On July 12, I finally admitted to my husband what I’d been feeling for the past four days: a light-headed and unbalanced feeling that I couldn’t explain. That Thursday, I couldn’t hide it any longer. Oh, and the nausea was kind of a giveaway, too. When I sat down, things continued to spin around me. Fortunately, I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for later that morning anyway, so he drove me there.
As soon as I’d explained the symptoms, she said I likely had vertigo. I recalled my sister and a good friend both had had vertigo, but didn’t know much about it.
Vertigo and lightheadedness are different. According to WebMD:
- Lightheadedness is a feeling that you are about to faint or “pass out.” Although you may feel dizzy, you do not feel as though you or your surroundings are moving. Lightheadedness often goes away or improves when you lie down. If lightheadedness gets worse, it can lead to a feeling of almost fainting or a fainting spell (syncope). You may sometimes feel nauseated or vomit when you are lightheaded.
- Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. You may feel as though you are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. When you have severe vertigo, you may feel very nauseated or vomit. You may have trouble walking or standing, and you may lose your balance and fall.
What causes vertigo? Well, typically an inner ear disorder, injury to the ear or head, or sometimes migraine headaches. There is a lot of information available online to educate oneself about the causes and symptoms of vertigo; I’ve learned a lot in the past week.
Yesterday, I drove for the first time since last Thursday. And I’m back to being focused on writing, which is a very good thing.