What happened to us?

Hi there

Has anyone tried to pinpoint a specific event that started this MAV in your lives. Looking back at when all these symptoms started I have tried to figure out what exactly caused this whole MAV stuff. Was it the Propecia I tried for hair loss, was it the tetanus shot I got when I stepped on a nail, was it the waste water treatment plant I was working in. I’ve tried to think of everything that happened right before my first vertigo attack. I personally think it was some sort of VN that snowballed into this MAV. Has anyone else tried to figure out if there was an original trigger that started this whole MAV mess.



I have played that tape many , many times in my head. There are a few things that I wonder if triggered it…for me.

One we were remodeling our home in 2007, major renovations and I started to have increased headaches at the time, plus i was not getting much sleep either.

Two they were doing major construction at my office in beginning 2008 a lot of chemicals being used to the extent I had to leave work on many occasion and go home because the odor was so horrible…increased headaches at the time.

Three there was two people wearing very strong perfumes that made me very ill at work and they sat very close to my space.

Four I was under a lot of strees due to family illness of my mother during this time and other family issues going on at the same time.

I was getting very little sleep for a long period of time.

Did one thing cause this or was it a snowball effect that my body just could no longer handle…I do not know other than June 2008 my life was forever changed and remains so to this day.

I can no longer work, i can only go out fro a very brief periods of time and more or less my life as I once knew it is no more.

Maybe one day that will change but for now what caused it and why…is a question I know not the answer to but know i can only take one day at a time.

I realize now that before my big vertigo attack in 2007 (doc said it was VN…never healed then dx with Migraine Syndrome) that looking back over my life…I have ALWAYS had a nauseas stomach, there were times when I just needed sound to stop, and of course one humongeous, whopping headache in my early 20’s on a very cloudy gloomy day!!! I thought it was a sinus headache…and really since then don’t get heacahes much at all!!!


Car accident 2 weeks before my symptoms started. I think that all of us with MAV always have it, but something stresses our bodies to where it comes out for the first time, whether its trauma, VN, meniere’s, horomones, whatever.

I agree with Amy. I think we all have a predisposition to MAV and something in our lives triggers it to “flare up”. For me it was the start of menopause and the instability of my hormones. I can recall various times in my life having short bouts of dizziness or nausea or just feeling off that did not last very long but since age 49 and the onset of menopause these symptoms of MAV have been pretty much constant. I think I have learned to live with it and adjust my life to it and I hope that within the next few years as my hormones settle down some to a new level that this MAV will burn itself out.
There is always hope since MAV for me is forever changing.

Steve…i know some folks don’t want to believe this but i think it has something to do with the intense stress i was experiencing when i use to work for the phone company. A couple of jobs that i tried to transfer within the company did not work out for me and would return to my original dept…it wasn’t a good job match and just feeling unappreciated and ignored at times use to really get me down and i took it very seriously…going home and feeling sad and loosing sleep over it. I wish that i would have not taken all of this so seriously. But during this difficult period is when i began to have an occasional vertigo attack…always at night (waking up in the middle of the night)…and i would end up so sick and vomit. After 3 years of this repeating scenerio of waking up in the night when sleeping and vomiting… the situation became chronic…rocking motion set in 24/7, tense/squeezed like feeling in my head…eqilibruim problems, etc, etc.

After 18 years of this mess…i am doing better and continue to make progress.


Like several of you, I think I have had small bouts of “off-balance” sensations for years and just ignored them or thought maybe it was a sinus thing. And I have always had motion-sickness - especially in the car. Over the years, I had also noticed that if I got really tired or over-heated I felt nauseated until I could rest. However, it was after 2 surgeries within 11 months that the real problems started. That was a year ago and my life has changed dramatically as a result. For a short period of time during the winter I had to resort to a walker to get around at all I was so “off-balance”. The dizzy/off-balance stuff is better than it was a few months ago but now I have headaches that are there for part of every day along with neck/shoulder/upper back pain. And the fatigue is amazing. I haven’t driven a car since December - the traffic going by beside me or in front of me (at an intersection) still makes me really woozy. I am just getting to the point that I can spend a few minutes at a time on the computer or reading but still can’t watch TV without feeling the motion-sickness.

Meg, thanks for reminding me of Motion Issues. I’m one of these guys who never outgrew Motion Sickness. The most definite ways that make me nauseated are Driving in curvey mountains like Yosemite. Also…could never get on Carnival Rides that go in circles…i would throw up very quickly. And also being on a small boat at sea makes me nauseated. I have never been on a Cruise and never will even attempt it in my life time.


For me, I personally think it was going on the birth control pill, as my vertigo started about 2 months later, and I felt better once I went off of it a few years later (I tried going off of it once before, but didn’t feel better so I didn’t connect the two…I was, however, hyperthyroid at the time I went off of it, so I think that contributed to my MAV).

I went on the pill not just birth control but also mainly for medical reasons…there’s no way I could have known it could cause this. I try not to beat myself up too much for it, but sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like if I’d never gone on it, if I still would have gotten vertigo. I do have a history of motion sickness, and my mom is prone to migraines, so I think it just set off something in my head.

Cassada - I just read your post, and wanted to let you know that I blame all this on BCPs as well. I did have history of headaches and migraines with aura, but nothing terrible at all. My migraines increased dramatically on the pill (still nothing that got in the way of my life), but eventually I woke up with MAV sxs, and have been sick ever since (even after stopping the pill a few mos after I got MAV). I definitely blame it on the pill, and wish I could turn back the clock. I definitely know how you feel. This illness is surely hormonally driven for me, as most of you km ow I also got MUCH sicker when pregnant.

For me it started with spacing out–not mindfog but actual dissociation for a minute. And I precipitated it by taking on a physically strenuous job just before I had scheduled a very mentally demanding one. The first turned out to require an additional effort beyond what I had anticipated, and midway through the second–which carried fiduciary responsibility–I just zoned. That was the sum total of the symptoms for years, just zoning for a minute, with no memory of having done so, every month or two. No wonder a number of docs suspected atypical epilepsy.

Then about a year ago the other goodies began, leading first to a diagnosis of BPPV and then one of Meniere’s, before John Carey told me nope, it’s migraine.

Come to think of it, the other goodies were part of a cascade of troubles. In Fall of 2008 I had a major life disappointment, and by the end of the year I developed hypertension, after always having had normal to lowish-normal BP. (Better made that “blood pressure”; don’t want it associated with gushers.) Then in early Spring 2009 I had the first massive vertigo attack, after always having been very balanced on my feet, able to do back bends without more than a rush, etc.

It was a stressful time , and a long plane flight that did it.
I got off the at the other end , and havent been the same since.
18 years ago.

I felt something wierd during the flight like I lost time or something.

Hi guys,

Thanks for all the responses. Wow, it seems like stress, whether it is physical, chemical or emotional has a big part in triggering this condition that we are all lucky to share. I wonder if anyone has tried yoga or tai chi to help with their MAV. I remember when I was doing VRT a felt some relief until I had a crash. I’m hesitant to try it again until I can find a med that someone works.


Steve, I can tell you this.

Years ago, when I was playing tai chi regularly, the intense focus I sometimes came to it with sometimes brought on symptoms. Repositioning maneuvers–I think of them more as eye exercises, but what the hell–do help me a bit these days, even on bad days.

Yoga is promising, at least The Plough. I mean hey, stretch out the tight neck, right? At one point I found Salute to the Sun very balancing, but I’ve been so mean to my knees that any kneeling posture is a no-no.

I wouldn’t mess with Breath of Fire.

Alternate nostril breathing, counted breathing, sure. Breathing in along the front of the spine, out along the back, very soothing; I’m trying to bring that one back into my repertoire during some swimming strokes.

No way of knowing to what extent our experiences would overlap, o’ course.