And I mean really getting better (not just better because of the medication’s symptom control).
I think there are at least three areas which show you:
- Physical clues
- Mental clues
- Social clues
I think in each of these cases I suggest you look back six months and ask yourself, have I improved since then? Any shorter timeline and I think your opinion will be too affected by short term fluctuations in your symptoms which happen in any case. Don’t get too down when you have a relapse, these are normal occurrences in MAV and they all pass eventually, even if you feel worse for 3 weeks, they will eventually go and you’ll be back to your original trend.
Physical clues - six months ago did you get stronger vertigo, was your imbalance worse, were you in bed more, did you generally have more vestibular attacks (imho these are not ‘cured’ by meds, but when they occur the meds reduce the symptoms and make them less uncomfortable). Is your tinnitus less bothersome, is it quieter, do you get any periods of respite from it now, or do you get more periods of respite? Did you experience spinning more, was it stronger?
Mental clues - six months ago did you have more negative thoughts, were you less optimistic, how much time did you devote to thinking about your illness then versus now? Were you more anxious, depressed perhaps? Did your stomach churn more? Is it still doing that? When a vestibular attack hits, are you more calm now?
Social clues - six months ago did you go out as much as you do today? Did you mix with as many friends six months ago? Did you spend any evening out where you almost didn’t think about your condition at all as you were sufficiently distracted by the social goings on? Does that happen now, does that happen more often? etc.
Take pride and solace in all improvements in these three areas and realise that you are, in fact, getting better if you are making progress in any one of them.
On this analysis I can tell you that I am definitely getting better, but its a very slow drawn out process. If you are new to MAV please be patient because I believe whilst getting better is very possible, it can take far longer than anyone expects to get over an illness. This is the first and only truly impactful chronic condition I’ve had. Sure, I’ve had a dodgy knee for a couple of years, I’ve had a stiff back and neck for a bit, but nothing that would compare to MAV. It is certainly not like a broken leg and definitely not like flu or a cold.
Now, it IS possible you are not getting better, but I believe that period will end. In my experience and from what i’ve read on this board, MAV has a crescendo, a point at which the worst hell is reached, and after that point, its all downhill from there, if downhill is a very strong word for a very slight incline that almost a ball wouldn’t roll down: yet it still does roll!
Just my collection of thoughts for today, reflecting on my 1.5 years with this awful thing.
Wish you all the best,