Living with Vertigo

Every day life with Vertigo

I woke up with vertigo. Again. I move my head a little, but the room moves much more. There seems to be a very heavy weight inside my head, making me feel like I am about to capsize, tip over, or otherwise, start spinning out of control.

Sometimes, indeed, the world around me starts spinning, always with an overwhelming energy, rotating really fast, merciless. Then comes the nausea, the weakness, the migraines, sometimes for a few minutes, sometimes for a few days.

Is this some sort of metaphorical warning? Perhaps this is the way my body has found to let me know that I am starting to spin out of control. Potentially.

The reality is that after many doctors from different specialities, many exams, tests, and invading procedures, there is still little to explain what is happening. It is exasperating. Clearly, normal medicine is not providing me with answers, or even clues. Normal, of course, meaning the customary way of doing medicine in this particular part of the world, at this particular time in history.

A new spin to life: Functional Medicine

After lots of digging and researching, I stumbled across Functional Medicine, a perspective that indicates inflammation is at the root of illness. Fighting inflammation is key in managing our health. To flight inflammation, one must fight its triggers, which will differ from person to person: sleep deprivation, food intolerances, toxins present in your environment, or in products you use (or eat), and stress. This is all very new, so the research, while growing, is still not robust and widely spread. This is also very old, so it ends up aligning with the wisdom of our elders: sleep well, eat well, move well.

For these times, one might break it down a step further, distinguishing physical and mental spheres. The emotional sphere, I believe, is a mixture of both.

  • Sleep well. Enough hours, restful time, with peace of mind, leaving your worries behind,
  • Eat well. Your food, your interactions, the air you breathe and what you put on your skin,
  • Move well. Exercise – whatever that means to you-, be outdoors, feel the sun in your skin and in your life. Stretch your body, your mind, avoid too dangerous and harmful practices, to you, to others to your surroundings.

Spinning back: unwinding

This approach is very basic, very fluffy. The funny thing is, it has also been working: bit by bit, I am able to sense when a new episode is coming, to prepare for it and to recover from it faster.

Any more stressful moments or days, now require a more throughout and intentional intervention. It is extremely hard, but I am learning. Slowly, I am gathering little pieces of hope, and they are adding up. One day, I will spin my kids around again, or hop on a boat. One day, I will go biking without fear, or hang the clothes to dry confidently. It will happen. And in the process, I will have developed wonderful new skills.

Permaculture, something I am learning about, is also helpful. How we treat Nature is not too different from how we should treat ourselves: being gentle, using the resources we have, slow and simple interventions, avoiding pollution, creating an integrated system that creates value, and life, with high resilience.

This is my journey at the moment. A roller coaster of sensations, emotions and new ways of behaving. It is very scary, and sometimes lonely, but also an adventure full of hope, and curiosity. No matter where it leads me, I am sure it will make myself, my family and our home a kinder and better place.

Vertigo. Merry go round, spinning and out of focus