Dizzy...my head is spinning

Dizzy…my head is spinning

I have always wanted to go on an ocean cruise to Alaska; to see the glaciers, whales and amazing skies. Someday that dream will happen, but until then at least I already know what the waves feel like since I experience those daily in my head. That’s the best way for me to describe to people the dizziness and vertigo I experience. Either that or sometimes I will tell people my head feels like it’s stuck in a shaken snow globe that’s waiting for the flakes to settle…only the flakes never do.

Most days it seems I am fighting a never-ending battle. There are times I wake up thinking all is good and that the spinning is gone, but as soon as I get up and start going about my day…boom, it’s back. It never seems to go away for long. I think it just takes periodic bathroom breaks or trips to the refrigerator for a snack. I’ve tried to talk it into moving to Kalamazoo, but for now it has no plans on leaving.

Living with the vertigo, or any MS symptom for that matter, is not an easy thing to deal with day in and day out. It can cause you to feel like an outcast and all alone. For many, that’s the very reason they give up and withdraw from life.

The pressure of trying to explain yourself all the time can be tiring, especially when those explanations are met with blank stares or unsympathetic responses. No one wants to be told to suck it up every time they are having a difficult moment. No one wants to feel like they are losing it because the people around them just don’t get it.

Know that you are not delirious. What you are experiencing is real, and although it can be difficult to make it through your day, or even to get through the next 5 minutes, you have to keep going. I believe in you. Take it one step at a time…one breath at a time.

Choose to love yourself enough to hang on. Today is a new day filled with new possibilities. Remember, you made it through yesterday, you made it through some other really tough times…you will get through today too!

MS Gets on My NervesMS WarriorMS Superhero  

About the Author
About the Author
Penelope Conway

Penelope Conway
Penelope started Positive Living with MS as a way to help others with MS stay positive in the midst of a terrible disease. She believes that staying positive and holding onto hope is the key to waking up each morning with the strength to get through the day. Multiple Sclerosis may never go away, but neither will her determination and her drive to help others through the journey.

37 replies
  1. Jen Hunt says:

    I always wanted to do that to. My Dad took me in 2009 it was fantastic and so beautiful. Majestic even and I live in CO. Had to use a wheel chair but well worth it. The side trips were a lot of fun. Took a train through the mountains on a very skinny mountain rail where the miners use to mine. Went to a museum, wandered through town. Saw salmon being caught and tried different kinds. I couldn’t do it now though so grateful I got the chance to go.

  2. Rodger Ashton-Smith
    Rodger Ashton-Smith says:

    A very heart felt advice Penelope. I have had some ‘light headed’ moments like yours but I attribute it to having too much beer. It just fells the same but with no monetary output. lol
    As you write we do have to live on good times because the bad times don’t support us.
    I am feeling for the ones who have no family or friends that they can rely on for support. I have a great family that do somehow support me as I do them. It’s been an interesting life when a PTDS sufferer and gay son and when she’s here an asperger’s sufferer. So as you can see it’s a pretty interesting group, but it works.

  3. Kim Carver Powers-Duvall says:

    That has been me the last week. The days are beautiful and I long to get out in yard for therapy to dig and such, but not able to. I just live moment to moment. I don’t complain…I explain. My attitude helps…sometimes. And sometimes I want to scream and cry and just move on to next moment…always hoping. Thank you so much for your transparency and work to make a positive difference in our lives even when things aren’t so positive. I love you bunches.

  4. Debra Firmaniuk says:

    If you do go on a cruise talk to your Dr. first. I have a prescription that I only use when needed for dizziness and vertigo. Dr. told me to start taking it a day or two before the cruise. That first night out was horrible. That ship rocked all night, everybody was sick the next day except moi…the Captain told us that in all his years on the water “Lastnight was the roughest Seahe had ever been on” ! Thank you Dr! The rest of that cruise and the following Pannama Cannel cruise was awesome!

  5. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    My vertigo started at 3:00am on March 27, 2015. Dr. thought it was crystals in my ears, but I kept telling everyone that wasn’t the problem. Then on April 28, 2015 at 5:15am my whole world went crazy and I arrived at the ER by 6:15am. That night the Dr. told me I had MS. I still have the vertigo, on a daily basis, and pain, but I can walk…very blessed!

  6. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    Just today I needed this post. A tummy and shower day. Prepare with laxatives the night before, then a suppository on the day. Tummy works and then a shower. Sounds easy but even with this I need help. Writing this is so hard. I thank G-d I don’t have to rely on my mom. Not married. No children. Life snatched when was 17. Dizzy? Yes, and I’m not even blonde.

  7. Sheryl
    Sheryl says:

    Vertigo/dizziness/disequilibrium whatever it gets called has been my constant companion for over 4 years now ..:. the reason I stopped working , I use a walker, shower chair etc. …. I am always standing up in a tiny row boat …::: I grow weary but I go on …..

  8. Grace Kopp says:

    Went on a cruise just before getting my MS diagnosis. Had to take Gravol everyday despite large ship and room in the middle. Felt like I was still on the ship for about 3 weeks after.

  9. Leah
    Leah says:

    Getting through another day surviving with MS has been the ‘norm’ for me for as long as I can remember. I’ve been living with it for the past 16 years…it’s a part of me that I’ve learnt to adapt to. It is no longer a stranger to me. I don’t fear it as much as I did the first 5 years of being diagnosed with it. I’ve become quite familiar with this stranger and realize it’s unpredictability to creep up on me. ‘Well stranger, I don’t fear you anymore’, I’m ready for the battle!

  10. Sharon
    Sharon says:

    I think we’re in MS sync, Penelope. Yesterday was a woozy, dizzy day. Today I’m back on steroids along with all my other pills. I used to pride myself on never taking medication and being super fit. This week I’m on 15 pills a day! Fingers crossed the steroids will help my walking as it’s been quite bad recently. And the weather is getting warmer. Gulp.
    God I wish the cure for MS was here.

  11. Daniela Robertson says:

    This is exactly how I describe it people when having a relapse. Imagine laying in bed, very still but feels like am in row boat during a storm. Doesn’t just rock side to side but top to toe as well

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