Friday, May 28, 2010

Labyrinthitis!!! (Longest, Most Boring Post Ever)

Perhaps you've never heard of which I would reply; Good!
I'm sure it sounds all mysterious and exotic, but I am here to tell you, it is neither!!!
What it is however, is miserable and annoying. Yeah, that.

Basically, labyrinthitis is inflammation of the deep inner ear, called the (wait for it...wait for it...)
Labyrinth.  With me so far? 
Here is a fascinating (albeit blurry) picture from the www:

Inflammation of the inner ear can be caused by a variety of different things;
A bacterial or viral ear infection that has spread
Head trauma
Or, as in my case...
Viral infection and/or No Known Cause
Symptoms usually resolve in 1-3 weeks, but can linger for months or be recurrent.  Most people recover with no further problems. (That's the one I'm going for). 

Symptoms can include:
Hearing loss and or ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Other than some strange sounds in my ears, I've had neither of this symptoms, so let's move on, shall we?
Vertigo (I have both subjective, feel like I'm moving or falling; and objective, seems that my surroundings are moving/tilting/swaying/spinning)
Nausea,Vomiting (you're welcome)
Difficulty Standing & Walking
Nystagmus (when the eyes rapidly jerk to one side & then slowly find their way back to the original position, yeah that was a bundle of fun & freaked my kids out!)
Balance Problems,Light Headedness
(Shall I keep going?)
Vision Problems
Difficulty Speaking,Lowered level of Consciousness & Difficulty Concentrating

Alrighty then, I think that about sums it up for my symptoms!!!

So, here's my story...
I began having mild symptoms (which is unusual, onset is typically rapid) on Mother's Day.  Just had a couple of times during the day when I felt lightheaded, but it quickly passed.
On Monday, the incidents became more frequent and lasted a bit longer, and seemed to be brought on my sudden movement of my head (bending over, turning my head while driving).
By Monday evening, I had experienced enough strangeness, that I decided something might be wrong and I should tell Rick...:)  We all went to dinner and a movie (for Mother's Day, not because I was sick) and as long as I wasn't moving my head, I was okay.  By next morning, I was dizzy all the decided I better see the doctor.
A brief exam later (in which I failed my tracking test, which was weird because I really thought I did fine!)
I was diagnosed with (say it with me) Labyrinthitis.  There basically is no treatment, (unless complications occur), other than Rest and motion sickness pills that can help alleviate symptoms...or not.  In my case it was the "or not".

*Note to drug manufacturers:
Chewables? Really?
And...I don't know what raspberries you've been eating, but the ones I have tasted DO NOT taste like a mixture of rubber and ear wax.  Please do not try to fool me by promising a pleasant raspberry flavor.  And while I realize that rubbery earwax flavor is not a viable marketing option...perhaps you could just say "mild medicinal flavor"...I'm just sayin'!!!

Moving on...
By Wednesday, I was sick, sick, sick...and spent the better part of a week on bed rest.  Any movement resulted in extreme nausea (which resulted in, well...extreme vomiting, sorry!) and meant I had to haul myself out of bed and lurch my way to the bathroom. This Was. Not. Fun. 
Thankfully the worst of it only lasted about 3 days. I couldn't even watch TV!  Or read!  (sorry Eclipse, I know you are waiting for me.) Or even (gasp) blog!!!  (or read blogs, it was terrible I tell ya!)
Once I could watch TV, I spent a lot of time watching Food Network (Deep Fried Network, according to Spencer), and "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC...oh and "Toddlers and Tiaras"...and of course
(Good thing I was able to get up a bit by then!)
I am currently making a (much slower than I would like) recovery.  Still have some mild dizziness, as well as a few other mild to moderate symptoms... and I can't drive yet...which is a total pain! At least I can ride in the car now with only mild car sickness...:) I'm hoping I'll be 100% better in a few days.  Gonna try reading (more than just a little at a time) again tomorrow! Wish me luck. 

And, just for clarification, if you have seen me, spoken to me, or if I have emailed you or commented on your blog...I do not have a drinking or drug problem, just a bad case of vertigo!!!  I'm sorry if I caused alarm.  I do realize I may have seemed a little "off" and/or not very apologies! :)

One funny story:
I went Visiting Teaching this week.  I love my neighbor that I go teaching with.  She is sweet and compassionate, also very prim and proper. When the sister we were visiting opened the door, my neighbor quickly proclaimed that I had not been drinking.  It was hilarious!  I busted up laughing (and so did everyone else) and thanked her for clearing that up.  She is such a delightful lady, but I think that's the first time I've ever heard her tell a joke!

And a tender story:
My kids (and husband) have been a little worried and stressed about me being down sick for so long.  Shane has been having trouble sleeping.  The first week when I was the sickest, he came in and stood by my bed and quietly asked me, "Mom, is your hair going to fall out too?"  (Amy lost her hair a few weeks ago, because of her radiation treatments).  Dang it! Sometimes life is just hard.

With that, I am done...and off to see if there are any ice cream bars left in the freezer, I've been craving them since I got sick!  :)


  1. Valerie, my dear;
    I feel for you! How miserable to be unable to move without throwing up or getting dizzy or hearing weird sounds in your ears, or...I hope it gets better soon! I am glad you're not hitting the bottle and it's a good thing your VT partner cleared that up for others!

    Take care. I'll keep you in my prayers!

  2. Oh, I am sure that is so obnoxious to have vertigo that bad! I am so sorry.

    I hope you start feeling better real soon!

  3. I am so sorry to hear you have been sick. I have had labrinthitis before and it stinks. Hang in there and hopefully it will never bother you again.

  4. Valerie I'm so sorry you have had this. I work in the ER and the few patients I've ever taken care of with this puts it at the top of my list of "things I don't want"


  5. Valerie, I'm sorry to hear you are ill. You and your family sure are having your dose of trials. Your always in my prayers.