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Pastemistress
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I can tend to get long winded, so please bear with me.

Last Friday I woke up at 3:30am already stumbling to the bathroom to throw up. Stumbling was literal, I fell twice and its only about 15 steps from my bed to the bathroom. Afterwards my husband had to help back to bed because I was so dizzy I could not get to my feet, let alone stand. I didn't think much of it because I have low blood pressure and its not uncommon for me to pass out while vomiting and be very light headed afterwards.

This cycle repeated every 30-45 minutes for the next 9 hours. Really didn't want to drink anything because I knew it would just come back up, but made myself - knew I had to. I had no fever and the only other symptom I had was every time I tried to move my head to the left or pick myself up from flat on my back my head would swim so violently I felt like I was free falling. Recognized that this was NOT how my low blood pressure can sometimes make me feel when I'm sick.

After the vomiting subsided I slept until 6am Saturday. Had a big party planned that evening for my eldest son home on leave, had a house still to clean, so I attempted to get up. Needless to say, that didn't work well. I could only stand the extreme dizziness for about 15 minutes before I had to lay down and not move for at least an hour. Thankfully, my husband and sons took care of everything & the party was great, even without me being able to attend.:rolleyes:

Extreme dizziness continued into Sunday, slightly lessened. I was able to be out of bed for 20 minutes at a time before I couldn't take it. Plus up to this point, I was pretty foggy mentally. Ok, another day in bed, I'll get some good reading time in. Nope. New symptom of very blurred vision, predominately in my left eye - my glasses only made it worse. Spent the day sleeping or listening to the tv.

Monday off to the clinic, chaffuered by eldest son. I have Labyrinthitis - inflammation of the inner ear. This is what's causing the extreme dizziness and blurry vision. Basically I have extreme "seasickness". Well that's sure how I felt - like my eyes, my ears, and my body were on 3 different boats trying to go 3 different directions at the same time. Doc says this was likely caused, as I had not had an upper respiratory infection, by the combination of a stye in my left eye draining overnight Wednesday and my seasonal allergy congestion "clogging" my left ear on Thursday. No real treatment, just rest and have to wait for it to get better on its own. Ugh.

Now, 9 days later I'm doing much better. I was up all day yesterday except for laying down for 30 minutes. The dizziness is still there and so is the blurry vision, but much more manageable. Still haven't tried to drive.

Here's what helped me or at least seemed to -
-I had consciously cut out any caffeine on Sat & most of Sun, was worried about dehydration. When I had a small glass of Coke with dinner on Sun, it seemed to help with the dizziness. So Monday morning, I had a cup of coffee. Eye blurriness was pretty bad, but felt less foggy and was more stable on my feet. I could tell when the caffeine was "wearing off", I got more foggy, dizziness increased, and stability was worse. So, went back to my normal caffeine habit levels. Didn't think I could stay in bed most of the day with 3 teenage boys at home, but they were great, and I did.
-Tuesday morning my allergies were back, so I took my normal regimen of a Claritin and dose of pseudoephedrine. That perked me right up. Didn't know if it was the antihistamine or the decogestant, so I continued to take them like I normally would.
-So these things, time, being able to lay down anytime I needed to for as long as I needed to has gotten me most of the way better.

Thoughts, ideas, suggestions? I'd like to be able to have this be easier the next time, as I'm told that now that I've had it I am more susceptible to getting it again. :(
 

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Iv had it and I feel for you. Mine went on longer then it should and had repeated bouts which is common. It was later found I also had an inbalance in the bones of my inner ear which had to be readjusted.

The way to walk is to plant your feet wider apart, a bit like a duck waddle and try not to move your head at all. Getting up slowly is a must or you'll have a bad dizzy spell on standing. Hold on to things if you can, and be careful when walking by the side of a road. Iv often nearly fallen in the road when dizzy.

In the Uk they give you sea sickness meds for the nausea, but they never worked much for me.

Look up Meniere's disease which is an on going balance problem for more advice on things that may help.

For me it was just the long term expereince. I did use a walking stick for a long time but this can cause hip problems over time, so be careful with it.
 

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Labyrinthitis was probably the worst experience of my life. I spent three days in hospital unable to move or even open my eyes with the doctors unable to find out if it was some kind of migraine, stroke or worse.
I found that taking aspirin (nothing else worked for me) and drinking a lot (after the nausea stopped) helped a lot.

Luckily it very rarely ever comes back as bad, whew. I had lighter signs for the next 6 months and now after a couple of years I don't have any problems.

Don't worry it will get better
 

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sounds awful - no advice here, but it sounds like you're getting better, so that's good...

Make sure you try and hit colds/URTI hard in the future to prevent a recurrence is my main thought...
 

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I had my first episode of it about 10 years ago while at work. It hit fast and without warning. I thought I was having a stroke. Fortunately I was at work in the ER, so they took me straight to a stretcher and began a workup. I stayed overnight and that episode lasted about 2 days, lessening over time. They advised Antivert (meclizine) 25-50 mg every 4 hours during episode and at very beginning if you feel symptoms.

I have had a number of episodes since, but none that bad. I keep meclizine in my purse, my locker, my bathroom and my car! My episodes generally hit during a season change and are not related to cold symptoms. Sometimes they will hit if I look up quickly or lay down too fast, so I have learned to adjust.

The episodes generally don't last more than a few hours but some have lasted days in varying degrees of severity.

Fortunately they only hit sporadically and the meclizine seems to make them bearable.

Search on line and I think you will see you are not alone. Very scary episodes with no warning! Not fun!!
 

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Shuriken snowflake
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How do they diagnose it? How do they tell it apart from BPPV? My mom had the latter and they said it wasn't what you had. I couldn't get her to explain how they knew.
 

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How do they diagnose it? How do they tell it apart from BPPV? My mom had the latter and they said it wasn't what you had. I couldn't get her to explain how they knew.
BPPV is dizzyness associated with a change of position, eg. moving your head in one direction --> vertigo.

Labbyrinthitis has a catalogue of symptoms, and the vertigo is unrelated to head movement (there are special tests for this).

I'm sure there are other seperating things, but I think this is at it's most basic level.
 

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Pastemistress
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you everyone for your thoughts & info. I had a slight resurgence this week - its not completely gone & I tried to do too much. I think what helped me best was the antihistamine, as labyrinthitis is swelling and inflamation. I added advil/motrin to reduce the swelling and it helped.

As for the difference with BPPV, I think that BPPV is caused by a "crystal" dislodging from its normal place in the ear and becoming lodged in the labyrinth area. Those "attacks" in their individual events are transitory (lasting a few minutes at most) until the crystal settles. The attack will continue until the crystal is moved back out of the labyrinth, which there is a specific physical movement treatment to aid that. Oh, and the research I did shows that it is commonly associated, but not always, with a trauma or blow to the head, even a very minor one.

With labyrinthitis, which does occur with movement of the head, there are no individual events. The attack continues, lessening in severity, until the inflamation and swelling subside. However, the intensity can temporarily increase in severity with increased movement while the inflammation and swelling exist. Basically that's your bodies way of telling to stop moving & lay down!

Guess I should've went to school for nursing instead of accounting.:D:
 

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I have no wisdom on how to get over this more quickly, but I do know exactly what you are dealing with.

In the Navy I got an ear infection which affected my inner ear, I had to get to base medical in Norfolk VA at 3am in the morning on my own. I had to lean against walls to stay on my feet and dang near had to crawl to my truck. Driving like that was also quite an experience I was so dizzy I was unable to keep my vision from moving around on me and puking out the truck window is a challenge as well while driving.

The only thing I can say is I hope it goes away quickly, I feel for you and hope you get better soon, that stuff is no fun at all for anyone.....
 

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Pastemistress
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mountain,
Thanks. I can't even imagine trying to drive with it, especially at the beginning! I've driven twice since it started, but VERY short trips and only in the last week.

I am doing much better, probably back to 85-90%. As long as I don't try to do things like I'm at 100% and keep on top of my allergies, I expect to improve back to 100% over the next two weeks.

Guess its a good thing I'm unemployed right now and school hasn't started back up yet - there isn't anywhere I really have to go for now. I can send one of my boys to the store if necessary.
 

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When I was tested for Lab. I basically did a Drivers Drinkers test - ie walking in a straight line, touch my nose with outstretched arms with eyes closed it.

For me it felt like my whole centre of balance had moved to my stomach area.
 
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