This is What Vertigo Feels Like

This is What Vertigo Feels Like

As I type this, I’m in the nauseating hangover phase.

That’s what happens after stepping off the spinning carnival ride that is a bout of vertigo. As an advocate and voice for those managing chronic health conditions, I like to illustrate what we go through to create awareness and understanding.

So, buckle up. I’m about to take you through a dizzying experience.

About six hours ago, I opened my eyes in the dark early hours of the morning. It was maybe 4:00 am, but I couldn’t read my clock. I couldn’t see anything with clarity because everything was swirling, blurring, screaming past my eyes, like a tornado.

I was sure I would slide off my bed, so I dug my fingers deep into the mattress as I looked out the window to see the ground. That always helps with stability. Look for something that your brain knows is stable, heavy, firm.

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I shut my eyes, hoping the non-stop movement would ease and in turn calm the nausea and confusion. I really didn’t want to vomit.

Lie still I told myself. Just be still. The storm will pass.

With my eyes closed I shift into my mind-over-matter mode and work hard to not focus on the misfiring nerves and chaos it’s producing in my head. I have a trick. Yes, a trick! I work hard to try to … go back to sleep. I usually can master this trick when it’s still dark out and I’m tired.

Success! I sleep.

When I awake at 7:00 am I’m still on the ride, but it’s moving slower. Although the trinkets on my dresser are dancing around the room, I feel more stable. I can sit up in my bed and make a plan. This starts to soothe my mind. I will get some water. I will get my migraine rescue medicine (Rizatriptan). I will spray some peppermint essential oil into the air.

I will feel better.

After an hour or so of stabilizing myself, I inch to the edge of the bed, gain a wobbly stance and make it to the bathroom, bumping into the walls along the wall. Ugh. That’s gonna leave a bruise… again.

I head back to bed with the essentials, tuck myself back in and plan to sleep off part of the hangover phase. It’s just not safe to be moving around the house with balance issues.

By 10:00 am, I’m up again, moving slow.

Breakfast. Take care of my dog. Get dressed. And, head to my desk. I probably should write about this so others better understand what it means when I say I’ve had a slow morning.

This was it. Another bout of vertigo. My neurologist says this is one of my migraine auras.

Until next time,
Choose healthy!

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