After listening to myself, I decided I should stop trying to figure things out when a vertigo attack starts. It doesn’t help.
I can’t stop a vertigo attack.
If I try to figure things out during an attack I’m creating more angst for myself. This is already an extremely stressful situation, adding to it does not help. The best thing I can do for me during an attack is to try to stay as calm as possible, and ride it out. Stay safe and take care of me.
It is now a week later, I’ve had time to look back, and think about things:
- I noticed I was feeling antsy, anxious, even a bit manic.
- I literally had the feeling of shaking inside. A physical reaction.
- When I started out to get in the car I lost my footing and felt unsteady.
- At the store I noticed the noise was too loud.
- We planned to go for a short trip, but once we got there I decided to stay longer.
- I had to stop more than once because I needed to get focused. (I needed to focus my eyes on something still.)
- I was irritable.
- People were annoying me.
- When I couldn’t hear Stuart I got annoyed.
- The irritability got worse as my focus got worse.
- When we were in the can goods aisle I noticed that I felt things may be moving. *** It wasn’t until this step that I really noticed that I was having to refocus on things and that I was feeling annoyed and irritated.
That’s a lot of things I could have picked up on. Or is it?
For the past, almost year now, I’ve had a very hard time leaving the house for anything other than doctor’s appointments. Yes, I’m a bit agoraphobic. I think it’s understandable. There’s a real possibility that when I go out I will have a vertigo attack, an asthma attack, lose my balance and fall, ect…. I feel safe at home. This doesn’t mean I don’t go out. It means I’m afraid when I do. Sometimes, the fear wins, and I stay home. Yes, that’s alright with me. I’m still able to do go out and do something enjoyable now and then. I work on it, but I still don’t want to take a lot of unnecessary risks.
Because of this fear, this sometimes paralyzing fear, I did not sit back and really analyze the anxiety I was feeling before we left, or the anxiety I was feeling in the store. I was proud of myself for going! I was proud that I got out of the car and went in the store! I was proud of myself for feeling like I didn’t have to run from the store screaming! So, not picking up on the anxiety being anything more than “normal”….understandable.
So I ask again. What did I learn?
First, I did learn I need to think before I leave. Listen to my body!
Is this feeling because of my fear of leaving or something else?
This time, it was mostly due to the fact that I had been put on a course of steroids and I was having a reaction I had not had before. Yep. I’ve heard many people tell me you can have these symptoms while on steroids, I simply haven’t had them before. However, I was on a short pack of high dose steroids to break a month-long migraine. It worked on the migraine. That’s also why I was feeling a bit “manic”, and physically jumpy inside. The physical jumpy feeling should have been a big clue.
Second, I learned that I do not do Big Box stores well.
Even if I had not been taking steroids, I was not focusing well in the store. The tall aisles, with the repeating merchandise…..over and over…. The way the noise travels in the store….all of this, simply, is not good for me. I learned this is a trigger for me.
Would it have helped to understand this during the attack? NO!
Will this knowledge prevent future attacks? Maybe
A person who has Meniere’s Disease is at the mercy of a vertigo attack. A vertigo attack cannot be predicted. It simply can’t. Sometimes we have little clues that it may be starting, sometimes we don’t, but never can we predict it. Nor can we stop it. It is not our fault if it happens. No matter what we do. We can avoid our triggers to try to decrease the attacks. We can take care of ourselves to try to make it easier to handle. But we must remember we cannot blame ourselves.
I can never be in control.