Living with Vertigo

I’ve spent most of my time being quiet about my experience. Mainly because: 1. I didn’t want to appear weak, 2. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself, 3. didn’t want to bother people about it. But as the years have past, I’ve felt a growing disparity with my situation and an urge to speak out. In 2004 at the age of 34, I was hit with vertigo after a typical flue virus. Since then, My life has never been the same. I spent most of 2005 going through medical testing, ruling out neurological diseases, cancer and brain tumours. One thing did remain a fact however, that an ENG test confirmed that I was suffering from a “temporary” cognitive disability, due to the vertigo. I was told by doctors that I would have to live with this for the rest of my life. So be it. I spent the rest of 2005 learning to walk in a straight line again.

After going on a forced vacation to Mexico in early 2006, I experienced an almost immediate remission. I knew that allergies were a huge contributing factor to my symptoms and being in the Caribbean climate seemed to provide lasting relief. My guess is that the vitamin D also played a role in strengthening my immune system (see David Suzuki’s documentary The Allergy Fix). So, I moved to Mexico. I spent 4 years (2006-2010) traveling back and forth between Canada and Mexico, chasing vertigo relief and leading a rather exciting life. Prior to getting sick, I had launched my own business and was able to continue working and maintained a decent lifestyle while on the road, while feeling vertigo relief year round. I moved back to Canada permanently in 2010 when I met Markus, and since then, have had to battle the vertigo head-on again. It’s been hard on us both.

In 2012, I decided to go back to school to fulfill an outstanding goal and to provide my brain with the best workout I could give it. I received my MA in Communications and Technology in 2016, but it took me 4 years to complete it. I noticed through that time however, that I had to work very hard to process the material and produce graduate level work. Everything took me longer and it unfortunately took a toll on my health as my adrenal system crashed. I’m now taking a year off to focus on my health, and stabilize my immune system. I’m grateful to my amazing doctors consisting of a GP, a naturopath, and a dentist; three amazing women who are all working together to help rid my system of neurotoxins known to complicate vertigo such as dental mercury, gluten, and other food intolerances and allergies. In 2016, I had 12 teeth restored from multiple stress related fractures and mercury fillings removed.

It’s all taken a toll. Besides having been completely robbed of my confidence, endured long standing injury to my self-esteem, and living with years of paralyzing anxiety, I’m now facing the addition of ageism in a completely chaotic world. My biggest question now is, where do I fit in? I actually don’t really know. I spend most of my time in “rehab” trying to heal from my life, so I can walk straight. Whatever time is left over is dedicated to being creative and spending time in nature. I get bouts of energy and clarity, and feel strong urges to push forward with focus, and that is where the vision of The Careful Crafters has come about. It’s time to combine all my abilities and join forces with my husband who is learning how to help heal me naturally. It’s imperative that I try to help others who are also suffering from similar autoimmune problems. I may not have all the answers but I want to provide inspiration to others to help them on their path to healing and success. I’ve been so fortunate to have a husband who believes in me, when I’ve not believed in myself. I have a small but strong family and friend network who are compassionate and understanding of my experience.

I am writing this post, to introduce my personal experience of living with equilibrium disorders. I have Meniere’s disease in addition to monthly bouts of Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). For anyone who is living with these conditions, I urge you to seek medical help. I have found some relief in changing my lifestyle; surroundings, work environment, dental work, removing food intolerances, minimizing allergies, supplementation, and SAD light therapy. Exercise, yoga and meditation are also important contributors to my healing. Feel free to ask any questions or leave a comment below and I will do my best to give you any feedback I can. I’ve been living with this for almost 13 years and have had to make peace with the fact that it’s going to be with me for the rest of my life, or so it seems. I just want to thrive and be in love with my life again. At age 46, I think I’m on my way.

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