spells here and there, but nothing long-term, but I do think I struggled with vertigo in pregnancy.. A lot of it was due to heat. I often got really hot, especially towards the end of my pregnancy. I also struggled to wear a mask when out. I found out I was pregnant in March 2020, a couple of weeks before the first lockdown.
I was lucky that my job took all precautions. I worked for Tesco, in a role that meant I was in and out of a lot of shops speaking to different people (I’ve now left that role to stay at home with my son and blog full-time.). As pregnant women were deemed ‘at risk’, Tesco decided that all pregnant women should not work. For store workers, they had 12 weeks at home on full pay (I believe they had to take 1 week holiday in this) and as I was ahead office worker, I did some tasks from home on my work laptop. Mostly data entry.
Tesco was actually really great and supportive towards pregnant women during the pandemic.
As work offered me this, it really helped me decide to completely shield. My partner was also working from home so we could be really safe and avoid covid. I was only attending medical appointments from March. Then when the rules relaxed over summer, we had some visits with parents and attended some outdoor BBQs in line with the covid guidelines.
So masks. I really struggled with the masks because they instantly made me feel hot and dizzy. As I was shielding, I was only having to wear a mask to my scans and midwife appointments and I always got veritgo during them due to how hot I would get in a mask.
I was also exhausted a lot as I didn’t sleep much. I felt so sick during my first few months, then I often had pain in my hips, acid reflux and the baby would kick me a lot.
But as I wasn’t working and we were shielding, I didn’t really have to ‘test’ my boundaries so to speak.
Are you more likely to get morning sickness if you get veritgo?
This is something I really wanted to address. I struggled badly with morning sickness. I spent most of the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy in bed with nausea. I wasn’t sick much, but I constantly felt like I was on the edge of being sick and it was hard to do anything.
I read a few times that if you struggle with migraines and travel sickness, then you are more likely to get morning sickness. I wondered if that was the same with vertigo. Does having vertigo make you more prone to having morning sickness?
The medication I had for my morning sickness is also used to treat vertigo.
Vertigo after pregnancy
I have had mild vertigo a lot since having Leo, this was due to lack of sleep. Leo has never been a good sleeping and some nights have been pretty horrific.
It’s not been anything that’s put me out of action for days, but I’ve had those ‘wobbles’ where I’ve had to sit down and rest.
I do get it when it’s hot and if I have too much caffeine, which is normal for me.
I’ve had back issues since having a baby, so I wanted to go to a chiropractor to see if they could help. When doing my research, I found one that said he was a specialist in treating migraines and dizziness. I booked in and told him about my history of back problems and vertigo and he has really helped me. I never would have thought a chiropractor would help my veritgo! So if you do have it, I would recommend having a consultation with a local chiropractor to see if they think they can help you.
When I went to my first appointment, he did certain movements with me to diagnose the type of veritgo I have and he has been able to help. He basically cured my veritgo instantly and I’ve not struggled with it all summer, until a couple of weeks ago. I have another appointment tomorrow so am hoping he can work his magic and help me with it again.
The past few weeks.
I currently have veritgo as I type this and I can feel it’s because I’m tired and it’s quite warm. Leo hasn’t been sleeping great the past couple of weeks and he needs me to hold him or he wakes up, which means I’m usually a bit uncomfortable and quite wakeful.
Like I said in the above section, I’m hopeful the chiropractor can do some work on me on Tuesday to help relieve the symptoms. I think I will have to keep getting treatment every few weeks to keep the vertigo under control.
Other than seeing a chiropractor privately (this is an alternative treatment), I’m not under any medical care and I do not have any medication that I currently take. I was never convinced that the medication worked for me if I’m completely honest. When I have vertigo I just slow down and try to look after myself the best I can while looking after a 9-month-old.
If I ever got to the position where I had a really bad vertigo episode that stopped me from going out, I would go back to my GP, but thankfully I’ve not had a bad episode like that for a few years.
But for now, it remains something I can control by living a healthy lifestyle.
My ENT appointment
In one of my previous blog posts, I wrote that I had an appointment with a Ears, Nose and Throat specialist. I was referred to this after having a bad episode of veritgo where I was off work for a couple of weeks as I couldn’t stand up. If I’m honest, it wasn’t very good at all. I went to see him, he made me sit on the bed pushed me backwards and then said ‘you don’t have veritgo’. He didn’t ask me how I felt, which was dizzy. I was a bit taken aback and felt very dismissed. I wish I had asked him why he thought that, but I didn’t really know how to react. It happened very quickly.
He sent me for an MRI scan. I had to go back to him for the results and he basically said the MRI was all clear and discharged me from his care. This was in 2017. It’s really put me off asking for more help around this as I just felt dismissed.
So that’s where I am. I’d love to hear your veritgo stories and how you are able to manage your symptoms so you can get on your life!