I’m presenting this post as a kind of a story and not professional medical advice. I’ve experienced vertigo off and on since 2003. I can tell you without a doubt, I’m sorry you are reading this. If you are reading this, it probably means either you or a loved one is feeling pretty badly.
Vertigo is the kind of thing you do not wish upon enemies. It can be so debilitating, depressing, discouraging, scary, and downright horrible that words fail to express the bummer that is vertigo, especially long-term vertigo. For quick and easy thoughts let’s just say, there aren’t tons of specifics here. This is simply my personal understanding of vertigo. I look at it like this: there are two basic kinds of vertigo: short-term and long-term. Short-term vertigo is common and easy to fix.
Long-term versions don’t have simple solutions. I’ve come to view the version I’ve lived with as a monster demon. I have made peace by accepting that fighting this monster demon is a spiritual practice that may last perhaps the rest of my life. When I first wrote this, I had been vertigo-free for over a year. I’ve had a few brief episodes since February 2020 which confirmed a theory I had: when I’m feeling the weight of the world too much, my vertigo monster demon crashes the party and carries me off to a time-out zone where I get to focus totally and completely on my personal experience. I get to forget about saving the world and just save myself.
My sister-in-law wrote an amazing book after dealing with a chronic undiagnosable autoimmune disease. The title is “Everyday Healing.” At the top of the cover, it says, “Don’t take sick for an answer.” I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who cares about their health and the health of those they love. It gave me great tools to help with my version of vertigo and most importantly it gave me the gumption to never stop trying to get well.
According to my inner vertigo expert, short-term vertigo is the most common version of vertigo and it has a name abbreviated BPPV. It is curable with a home remedy. Generally, it doesn’t come back. Here’s the best home remedy link to the Half Somersault Maneuver: http://www.halfsomersaultmaneuver.com/.
So yes – the kind of vertigo most people experience is common, curable, and preventable. However, if it does come back and the home remedy doesn’t do the trick, you can get professional support from an ear, nose, throat doctor. Ask for the Epley maneuver. Or if you are in Missoula, I totally recommend seeing Dr. Anthony Lambert of Lambert Chiropractic. ( http://healthymissoula.com/ ) He gave me some eye exercises that helped me get a 5-year break from fighting my monster demon I named V-Go the Jerk.
Prevention tips – don’t get dehydrated, ever. Keep your electrolytes balanced. Get plenty of sleep. Wear helmets to prevent concussions. LOL on that last tip. But not really. Once a doctor told me I had vertigo because of a past undiagnosed concussion.
In rare cases like mine where vertigo (a.k.a. V-Go the Jerk) stalks me like a bad character from a horror movie and the “healing” maneuvers and eye exercises fail me like a pen with no ink, I recommend getting serious about subtle lifestyle changes. Get extremely serious about hydration. No cell phones near the bed. No wifi on in the bedroom during sleep. Always enjoy lots of sleep. Eat well. Exercise often. Be less busy. Eliminate the unnecessary hard stuff in your life. Meditate every day. Look into mineral and vitamin deficiencies and eat more of the right stuff for you and less of the wrong stuff. Quit alcohol and caffeine. If this seems overwhelming, try one change at a time. But yes, don’t stop until you feel in your bones that the healing will last.
Unfortunately, standard medical doctors weren’t able to help me on a consistent basis. So, I ventured off-road and into the wildlands of alternative medicine. Some things have helped more than others. The most successful solution has come from the thoughtful approach of Miriam Trevelline at Quantum Health Communications. Walking my health path with her has been a dream come true. It’s like having a daily miracle unfold before my eyes. Every time I wake to a new day that is vertigo free, I say a little prayer of thanks. I hope you do too.
And for real, don’t sick for an answer! You can do this.