In 2009, I had my first wave ride. I was standing in a hotel hallway in Bangkok, Thailand when I felt the first unsettling motion. I kept repeating that I felt like we had just gotten off a boat.
That went on for the next 8 months as the journey through Asia continued as I got sicker and sicker. When I returned back to Seattle, I was sick, really really sick. I would eat and have allergic reactions, I was exhausted, cried easily and felt horrible.
One day I was eating a spoonful of peanut butter and almost passed out. I crawled to the living room where I put my legs up and leaned against the couch. I was slurring my words and felt like a super slow voice machine had been installed into my mouth. I felt like I was going to swallow my tongue. Like it had swelled up to the point where I was being choked!
The next morning I had an appointment with a Naturopath, he gave me a food allergy test where we found out I was deathly allergic to peanuts. So I guess that spoonful of peanut butter was not the best idea.
From 2009 to 2015, I've been robbed of ultimate happiness. I had good days and bad. Days where I would lay on the couch and sob due to my discomfort. Days where I thought that life wasn't worth living. I constantly spun, eyes open or closed and every time I left the couch, I'd hold onto a wall or a desk, whatever was stable.
Vertigo took away birthday parties, hang outs, trips to the grocery store, cooking, showering some days, teaching opportunities and most of all my health. It took such an emotional toll that I gave up some days, canceled everything and moped around the apartment. I felt okay when I lived alone, but living with my fiance brought on this guilt and extra stress that I hadn't had before.
He gave me unconditional love and support and stayed home with me while his friends were living their 30 something lives. I urged him to meet up with buddies, but he stayed home like a loyal man and cooked for me.
Since going to San Francisco and meeting with Dr. Snelling, I have had tiny bouts of vertigo, little itty bitty waves at times when I am exhausted or anxious. And yes, I am still exhausted from taking 15+ pills a day, but I know that it is all worth it. These all natural supplements from this amazing doctor are the only thing that have worked for me. And believe me, I have seen every specialist you can think of, I've tried eliminating every food group to see if I had more food allergies. I've tried the Epley Maneuver. Seen the ear doctor where we chatted about crystals. I saw a physical therapist who specialized in vertigo. I was on a parasite cleanse after Thailand. Like I said, you name it, I've done it.
But what vertigo has brought me is so much more than what it's taken. I've seen real love from the guy I'm marrying this year, from my parents, sister and a few close friends. People who understand chronic puzzling pain. People who take care of you, when you cannot take care of yourself. And isn't that all that matters at the end of the day? People who picked you up when you couldn't. People who didn't leave your side when you said you were sick.
When I hear the saying, "Life is what you make it," I agree. You could sit and be sad about all the unfair things that have happened to you, or you can be grateful for what you've learned. Grateful because you got to see who truly gets you. So if you're in the boat, not off yet, grab ahold of the sail and know that your ride will end peacefully, if you let it.