Day 2 post-vestibular testing. I slept almost 10 hours straight last night. I can’t recall the last time I’ve done that. After I took my first Zyrtec in 3 days, at about 3pm, the withdrawal symptoms started to recede; insatiable itching all over, coughing, headache, swollen nasal passages. I could breathe deep and clear again. But, normally, I take it at night, so when the drowsiness hits, I am usually unaware. Last night, it hit me like a ton of bricks. Of course, that was on top of the lack of sleep from the night before, so it was doubly bad. Slurring words and comatose, I could hardly walk myself into bed.
Today, I am still very definitely motion sensitive, tired and fatigued muscles, but I’m trying to move around more to get the brain back to adapting to my usual motions. I even went through all of my vestibular exercises. They weren’t comfortable, there was plenty of drifting and spinning, but I think the sooner I get back on track, the better and faster my brain will learn to compensate. A few more good nights of sleep, some walks around the lake and hopefully, I’ll find my way back to my baseline disequilibrium. Once I’m there, I can keep the VRT going, focusing on progressions. After the test results come back, if I have some more info to go on, we can use that to tailor my therapy specific to the weaker left side inner ear — if that’s what the testing shows, as hinted by what they detected on Friday. I will continue to work on reducing migraine triggers as well.
I will say, today…I feel some emotional relief, having gone through the testing finally. It’s done, for now. Sure, maybe I’ll have to go through more repeated testing in the future, but for now, I can not dwell on it.
After the testing on Friday, I let out some anger. Anger at anyone who dismissed or judged me, anger at feeling misunderstood and not believed, anger at my medical mismanagement and why it took 7 years to get these tests done. Angry validation that maybe the left inner ear is showing signs of damage. Anger at a stupid virus that could be the cause of such catastrophic life-altering incapacitation.
Chronic invisible illness can make someone quite bitter at the world and at those in it who don’t empathize or understand, and create deep grieving for the loss of life as we used to know it. For so long, I have grinned and bore it…being grateful for the little things I can still do, adapting my life around my limitations, the best I can, with a smile. But, now and then, one has to let out a bellowing roar of frustration and exasperation. I spent about 30 minutes doing that after Friday’s appointment. I needed to release. I haven’t been able to relieve stress through my usual high intensity workouts for at least a year and a half. I had to let it out somehow. Consequently, today…I felt a bit lighter. I feel like I can focus on my therapy and the day to day fight again. I feel “renewed” in spirit, and ready to get back to work, regardless of the test results. Since I am doing anything I can to avoid be put on a bunch of trial meds to see what works, I am already doing my treatment which is VRT and migraine prevention. The testing is for diagnosis and prognosis. The treatment for me will be the same whatever the tests show.
I ordered pizza, salad, and gelato last night. I indulged in self-nurturing. Then I got up and fought through my exercises today. I won’t let this beat me down or win. I win every time I stand up and try to walk. I win when I turn my head. I win when I walk through an uncomfortable environment. I win when I insist on being heard by my doctors. I win by waking up in the morning and putting two feet on the floor and standing up without falling over even though the floor is moving under me. I win when I shower and not fall down. I win when I make it through a movie or a concert. I win by not letting this stop me every single day, when it could.