BPPV stands for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. It just means you’re dizzy. If you have BPPV, here’s why you are dizzy.
When I was 2 months out of a massive stroke and had a shaved head, I went to the ER with a severe headache and dizziness. 2 months out of a stroke remember. So the ER doctor had no idea why I was so dizzy and diagnosed me with BPPV and explained that an inner ear condition is most likely causing my dizziness. 2 months out of a cerebellar stroke, a stroke that’s MAIN symptom is dizziness.
Ok, anyway….if you actually have BPPV here’s what is going on….In your inner ear in the vestibular system there are these crystal things. These crystal things and where they are located make you sense your position, if you’re upright, stuff like that. Sometimes, these crystals get dislodged and are in places they shouldn’t be and make you feel dizzy and nauseous. And sometimes they will cause you to have nystagmus. If you had a stroke I’m sure you know what nystagmus means. It’s when your eyeballs track back and forth rapidly. There is a maneuver that vestibular PTs perform that puts those crystals back where they belong and hopefully resolves the dizziness. This maneuver will not work when one has had a huge stroke. I wish that ER doctor was right and that BPPV actually was the cause of my dizziness.
I’m sorry I haven’t blogged in a while. I’ve been busy living a quasi-pseudo-normal life. I surely haven’t been able to say that for quite some time. For over 3 years my life has been anything but normal. But it’s getting back to “normal.” Or as normal as things can be for me. I have a job, I have a boyfriend, I have an apartment, I have social engagements that I sometimes go to, sometimes don’t. Normal stuff. Kinda normal. Now when I use the term ‘normal’ to describe my life don’t let it be confused with when we, the stroke tribe, refer to ‘normals.’ I’m using the word ‘normal’ as an adjective, but when anyone in the tribe speaks of ‘normals,’ it is being used as a noun that refers to people who have not had a stroke or any other kind of brain injury and have never been through this hell.
Starting to work again has been a challenge, it’s been exhausting. I haven’t used my brain for intellectual purposes and had stuff I needed to get done in over 3 years and it’s been quite an adjustment but I’m getting the hang of it.
The 2nd picture is a recycled Grumpy Cat picture but………it makes me laugh.
I was talking to Barb recently and she made such a good observation and suggestion for a post. The term ‘hemiparesis’ means one-sided weakness. Hemi = half and paresis = weakness. After a stroke, you’re going to be described as hemiparetic. But you’re not, not technically. Not at first anyway. It takes a while to become truly hemiparetic. It doesn’t take long, but it doesn’t happen immediately after a stroke. You see, a stroke is a brain injury, not a muscle injury. A stroke doesn’t directly affect your muscles in the least. It indirectly affects them by cutting off the signals to your muscles from the brain, but it doesn’t directly do anything at all to muscles. So, at first, the term ‘hemiparesis’ really doesn’t apply. Your muscles are still good. It’s your brain that got all messed up, not your muscles. After some time, those muscles that aren’t able to be used properly will atrophy and then you become truly hemiparetic. But not at first. A new word needs to be invented for that.
Some info for the tribe…..Long ago on my blog I used this picture…..
And to this I said life has not given me much water and sugar yet so my lemonade probably sucks. But life has recently given me some sugar and water in the form of a boyfriend who is just as sarcastic as I am and will give me shit right back. Here he is…..
His name is Patrick. But, just in case you still are getting tons of lemons and are at a loss as to what to do with them, Dean sent me this picture with what I think is a very good suggestion…..
Learn who you can say what to and who you can’t. Some people will make you feel worse by responding with something incredibly insensitive and unempathetic like “It could always be worse” or “at least…..” or “you need to…..” or “you should…..” If you speak of your feelings to someone and instead of validation they respond by telling you what they’ve been through and how much worse they had it/ have it, TALK.TO.SOME.ONE.ELSE.
Apparently I need to post this everyday until everyone in the world sees and understands it.
I was doing a jigsaw puzzle this weekend and it triggered a memory. When I was about 20, I did a jigsaw puzzle with my mom and when we finished I got really depressed and introspective. I was like “well now what?” I thought it was a wonderful metaphor for life. We completed the puzzle and this thing that I had been working on and obsessed with for weeks – there was no more left to do. It was done, my goal had been accomplished. I had nothing left to work for. Little did I know that in 10 years something was going to happen to me that would give me a goal to work towards for the rest of my life. And little did I know that my doctors would basically tell me I’m screwed and that the rest of my life is gonna suck. So, it’s certainly not an ideal goal, that’s for DAMN sure, but a goal nonetheless.