Welcome. This post is part of the WEGO Health National Health Blog Post Month (NHBPM) challenge for November, 2012.
You or a loved one has been diagnosed with dizziness. Here’s some things that I have learned along the way.
DIZZINESS IS NOT ONLY VERTIGO! This was missed by most of my doctors as I have disequilibrium/off-balance issues. I could count on one hand the times I had vertigo and a couple of them involved having bad head colds. Emedicinehealth.com has a list of symptoms of dizziness. Depending on the cause of the dizziness, some symptoms include:
- faintness (“lightheadedness”) or actual fainting,
- off balance,
- headache or head pressure,
- facial numbness, weakness, or facial droop,
- eye pain, vision loss or changes, blind spots, twinkling lights,
- dry mouth, and/or
- ringing in the ears, decreased hearing.
Breathe. I know it’s a cliché but it can be one of the best things you do. Stop and breathe when things become overwhelming.
Go through the stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And don’t think that when you have dealt with each stage that you are done. I still deal with anger and depression.
Getting the common cold or having allergies will sometimes drain you of whatever energy you may have. And, because the ears, nose and throat (just like the specialist you see) are all connected, dizziness could become worse.
Use the internet to find others with chronic illness, both those who have dizziness and those who have other chronic illnesses. You will learn from many.
Share what you know, what you’re looking for and how you feel. There are others with knowledge and experiences that can share and help you and one day you may be the person who is helping someone newly diagnosed.
REMEMBER, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You will find this out very quickly and it will bring you comfort realizing that others know how you feel physically, mentally and emotionally.
Get out of the house, even if you are only out for a few minutes. You may not be able to do it every day but getting some fresh air and maybe going for a walk for a few minutes close to your house can help in so many ways, not just physically.
Do strength training exercises. The stronger the muscles, the more endurance and stamina you can try to build and the farther you could walk.
See a physical therapist if your doctor thinks it could help you.
Find a support group in your city. Many cities have groups for people with Meniere’s Disease.
Wear easy to clean, comfortable clothes and walking shoes with good ankle support. When you have to go out but feel miserable, you don’t want to aggravate the situation by wearing uncomfortable clothing, clothing with buttons and shoes that make you unsteady. Most of my clothes is summer wear – shorts, skirts, tank tops and walking shoes with ankle support. This helps on days when you feel like hell, are hot, have thrown up before getting to the bathroom or getting your barf bucket and you want to get the clothes off you as quickly as possible.
Keep informed and your mind active. If you have to stop working, you miss everything from the gentle banter to philosophical debates. Read newspapers and magazines, watch videos such as TED and Big Think. Play games on the computer, do crossword puzzles. Keep engaged.
That being said, there will be times that you will have brain fog. Find ways to help yourself such as such as keeping things in their proper place, writing things down, using apps. Whatever you find works for you.
Eat low-sodium, balanced meals. Our bodies need sodium but having too much of it can cause problems for those with dizziness. The sodium retains water in the body and possibly increases inner ear pressure. And eating a well-balanced meal is a given but when you don’t feel well or don’t have the money to always buy healthier foods, it can be hard. But, there are many sites that offer tips on how to eat better on a budget and recipes for easy to prepare meals.
The most important advice needs to be repeated and that is YOU ARE NOT ALONE.