vestibular migraine diagnosis / vestibular neuritis diagnosis / vestibular recovery
Dear Vestibular Condition,
When you first came into my life with no warning, you were a trauma to my system. I went from feeling like myself to so disconnected from the person I once was. I was so scared of what was happening to me and for a while I truly had no idea. You were a mystery to me, and many doctors, for a while until I was eventually able to give you a name: vestibular neuritis. And then over a year down the road, I uncovered another part of you: vestibular migraines. Now I think of you as the vestibular stuff. You’re a part of me and these days I see you in a more positive light. Mainly because I believe that my body can heal and that you do not have to consume my days.
But in the beginning, you demanded my attention every second. You were greedy and shameless. You took over my mind and body. I felt like I was living on a moving dock, seeing the world through a foggy curtain with no end in sight, and so completely lost as to what way would help me get free. Over time I got used to your presence, but I still fought back. I was determined to help my body heal on a holistic level and I embraced eating foods to nourish my body, supplements to fill the gaps, and a natural toolkit to support me through your relentless symptoms.
About a year into life with you - my vestibular condition - I started to find pieces of myself again. There were even moments when I wouldn’t think of you. Those moments were glorious. But then, out-of-blue, you’d be back without warning or care for what I was doing or where I was in my life. That’s when I started to discover that you had shifted in form and I would need to shift my approach in order to cope with you. Vestibular migraines are a mystery in so many ways, and you demonstrated that very clearly.
But I fought back hard. I saw every doctor, I ate clean whole foods, took my supplements, embraced yoga and meditation, and even started running again. I worked with a neurologist who understood you. I started to break through the fog and in doing so my heart opened up in a new way. Life was all the more precious and all the small moments were filled with gratitude because I could experience them, as me.
I haven’t figured you out completely. Most days I feel pretty spectacular, but you still make an appearance. Last week you showed up and really scared me. I surprised myself with how quickly I recovered from your attack, but you rattled me to the core.
It’s strange because I hate you, but you also changed my life in a beautiful way. Battling a chronic invisible condition leaves its mark. I’ve grown in ways that I’m so proud of and I have become ‘more me’ through the process. You inspired me to help other people also dealing with you and figuring out life with a vestibular something. I thank you for that. The more of us that root for each other, advocate for one another and share our experiences, the more that will overcome you. You’ll be a memory of what we rose above. The mountain we climbed to see the magnificent view.
I’m a Vestibular Warrior and you get some credit for that. You’re a part of my story, but you’re not my whole story. I like to think of you as my fresh beginning. Really rocky start (thanks to you), but I’ll be the one journeying somewhere much more beautiful.
a Vestibular Warrior