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I am 45 years old and was diagnosed with Vestibular Neuronitis about in 2009 and after 5 years of searching for a cure/ fix I have finally come to the conclusion, there isn’t one. I have searched the internet high and low and I have never come across any success stories. Perhaps naively I thought that once people did recover, they just simply didn’t return to the forum(s) on which they initially posted to share their news. I am more inclined to think that they’ve just got to the point where they’ve just accepted it. When you comb through all the web pages, there are lots of do gooders who suggest this that and the other but unless you’ve had VN or Labyrinthitis, you don’t know what we are going through.
The thing with an inner ear disorder, is it’s ability to make your symptoms change over the months and years that follow and just when you thinking your brain has compensated you get a set back and you are back to square one again. I live in hope that that the key ingredient to my recovery….is time !
This post is just my take on my own personal situation and its not intended to come across as a rant or to be negative but when you’ve had this condition for as long as I’ve had, you learn one or two things and like to share this with people just like me as honestly as I can.
An inner ear dysfunction will without doubt cause depression and it will definitely cause anxiety and a doctor will confidently tell you that anxiety will trigger vertigo so you are on this merry-go-round (pardon the pun) where one symptom is fueling the other or so you are led to believe.
The facts are these:
An inner ear dysfunction will muck about with your vision. Your eyes have to overcompensate and do the work of your dodgy inner ear and if you are like me and as blind as bat, you’re poor eyes won’t know what’s hit them. Your eyes will feel constantly tired and achy because of all this extra work it has to do. You will also find you will become sensitive to light, strong colours, patterns and busy noisy places. if you are like me, you’ll find your visit to the Supermarket or DIY Store will make you feel vile. The fluorescent certainly lights don’t help.
An inner ear dysfunction will muck about with the way you stand. Standing still is something I have taken for granted but several things are vital and work together to help us do that simple task, ears, eyes, spine, neck, muscles to name a few, all sending messages to the brain to keep you upright. When something is not pulling their weight, you will get problems. If you are like me you will not like waiting in queues, you will not like standing in the same spot for too long. Standing in the same spot while talking to someone is almost unbearable. You will feel yourself swaying inside your own skin, you will want to hold onto something or be near something you can lean against but even that doesn’t offer complete relief of the vile unbalanced sensation that washes through you.
An inner ear dysfunction will make you tired/ fatigued and give you that foggy head. If you are like me you will go to bed at a reasonable time but you will still wake feeling as if you’ve been burning the candle at both ends. I can quite easily close my eyes at 10.30/ 11.00 pm and not reopen them until 7.00/ 7.30am, so on paper I am getting my hours in….but I still feel tired !! I put this down to the fact my body is running on 3 cylinders, instead of 4 and my brain is just knackered.
All doctors will tell you that we are all different and we all recover at our own rate in our own time. My own GP thinks its path for the coarse because she gets a bit of vertigo herself and I am not as young as I used to be. So that makes it alright then? I have had a neurologist who clearly thinks he’s too important to see me a second time (Tried to swerve me back to the Physiotherapist). More recently the GP wants to send me for CBT (Cognitive Behaviour Therapy) which I haven’t and probably won’t do. I refuse to believe that this is all in my head and talking about it will make it go away.
I have tried a Chiropractor and an Acupuncturist with no measurable benefits. They will tell you that their treatments quite often help with vertigo but it will take lots of time and the longer you’ve had the vertigo the more treatments you need. They don’t offer any guarantees and will take your treatment fees all day long. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of wanting people to listen to you and understand you, you start believing they can help you. The can help you with the secondary symptoms like achy necks and backs or nausea, anxiety and stress but they can’t help you with the primary issue.
There is no third party cure for this. VN & Labs, is the result of a virus that came, destroyed some balance cells or whatever and then buggered off again. What you are left with is the aftermath. The dizziness and the vertigo is simply the brain trying to fathom out what to do with you. Your senses are mismatched. Your ears don’t match for starters and then your eyes don’t match your ears. Your eyes are working even harder and if you have bad eyesight to begin with then you will suffer more. Then you are all hunched up and your posture is all to cock.
The destroyed balance cells aren't coming back, they are gone for good so we have to get used to what is left and work with that. The only cure is teaching the brain to deal with it and also learning to accept it and I think once we do accept it and stop chasing this idea of a cure, in time we will get over it.
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