So, for the past 5-6 years I have struggled with what I could only describe as ‘brain fog’, which gradually got worse and worse. I thought it was everything from heart problems, to anxiety, to vitamin deficiencies, to food intolerances and so on.
I have only recently visited a physio who specialises in dizziness and vestibular issues and she believes I suffer from vestibular migraines.
My main symptoms are a constant dizziness and lack of clarity, ‘brain fog’ which is exacerbated by busy places such as the supermarket. I almost pass out every time I step foot inside a supermarket.
I have been given vestibular exercises to do, and I am taking magnesium supplements to try and ease my symptoms. The last few years have generally been hell. My quality of life has been drastically reduced by these horrible things. But I am now happy to be on the right track towards getting back to normal.
One question I do have for everyone is this: have you had to quit your job or change career due to VM?
I ask because the environment in which I work is a factory that is extremely busy and noisy with fluorescent lighting above. I feel awful every time I am in the place! Luckily, I plan on switching careers soon which will see me working in a quiet office at a desk.
Lots have had to change career, go part-time or even stop altogether. Some do manage to struggle through. Some find a nice, long, career break (extended Sick Leave is ideal) really helps and like @janb they can then return. All very individual. Do be careful. Office environment can be just as toxic and as most desk jobs involve constant computer screen use prove just as major a trigger. Personally I worked when not acute but episodic, once it turned chronic as it happened I wasn’t in work but I know I couldn’t have continued working. James, @turnitaround,changed his career. Some find working from home better as commuting and transport can be triggers. Like everything else with VM it’s much a case of trial n error. Try not to close too many doors against yourself until really sure. Most find things do slowly improve and they adapt to some New Normal.
I was working in quiet office & it was really horrible. struggling 9 hours on my desk with all these symptoms; dizziness, head pressure, blurred vision, unable to focus on computer screen etc.
Please do not take any quick decision. Think first what is your triggers at work, the work environment or the type of your job? For me the environment was perfect. However, the type of my job was so difficult, I was all the time in hurry & under stress as we need to review numbers of documents and prepare daily reports. And for sure with MAV symptoms it was so difficult to stay.
I was lucky to be signed off sick for 5 months by the neuro-otologist I saw and was eligible for full sick pay so this gave me the time I needed for the treatment to work and I was able to go back to work. Even now that I have stopped the treatment - Pizotifen and diet - I have to be careful about how much time I spend on the computer as it makes my head, eyes and ears stop cooperating with each other and brought back the ear pressure and feelings of being unbalanced. At least I can pace myself now that I have retired!
I wonder if vestibular therapy can help eventually and get rid of most of the dizziness. Sick leave is another route I might try and take. Like I say, my work environment is so busy and loud I am just in a constant daze every single day, but as soon as I am home and on the computer I am fine.
Sorry to hear of your struggle!
Yeah so my career change has been in the works for a while, and it is not down to VM, it is something I have wanted to do for a long time now. I just feel so much better sat down at a desk with a computer in front of me.
Can I ask what treatments you have tried? Any supplements? Therapy?
Read @janb PD. It’s all written up most beautifully to date.
(@Janb I’ve featured your PD on your User Card for ease of discovery- feel free to change that)
@MB22 just click on Jan’s avatar to see her User Card - her PD is linked there.
Hi, sorry you have been dealing with this for so long. Must be very difficult over so many years.
Working is such a conundrum. We have worked hard for our careers and need to keep working to run our household and raise our families, however working with a vestibular issue is no easy feat.
I had to stop working to begin with. I was extremely unwell and pretty much spent the good part of 4 weeks with my head down the toilet. Lots of vision issues and head movement intolerance. I was off for 4 months. In this time, found a med that agreed with me and slowly recovered enough to begin work again last week.
Time off wasn’t really an option - I had to! I was so sick. But in the end, I needed that time not only to recover physically (not entirely unfortunately ) but to find acceptance and cope mentally. That was a challenge for me and still is when I’m off.
Your work is loud and busy. Not ideal hey. I work at a large boys college. Also loud and busy. If you can try to move to a less provoking area, that might be worth considering, or think about other work options. I personally would hope we can all get to a level where we can work - even if it does mean changing - which you are going to do.
Desk work is easier to accommodate I think. You might have more control over lighting, computer screen brightness etc. Hope you find something that works.
Yes, I changed to a less stressful job to try and recover faster. It was definitely helpful. I also took a long 6 month break from work, but I’m not sure I’d recommend it. Just find something that you can do without too much stress (and less fluorescent lights )
Supermarkets were nasty for me too for a couple years. Hang in there and keep working on treatment options - it will pay off.