All to often it takes something major to happen for us to realise it has been building up for a long time, yesterdays vertigo was one of those moments. It wasn’t until I was sitting quietly half watching some stupid comedy program, that I started to put things together and to make a little more sense out of had happened that morning. As I said yesterday I knew before I ate all I did on Christmas day just how yesterday was going to go, if only my taste buds had been having one of there lets kill the flavour days, it wouldn’t have happened at all, but they didn’t and I did. Eating to much always brings on and intense feeling of nausea and dizziness, but yesterdays when it hit me with it’s full force, it wasn’t totally on track, it wasn’t an attack of just dizziness, but vertigo. There is a distinct difference, dizziness is an internal feeling, like you are the spinning object, vertigo is when you are stationary and the world is spinning, both make you feel sick and both make you feel unsteady on your feet, for me though it is vertigo that holds the greatest danger of falling. I have never worked out how it is you can sit for ages feeling terrible, but then in a split second, staying where you are is impossible and bed is the only option, what changes I haven’t the slightest clue, I just know that that is what happens.
I had noticed that in the last few week or so, I had been having mild spells of vertigo, enough to make me take sudden sideways or backwards steps when either walking or just standing. Like all symptoms that belong to all versions of MS, vertigo comes and goes, you can go months with a symptom not being there or appearing for a day then vanishing again, so it turning up wasn’t really a surprise. I can’t remember the exact day I noticed it but I do remember that I have had mild bouts or just over a week, when you are used to walking in reasonably straight lines, to suddenly finding yourself swaying off to one side to stop yourself falling, you notice. Oddly I often loose my balance before I am truly aware of the feeling that caused it, I can only guess that they happen instantaneously. It is like being hit with a hammer of motion sickness just because you are walking and worse still, sitting in a motionless room that suddenly starts to swim, when you have poor eyesight it is also very easy to blame your eyes. Like yesterday it can become so intense that you are left feeling that death at that second would be preferable, anything other than that intense nausea and inability to make the world stay still. The more intense it gets, the more you feel like your brain is going to explode and you simply can’t bare to keep your eyes open, closing them doesn’t stop it all, but at least you start to feel as though you are a little more in control, you need as many signals as possible that you are in fact motionless. Sitting is good as you can feel the chair under you and of course the back to some extent, but to really make the world stand still you need to feel as much contact as possible with something that can’t move, hence the desperate need to lie down, you need that contact from head to toe.
Vertigo is very much part of MS, but for me I know that I have a double issues with food playing it’s role, I also know that regardless of what ever it was that kicked it into action, it will be with me for a while. The next few weeks will see me being even closer to walls and walking with even more care, which now that I know I have to do it, isn’t an issue. I guess I will just have to go back to being careful with what I eat, last night I did have an extra meal, but I didn’t have breakfast or loads of Orange juice, not a normal days food, but that bit closer and today, I’m not wonderful, but I’m OK to get on with normal life. It really stinks not being able to push the boat out as far as others do at this time of year, as to me food and Christmas go together, a link made in childhood and one I find impossible to break. It is the one time of year when you buy and enjoy the best of everything there is and to me that means not just flavours I may only ever afford once a year. I even remember the year that it happened as even as a child I avoided sugary foods, the type that uncles and aunties thrust at children expecting total glee, received a somewhat glum face from me. by the time I was 7 my total hatred of ice cream was well known, but still the chocolates were bought and half heartedly said thank your for. It was that years Christmas day that my mother found me happily eating an olive, one she had bought to put out for visitors and like most parents never thought her children would actually eat. When I asked for an anchovy, she told me I wouldn’t like it, but she was so wrong, it was delicious and I ate it with relish and had to be stopped from eating any more, but it also turned into a game, of what will Pam eat if we give it to her. The answer was almost anything that children are supposed to not like. It was the day that I also discovered soused herring, caviare, blue cheese and even malt whisky, mind you that was a mere sip, the only flavour I didn’t like was my Great uncles cigar, which caused huge laughter as I choked and spluttered on a lungs full of smoke. I never looked back from that day and I have spent my entire life discovering and enjoying almost every savoury food I have come across, the foods that many won’t eat and even more, including myself, can’t really afford outside of special occasions.
I am a huge believer in listening to our bodies, they normally know what we need and what we don’t, but I am also a great believer that life has to have those time when pleasures, good for us or not, just have to be enjoyed. One more Christmas is behind me, one more day out of how many where my life has had restrictions pushed upon it and one more were I said to hell with it, I’m a long time dead, the Christmas season is all about living in the excess of enjoyment, whether there is a price to pay or not.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 27/12/12 – Everything in slow