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  • Betty Rodriguez

Like a wrecking ball!

  Hi guys! So I’ve decided to try this whole blogging thing. They say, your 1st ever blog should be about something personal. Something going on with your life now. So, I figure that’s a good place to start. I mean, if the expert suggests it, it must be so, right? Ha! So please be nice if I get this all wrong.

About 3 weeks ago, I woke up feeling my usual outgoing self. I went about my day all fine and dandy, then BAM! It hit me. The room started to spin in a frenzy, and I couldn’t get it to stop. As I grabbed onto my bed for dear life, I prayed it would stop. It didn’t! About what felt like forever, the spinning finally stopped. What the hell was that about? After I was able to gather myself… oh no! here comes the spinning again. Oh, dear Lord, make it stop!!! I held on to the wall, hoping not to fall and hurt myself. Ever single inch in my body felt ill - felt so nauseous, so sick, so awful. I thought, okay, maybe my sugar is low? I’m not diabetic but checked it anyways, NOPE, not the issue. Maybe lack of sleep? Possibly. But I had suffered from insomnia years back and never felt this way. Regardless, I crawled into bed and took a nap. Later that evening, as I was having dinner with a friend, the room started to spin again. This was getting out of control! I honestly felt like I was going to die. I managed to drive myself home vvvveeeerrrrryyyyy sssslllloooowwwwllllyyyy. As I walked in the door, I rushed to my restroom and spewed out things I didn’t even know I had eaten. Gross! I crawled into bed as the spinning continued with every move and turn. It seemed to get worse every time I turned to the right. At this point, my head was pounding, and I felt so lightheaded. Almost as if my head were to fall if the spinning didn’t stop. Remember when you were a kid and your friends spun you around and around on the merry-go-round? Remember what it felt like when you got off and you fell immediately to the ground because of the spinning? The dizziness, the unbalanced sense. Well, that’s kind of what I was feeling only 10 times worse. Pity party for one, please!

I think I got about 2 hours of sleep that night. The spinning made me feel like I was to fall off the bed even though I was laying in the middle. The next morning, as you can imagine, I looked like a hurricane passed through me. Patiki eye, stomach in a knot, nauseous, lightheaded, sleepy, fatigued… you name it, I felt it. I cancelled my planned day and stayed in bed all day. The plan of resting and catching up on sleep didn’t happen as the spinning was still full speed ahead. Not only that, the nausea and vomiting seemed to be on the same page as the spinning. Everything I ate and drank just came right back out. I know, TMI. After the 3rd day of feeling like a train wreck on a roller coaster, I gathered enough strength to see a doctor.

So, as I’m on my way to the urgent care, I start thinking of my symptoms and start analyzing my situation. Just then, a light came on. It’s vertigo – I can almost bet on it. My late aunt suffered from vertigo for the longest time. I remembered her symptoms and her telling me, “Mija, this shit is the devil. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy”. Oh snap! God, please don’t let it be so, please don’t let it be so.

Here I am, minutes later anxiously waiting for the doctor to come into the room. At this point I’m not sure if I felt awful because of the vomiting and spinning or because I was sick to my stomach of knowing the prognosis. Knock…Knock! Crap here goes nothing. I illustrate my symptoms to the doctor and tell her I feel like I blindly walked into a train – the train lost. Sure enough, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, also known as BPPV. She went on to explain how some little stones in my ears are either out of whack, inflamed or not where they’re supposed to be causing my equilibrium to be off balance. GREAT!! So many thoughts and emotions came through my head as the words of my beloved aunt hit me full force. I couldn’t help but shed tears and think of how helpless my siblings and I felt as kids seeing her suffer from vertigo. Falling and hurting herself repeatedly. In and out of hospitals. This is not how I want to live my life!

After gathering myself, I wiped my tears and continued with my consultation with the doctor. So many questioned filled my head but all I could muster was – how long is this going to last? Forever! It’s chronic. At this point, I felt even more nauseous. Tears seemed to flow on their own. Contain yourself, Betty … get it together!

If you know me at all, you know I am not the type to just sit around and fiddle my thumbs. But with the feeling of yuck overcoming my body, I just didn’t have the energy much less the will to get out of bed. All I wanted to do is lay there and let my blanket take the sorrow away. After about a week, the spinning finally stopped. Now to deal with feeling dizzy all the time. I refused to take the pills that were prescribed to ease the spinning and dizziness because they caused me to feel drowsy. I feel that all on my own, thanks!

Some days are better than others. As a full time mother of 4, active baseball travel mom, and fulltime real estate agent, getting stuff done on days I feel fine has been rather exhausting and energy consuming. I’ve had to adapt to this awful feeling and almost mask it into my every day. Faking smiles or trying to look “normal” when I feel weird or yucky. Getting used to this new normal has been a huge challenge for me. Usually, I’m outgoing, highly social, you know - the life of the party! But I find myself not wanting to be around myself, much less anyone else. I feel completely out of my shell.

So, what’s next? To be honest, I’m not sure. After researching the internet, I think my next move is to consult my doctor and maybe have a head to toe checkup, maybe ask to schedule an MRI to make sure it isn’t anything worse. Be proactive. What is certain is that I am determined to shake this, to gain prospective, to overcome. I cannot let this chronic devil get the best of me. It will NOT get the best of me. A new year is coming up and I have plans and goals to achieve. And I will be damned if I let this beat me. So, as they say, “this too shall pass”!

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