I don’t know about you, but if someone mentioned the term BPPV to me a few weeks ago, I would not have known what the hell they were talking about.
But a few weeks ago, I was not feeling myself. In fact I felt like I was losing control of my head and it’s balance. I would be standing there and suddenly feel like something knocked my head slightly, and my balance was completely off. At first it was just the odd occurrence here and there, I’d have a sudden ‘dizzy’ moment and then all is fine. But then it got to a point where it was becoming too regular.
Thinking I just had an inner ear infection or something, I contacted my surgery, went through my symptoms, the nurse asked me to come down to the surgery to have a proper investigation in to it all. She checked my ears, no damage (see, listening to metal full blast in your headphones doesn’t always destroy your drums).
Ears checked ✅ Blood Pressure checked and OK ✅
That’s when I was then advised I had BPPV.
What is BPPV?
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Benign – not harmful
Paroxysmal – A sudden attack
Positional – Relating to one’s head position
Vertigo – false sensation that the world around you or you are spinning.
I had a mixture of concerns and emotions when I found out my diagnosis. I was relieved that it wasn’t something serious or damaging, but I was also concerned/frustrated that I had some condition I did not know what to do with.
Suddenly, all my previous episodes of occasional travel sickness (particularly always feeling nauseous in the back of an Uber), certain unexplained ‘giddy moments’ and all the rest made sense. Now I knew what I had, I had the treatment I needed. The meds and also some pressure bands for travel sickness that I looked up, someone recommended they’d help with vertigo. I had exercises to do to keep my head in order. Now I could start the process of getting better.
After this diagnosis, I went back to working from home for a bit. Till I feel comfortable commuting again. But in the midst of the meds, exercises (which really make you dizzier and wanna vom sometimes), I actually found some positive things out of getting this that really saved me and put my mental health on the right track;
• Taking it Easy •
Taking it easy is something people advise you to do all the time, but I finally did it. And I was glad that I did because it really made me learn a lot of things… for example..
Your job isn’t going to be null and void if you actually start and finish at normal times and don’t stress yourself out with all these extra hours.
• Taking it slow •
I am a very fast person. I talk fast, I walk fast, I have a really serious issue with patience, I think fast, you get the idea. I don’t do slow. I’m afraid of slow. But slow was actually so good for me. When I started to take things slow, I started to feel a lot better and not just for obvious vertigo-related reasons.
I forgot how much I loved reading and writing. It sounds crazy, but I got myself so overwhelmed with work and social media, that I stopped writing for weeks. Apart from blog posts of course. But I hadn’t sat down to read a good book properly in a month, I hadn’t written any poetry/haikus/story ideas. I hadn’t even wrote any separate from the blog non fiction stuff. The weeks went by so fast that before I knew it I hadn’t completed writing assignments for more than 2 months!
I started giving myself the time to sit and read more again (when the vertigo isn’t making me too dizzy), I still have about forty books I haven’t read yet piled up in my room.
I got lost in fantasies again, I started going back to reading books and magazines, this week alone I’ve written a few poems and haikus.
I basically started realising that the world isn’t going to go to shit if I step back and look after #1 for a while.
Life throws obstacles at us enough as it is, why are we allowing ourselves to push our body to it’s worst health before we step back and take care of ourselves.
I am now treating my body with the respect it deserves.
More importantly then that too, I am treating my mind with the love and respect that it needs. Self-care is so important, it’s something we all brush under the table so quickly because we’ve got bills to pay, shopping to do, people to see. But acknowledging your own personal needs and health is not selfish.
Although ideally, you shouldn’t have to have a health obstacle to make you see the signs, I am glad I found out I had BPPV. It gave me the chance to really look after myself and then some. And realise just how important my mental and physical state is to me.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your health physically or mentally is not as important as something else. You are no use to yourself if you run you into the ground.
Always take care of your own physical and mental health. If you need to take a break from seeing friends, do so. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving the house one day, don’t. Take care of you. You are your number 1 priority.
It may have taken some bad vertigo for me to realise how important it all is, but I’m glad that I can see it all more fully now.