Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Three Years With BPPV

Three years ago, roughly today, I was afflicted with something that radically changed how I exist in the world around me. While I’m still not 100% on diagnosis, it is/was likely BPPV.

Year one was hell. The world around me was literally spinning all the time. Everything was disorienting. I spent inordinate amounts of energy trying to keep everything “in balance” literally. It felt like my mind and body were coming apart. Lots of ebb and flow. Some days felt good, while others were horrible.

Year two was when I started coming to terms with my new reality. I posted this update at about this time. Things were getting better (a lot better), but I didn’t know if it was because my mind and body were adapting to the “new normal” while the underlying condition was still in place, or because I was “getting better.” By the end of year two things felt more consistent. The disorientation was persistent, but much more mellow.

This past year, year three, has been a ton better. I have knocked off nearly all of my list of vestibular challenges that we, as humans, normally build up in life. I have survived radical theme park rides. I have done all the water activities again (some for the first time), from surfing, to snorkeling, to swimming in open water and big waves, to large and small boat rides. I have gone on a helicopter ride. I have had many “upside down” and odd-angle experiences again. None of them have set me back, and I powered through them knowing I didn’t want to live life without them.

I don’t feel like I did the day before the incident. Something is still off. But, it is consistent now, and I know that I can engage with life without big vestibular setbacks.

I wish this post was about how I “fixed” my BPPV situation (if that is indeed even what I had/have) and that others feeling this stuff could follow a recipe to resolve their challenges. It’s not. Apparently I simply let a lot of time pass. I don’t think about it very much anymore. It used to dominate every waking/sleeping moment, but it doesn’t anymore, and that feels so good.

Patience; as hard as I know it can be.

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