Hello Everyone,

I live with a condition that only my family and closest friends are away of. I have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). This is a vestibular disorder that is debilitating when it occurs. Two years ago, an accident involving a neighbor’s black Labrador and our Golden Retriever, Willow, both over 75 lbs. were chasing each other around the perimeter of the yard.  I was standing on the concrete driveway chatting with my neighbor, when suddenly the dogs came racing up the hill at a thunderous gallop. They both hit me full force, knocking me off my feet, landing me headfirst into the concrete. Hospitalized for a couple of days, diagnosed with a concussion, I returned home, thinking the worst was behind me. WRONG!

Six weeks after the accident, I woke up one morning with the room spinning out of control. I had my first vertigo attack and  have dealt with one every 6-8 weeks since that accident two years ago.  The hardest part of it all, is trying to explain to folks what it feels like to experience this, and how it changes your life. It completely rocks your world. And the part that is so difficult to deal with, is that there is no cure and you never quite know when it will reoccur. It can be triggered by simply getting out of bed, undergoing physical therapy, or even being in a dentist or hairdresser’s chair. You are constantly aware of what position your in and anticipating the next attack. It’s exhausting and causes much anxiety.

Now, after all this being said, I’m still living a full life. Yes, there are some  days that are difficult and I have to push through, but I’m not letting it completely control my life. I do my vestibular exercises, eat right, take long walks, journal, meditate, drink lots of water, and take trips. Plus, and the most important thing of all, is that I have a supportive spouse who understands what I’m going through and is always there for me. The reason I’m letting people know about BPPV and other vestibular disorders is to raise awareness. We’ve known for years the devastating effects head injuries football players and other athletes have sustained due to blows to the head. I now understand it can happen to anyone, very quickly.  I went out with Willow one summer morning to water my flowers, saw my neighbor walking his dog and stood in the driveway chatting with him, letting the dogs play. Since that summer morning, my life has never quite been the same.