I borrowed this success story from facebook as i thought it was a great motivator !
Dear fellow MAV sufferers.
I was “diagnosed” with MAV when I was 23. I am now 32 years old and have therefore been living with this condition for almost a decade. I thought as the ten year anniversary approached, it might be of some help to others who are just beginning this journey if I could offer some words of, what I hope will be, encouragement and optimism for the future.
In the beginning (as the bible says) it was pretty grim. Like most of you, the initial months of MAV were spent primarily in bed, on the sofa, on the floor or any other horizontal piece of furniture that would accommodate me. My symptoms consisted of periodic short spells (usually only seconds or minutes) of true roller-coaster, spinning vertigo attacks with long periods in between of permanent imbalance, visual disturbances and nausea. It was like being drunk 24/7, without the fun of actually drinking. I saw every doctor under the sun to try and find out what was wrong with me, and in the process took an absolute cocktail of drugs - Gabapentin, Pregabalin, Pizotifen (that was some weight gain!), Sertraline, Propanolol - you name it, I popped it. I did VRT, migraine diets, meditation, CBT - to name only a few. If someone in a white coat and stethoscope had suggested sacrificing a goat to Zeus, I would have considered it. Despite my best efforts, none of the above seemed to do anything for me and eventually I stopped trying to find a cure.
Now this is not at all to say that none of the above will work for anyone else. MAV is an extremely complicated disorder related to the most sensitively calibrated neurological and vestibular apparatus in our bodies and so what is of no effect for one person may be an absolute magic bullet for another, and I have read enough reports over the years to see that many people do indeed find the correct pharmacological key to their particular lock. The only point I make here is that this is not (yet!) something that I have managed to do.
The message however that I want to try and nail home is this - EVEN IF YOU CANNOT FIND A MEDICAL SOLUTION TO MAKE THE SYMPTOMS GO AWAY, YOUR LIFE WILL GET MUCH MUCH BETTER.
The human body and mind are remarkable things and this is never more in evidence then by their ability to adapt to new, challenging circumstances.
Despite not having a drug or treatment to help me, as time went on things simply got better. I started trying to do things which I had previously convinced myself I couldn’t and, lo and behold, I could! Gradually I stopped trying to fight the symptoms and learned to live with them and as more time passed I gradually became used to it. This is not the same as ‘putting up with it’. It is not a constant struggle that takes effort. Rather, there would be increasing periods of days and then weeks and then months where I would forget about it all together. Sure there would be the occasional ‘bad day’ where it might temporarily get a bit worse, but it would always go away again.
Ten years on, and I work full time as a lawyer. I play sports, I drink, I dance (very badly), I play music, I even go on rollercoasters every now and then! Next week I’m heading off to do a two week surfing camp in Indonesia. Will I be able to stand on a surf board? Who knows! Maybe not, but I’m going to give it a damn good go and enjoy it all the same.
You may feel like it’s the absolute pits right now and you may feel huge resentment and frustration at the thought that this might be something you have to live with for a while and all the limitations that it imposes on you. But even if you don’t find a medical solution to knock the symptoms on the head, you can ABSOLUTELY go on to live a very happy and full life. I don’t believe that to be true, I know it to be true. This is a challenge, and you will beat it.
Keep on keeping on. You can DO IT! X