Serene Vannoy (serenejournal) wrote,
Serene Vannoy

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Odd source of meditation

I have chronic vertigo. Benign positional vertigo, they call it. I've had it for more than 20 years, and while it's not dangerous, it's very, very unpleasant. My least favorite thing in life is nausea -- I didn't throw up until I was 3, and it scared me so much that to this day, I will avoid vomiting even when I know it's what I need. Anyway, the vertigo itself is unpleasant and sometimes makes me wobbly enough to be a fall risk, but the nausea is what I hate the most.

They tried me on anti-seasickness pills (dramamine, and something called I think meclazine?) but they both made me feel like shit, so I have just managed it and when it's really super bad, I don't drive. That doesn't happen that often, but one time on the Bay Bridge, I was seriously scared, so I'm careful when it's bad.

I'd always, the second the vertigo started, quickly changed position to make it go away, because I hate hate hate how it feels. About five or six years ago, a neurologist told me if I just let it pass, and don't change positions, it will go away. That was really great, because it started teaching me to sit with the dizziness and not be so afraid of the sensation.

The latest neurologist gave me a referral to the head-and-neck people, and they gave me some exercises to do. For these exercises, I'm to lie down on the side on which the vertigo is worst (the left), wait until the vertigo passes, stay there thirty seconds more, sit up, and go to the other side to do it again. The doc said to try this once on the first day and work my way up to 10 times every morning and evening.

This was six months ago.

It took me until last week to get the nerve up to actually do the exercises. I hate the sensation SO FUCKING MUCH that I just could not talk myself into doing it. According to the doc, though, more than 90% of people get rid of their vertigo this way, so I really wanted to give it a try.

I've been working my way up in the mornings. Today, I did three reps, which took about five minutes, and I'm finding that despite the really unpleasant feeling, it's desensitizing me, and it's also giving me a brief time in the morning when all I need or want or have to do is lie on my bed, pay attention to my body, and count. Oh, and breathe. Breathing is very important.

I actually liked it this morning. So maybe eventually, I'll get rid of the vertigo and in the doing, give myself some meditation time. I can live with that.

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Tags: health, vertigo
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