Saturday, January 13, 2018

Such a choice as this

     I haven't posted in an exceedingly long time. That's actually pretty indicative of how the last many months have gone. They haven't really; gone anywhere that is. The vertigo was increasingly debilitating, and occurring more days than not. Except... not quite. There were times when I didn't have any attacks of vertigo for several days. But those were the days when I was mostly sedentary, either just visiting with my friends on the couch, or else somehow not doing much physical activity.

     However, on days when I was moving, either just with regular household work and management, or else doing day excursions to a museum or such, later that day or the next I would be laid low with vertigo. Frustratingly, since my neurologist had directed me to sedate myself whenever the vertigo hit (so that my brain wouldn't rewire itself to thing that the natural state of being as it has with my migraines) it meant in the long term that productivity was actually counterproductive and led to me losing large chunks of time to being out of it. Activity induced vertigo didn't exactly sound neurological the way we had first thought it was

    I mentioned the correlation I'd noticed to my cardiologist when I saw him in October, and he was very interested to hear that I'd found this. We had me wear a halter monitor for 24 hours back when the vertigo first became serious in 2014, so the possibility of an irregular heartbeat was already ruled out. After reviewing my chart for a bit, he asked me something I never thought I'd really need to decide:

Which was more debilitating, the vertigo or the migraines. 

Heck; this was not something I'd want to have to weigh like that, but I knew the answer immediately


My physical safety was being threatened by the vertigo. I never know where or when it would hit. Falling over randomly in places such as sidewalks, stores, and even in my house wasn't safe. I'd been very lucky that I used to pass out so much as a kid, and that I'd been in gymnastics as well, because I knew how to fall to decrease the likelihood of hurting myself. But still, everybody was aware that it was only a matter of time until something happened that resulted in a more serious injury than just the bruises I had.

More than once I'd been mistaken for being drunk, including by my para-transit bus drivers. If that continued, I would be taken less seriously by the public, even if something was seriously wrong.

My mental capacity was diminishing as well. This terrified me, and was a serious part of why I stopped posting here. Comprehending conversations or directions, following through on plans, and even maintaining my ability to communicate with others at times were all devastating to my personal identity as an intellectual, as well as to my general functioning.

So yeah, I knew that the vertigo was more debilitating. But what a choice to have to make. In the end, my cardiologist and I have halved the doses of one of my heart meds, and added another. Thrillingly, I haven't had any vertigo since just before Thanksgiving in November. The migraines have increased quite a lot in intensity, severity, and frequency, as well as producing a ninth(?) distinct type of migraine to my list.

I'm incredibly grateful that I have, at least for now, eliminated the vertigo and that I feel physically safe in a way that was long gone.
...but, reconciling now the knowledge that I have deliberately chosen to increase my migraines to a level they haven't been in almost five years is something that I'm really struggling with.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts.