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Enjoying Retirement? NOT SO MUCH!

Posted 06-01-2012 at 02:46 PM by retiredmom1

I am a 66 year old female who retired last fall. In December I had a severe incident with vertigo. At the time the foremost concern was that it spiked my blood pressure significantly so I was taken to the hospital by ambulance and thoroughly checked out for all heart related issues. The vertigo subsided by the time I was admitted that evening from the ER. I was released 24 hours later.

Exactly one month later, while vacationing in Florida, the same thing happened. This time I was less frightened because I knew a little more about what to expect and was more comforted that my heart was not the issue and the vertigo was. However, I went through the same battery of tests with that hospital's cardiology department. Unfortunately the vertigo continued with quite a bit of severity for several days. I was in the hospital this time for 4 days.

Since that time, I went to an ENT doctor in Florida and was initially diagnosed with viral labyrinthitis. I had experienced some severe diahrea (sp?) for over 10 days and they felt the virus must have spread through my body. During the couple of weeks following my discharge from the hospital I was seen by a gastroenterologist and many, many tests were done. Once that hurdle was handled, I continued to have symptoms of vertigo.

When I returned from the "vacation" (wasn't exactly what I had planned) I saw my own GP and a local ENT. They now have decided that even if I did have something viral, I now have BPPV.

The symptoms were much lessened than from the onset and now slightly over 4 months later, I have trouble walking without staggering slightly but I can do most of my daily activities. I do still have the vertigo when I do certain head movements and if I am not careful to keep my head aligned properly with my body when reclined.

I have been seeing a physical therapist for about 10 weeks. She is doing vestibular therapy which includes the head movements and body movement exercises. I also do the exercises at home.

This is absolutely NOT the way I wanted to spend my retirement.

Now that I have posted my history, I will keep it updated as I go through what I sincerely hope will be my path to a complete recovery. I have read many entries on this health board some of which are a bit scary because they talk about being afflicted with this for years. Others say they had certain types of treatments and were cured quickly, although they are aware that it can return unexpectedly.

I have experienced some depression by being unable to do all the things I hoped to when I retired. That is why after reading the message boards I felt it might help others along with me to understand this very confusing condition.

I have never been a quitter and I'm not about to start now so here we go.
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