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  • off balance please help!

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    Old 02-17-2006, 11:05 AM   #1
    Mac2
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    off balance please help!

    Hi

    Can anyone help? I have been diagnosed with Labs by my ENT and am booked in for Rehab in March. I started with inner ear problems 15 months ago, which started with lightheadedness, and feelings like I was going to pass out. I was prescribed stemetil which I took for a couple of weeks til I felt better. I had on/off light headedness/dizziness til April of last year when I caught a virus and started having dizziness 24/7 along with feeling off balance which manifested into anxiety. I was off work for 5 months and can honestly say this was the worst time of my life. I have always been healthy having no major health problems, in my 45 years, apart from pneumonia 9 years ago. I would rather have physical pain than suffer this any day!

    I have now been back to work for appx 6 months but have never felt 100% recovered. I often have off balance feelings but not all day, every day. Thay come and go and I can cope with them. However, last week I had a really bad head cold, all bunged up, sneezing and then a really runny nose. This lasted for three days. By the way I must add that before I caught this cold I was feeling nigh on 100% recovered, and had had really good days for about 5 weeks, nothing too major. I really thought it was on the run for good. Not so! On the fourth day of my cold, a day on which I only had a slightly blocked nose but otherwise felt fine, the balance problems returned. At first not too bad but today I was so off balance I have been sent home from work a snivelling wreck! I got so very upset because I feel it is all coming back again. I actually feel worse than I did when I was really ill last year. I do not feel dizzy at all, but I feel like I cannot stand up straight. I can feel it when I am walking and even standing still I keep veering to one side. I tend to 'fall' towards the left and I think it is my right ear that is causing the problems. Would this make sense?

    Every now and then I veer to one side and feel as if I am going to hit the floor though I have not as yet. I feel like my body kind of jumps out of itself and then comes back very quickly. Has anyone else had these feelings, is it just because I have had cold. How long will it last. Please tell me it is not coming back and last for months again. I cannot cope with that.

    Any information would be greatly appreciated. Take care everyone

    Mac2

     
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    Old 02-17-2006, 12:02 PM   #2
    manchak99
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    Re: off balance please help!

    all i can say is I feel you! been dealing with this (lightheadedness, feeling like i'm going to faint, anxiety) since October.......

    were you ever given any meds such as xanax? i've read here that some people's off balance feeling goes away with this. i was just prescribed xanax and haven't taken it yet. also, some anti-depressants will work in combination with xanax for the anxiety.

    good luck....

    with SO many people dealing with this issue, don't you wish it would become more public...on news programs so that people are aware of our condition and so that others know there are lots of people like them dealing with this crap!!!!

     
    Old 02-17-2006, 12:04 PM   #3
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    Re: off balance please help!

    Hello Mac,

    Don't panic, everything you are experiencing post the cold is run of the mill for someone who has had lab. They say that the symptoms do tend to resolve themselves but a cold or flu can set you back again. The good news is that once your brain has learn to cope with the faulty signals coming from the damaged ear once, then if it happens again recovery is much faster. Most people here have had the experience you are having. The further away you get from the original attack, the less these periods of what is called 'decompensation' happen. Try not to let the anxiety get to you, that will just slow down your recovery. Trust that many have been where you are, thought they were going to have to go through the whole nine yards again, and then find out, to their relief, that although the symptoms come back it is for much less time - days or weeks rather than months.

    I would strongly recommend you go to the information archive at the top of this board and have a look at the link for Dr Rauch's online otology clinic. In there is a fantastic video clip entitled vestibular compensation, where the doctor explains how the whole process of recovery works, why people sometimes get dizzy again etc.. It's only about 3 minutes or so, is incredibly reassuring and easy to understand and will make you feel empowered as you will know what is going on with you rather than feeling like the whole thing is about to veer out of control again.

    I feel for you, I have recently had a relapse myself, although I have a slightly different problem and understand the horror of thinking you are going to be stuck like this indefinately.

    best,
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    hbep

     
    Old 02-18-2006, 05:07 AM   #4
    Mac2
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    Re: off balance please help!

    Hi
    Thanks for the replies, very much appreciated.

    Manchak99 - no I have never had anything other than stemetil. I find it helps a bit and won't go anywhere without it just in case! I know that it doesn't help you in the long run but sometimes, i.e. when I am at work, I feel I cannot cope when the symptoms start and it seems to calm me down. I was offered antidepressants by a couple of doctors but there is no way in this world that I would get involved with them. I always tell myself that I am going to recover completely from this one day so I don't feel a need to maybe get addicted to something like that! Mind you I have no problem with other people taking them, whatever helps you to lead a normal life is a good thing but they are not for me.

    I too wish that this illness was made more public. I can't believe the amount of friends I have that either know someone or have had it themselves. Maybe not for as long as us and they get over it quicker but they still have it and it is still scary. I know personally of two people who have been diagnosed in the last week. One of my friends has had it for three years and is no further forward, her doctors have not even referred her for treatment they keep saying she is imagining it! I was lucky to have a good doctor who referred me early on, but I saw four other doctors at the practice and they didn't have a clue! One doctor even asked me to spell Labyrinthitis for my sick note as she had not even heard of it, can you believe that? I spent hours and hours researching on the internet and diagnosing myself before any doctor had done that for me. If we didn't have the internet can you imagine how upsetting that would be. I would have thought I had some incurable disease and would have had a totally wrong attitude to dealing with it.


    Hbep - thank you so much for your recommendation that I watch Dr Rauch's videos. They are absolutely brilliant. I only wish I had found them when I was in the throes of this illness. Even now they have made me feel much better about this reoccurance.

    I might add that even though I have not gone to work today as I still feel a little off balance and it does scare me when I feel like that, I feel loads better than yesterday. It was a terrible day yesterday, and I was very upset but today I can see it's not going to last.

    Take care everyone.

    Mac2

     
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