To continue my story…
If you’ve been reading along, you’ll notice that I’ve mentioned dizziness or vertigo a couple of times. My doctors and I aren’t totally sure what to make of that yet. I’ve had pretty mild episodes of it for maybe around three years. It originally started around when I added a new medication, and seemed to get better when I went back off, so initially I thought it was because of that, but then it started recurring gradually. At some point I wrote it off as somehow connected to my neck — not because I knew that was possible, although apparently difficult to prove, but just because I noticed that it seemed to happen when I had neck pain and had headaches that seemed to come up from the back of my head and my neck. (And that was sometimes triggered by sitting at a computer particularly if I was at a different angle or not focusing on my posture, although I also get headaches like that quite frequently, they just seem more likely to be accompanied by dizziness in these cases.)
Then about six months ago I had a sudden onset of much worse vertigo. It kind of freaked me out at first. I was finishing up grading papers and entering the grades online and suddenly felt like I was spinning. I tried to quickly finish entering the grades, but my eyes were jittering back and forth so much it was hard to focus on the page. I started feeling nauseated pretty quickly too. I ended up calling the on-call doctor at my GP’s office because I was honestly a little freaked and not sure what to do or if I could do anything. They asked me a couple questions, determined it was vertigo (as opposed to some other type of dizziness), and said it likely was something viral in my inner ear. He said you pretty much just have to wait it out, but that I could try taking Benadryl or Dramamine for the nausea. (Side note, those didn’t seem to help with the symptoms much, and just made me dizzy and sleepy which tends to make the dizziness feel worse to me at least, but I did use them to help me fall asleep that night.)
It started getting a bit better probably within an hour, as in my eyes stopped involuntarily jittering, and within a few hours it was much less severe (no more nausea), although it took a couple days to feel totally normal. I didn’t think much of it until it happened again about three or four months later, in a very similar fashion. Since then it’s happened two or three more times, although both of those times the eye-jittering didn’t last quite as long and/or happened while I was half-awake. In between, I’ve also had some of my more ‘normal’ milder dizziness. I actually have wondered if there are two different things causing the dizziness, my more ‘normal’ and milder dizziness versus the more recent and more obnoxious dizziness, but who knows really.
Chances are it’s something completely benign, albeit annoyingly inconvenient (when it happens badly enough, I can hardly walk to the bathroom, and often enough it is accompanied by nausea), but I don’t have answers just yet. I’ve seen an ENT, and had a VNG (basically a test where they record your eye movements while you do various tasks and while they do some things to you that induce dizziness or something, to see if there are abnormalities), but I don’t know the results yet. I don’t find out the results until my follow-up appointment which isn’t for another couple of weeks… Knowing my luck, the results will be ‘inconclusive’ or something.