Re: Can Anyone Help me recover from Labs
Hi Mary. I know it's difficult but try to focus on the fact that you HAVE improved in the past so it's definately possible to improve again in the future, hopefully longterm or even permanently. 2 things i want to say to you are:
1. Acknowledge and work on the psychological effects of what you are going through as much as you're concentrating on curing the original problem. It's a vicious circle if you let the panic/anxiety get hold. From what you've said it appears that you know what has triggered major episodes (the wedding, being on the boat, etc) and you also know what makes you feel a little better (relaxing) so focus on those things and find new things that are easy and accessible - sniff baby lotion, pet the dog, watch a film, eat a box of chocs, gloss the skirting boards (i'm giving away too much of myself here lol). I know the driving thing is SSSSOOOO frustrating, it's the thing that's really taken my independence away, but i'm now driving for 5 minutes every day (even when i feel lousy) and just knowing that i've been doing that for a month allows me to view driving as not as much of a big deal as before - it's amazing how these experiences can positively affect you subconsciously so keep pushing yourself (just a little) to do things as long as they are safe.
2. The boyfriend thing is awkward, my partner of 9 years has always understood and accepted my limitations but forgets to consider them in advance when making plans, eg he thinks nothing of asking me to pick him up from work, which is a 30 minute drive away. I stopped feeling bad about saying "no" to doing these things because i realised that every time i reluctantly agreed i resented him a little bit for asking me to do something which made me really uncomfortable. Adding the constant worry of the effect your condition has on someone else's life will only make everything worse. The facts are:
You're stuck with the symptoms until it's diagnosed/treated. No-one around probably TRULY understands how you feel so they will forget to consider your symptoms and you have every right to remind them if and when they do something that worsens them. You do actually need to be a little selfish and consider your symptoms when making plans, otherwise you'll worry about EVERYTHING in advance, and that's no life for anyone!
Sorry for all the ranting and lecturing, but if any of it helps then i dont mind if i come across as annoying.
I've sorted out the psychological side of things in my own head and am all the better for it, so here are another couple of tips which you may already be putting into practice yourself anyway.
The panic thing: i've always been a little bit inclined towards anxiety and worrying even before the dizzies took hold. Now i find that if i'm in somewhere that worsens the symptoms and all the anxiety feelings arrive (flustered, too hot, heart beating fast, feeling like i cant escape, surrounded by people, etc) i simply try to change how i look at the situation - if i'm feeling nauseous and worried about throwing up over people, i now think to myself "that would be mortifying, but no worse than what i've already gone through with this for years. So what, it's only vomit". If i'm worried about passing out (which never actually happens anyway) i think "so what, as long as i dont knock anyone else over". I have actually gotten to the stage with this dizziness thing that the things that terrified me in the past (vomiting over people, passing out and hurting myself, embarrassing myself) really dont scare me as much as they did before.
Taking ownership of the dizzies: last night i visited a posh restaurant for a family birthday. It was dimly lit, we were all dressed up, it was busy with polite well-mannered diners, then i put on my sunglasses and watched as other diners looked at me (sunglasses apparently arent suitable in such an establishment) some whispering to each other, one guy actually shook his head and his wife actually glared at me for approx 30 seconds. My mum said "oh no, you got the dizzies?", my dad said "oh well, drink up" and ordered me another glass of wine to cheer me up. It's amazing how liberating it is if you make it your family and friends business to know as much as possible about how you feel so that doing whatever you need to do to feel better is just accepted by those around you, and it doesnt matter about the reactions of others who dont know about what you're going through.