Dizziness in Cars

I remember that right after the stroke I could only sit in the front seat of a car. Sitting in the back seat and looking out a side window made me nauseous and dizzy. I absolutely could not do it. I remember throwing up in a car a few times. Even in the front seat. It was just so bad at the beginning. If I was forced to sit in the back seat of a car my eyes would be shut the entire time. This is not an issue for me anymore. I can now sit in a back seat.

Also, for a few years after a stroke, I would have to close my eyes when the person driving just made a turn to the left or right. This, also, I no longer have to do.

What I still have to do, is close my eyes when the person driving makes a U-turn. My husband has a small car and it can maneuver in and out of small spaces and he frequently makes quick U-turns in places. When he does this, It makes me dizzy and I have to close my eyes. That makes it ok. I don’t know if it’s the external stimulation from seeing my environment whirl in a circle or if my head id just being moved around too fast. Since closing my eyes makes it ok I guess it’s the external stimulation being too much for my brain to process quickly enough.

Better than it used to be, but still isn’t great. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to ride in a car as passenger like a normal person.

Categories: Brain stuff, Recovery, Stroke stuff

Tags: , ,

5 replies

  1. Dizziness and nausea was probably my biggest mobility issue with many many falls and a lot of vomiting. It was severe eyes open or closed and it was hard to get medical people to understand the severity and that I wasn’t lazy and not trying to do the exercise.

    About 3 years in I volunteered to be a subject for a neuro physio teaching program for 4th year students. When my “student” had problems developing a therapy plan for me the professor did further testing and declared I was getting no info from my left inner ear. No sensation from my left foot and my left eye was not quite focusing properly. Aha!

    I eventually made good but excruciatingly slow progress by going to Adapted Tai Chi. And attending water therapy with an expert. Now I get around fine but have trouble with vertical movement like steps. And if the lights get turned off on me I literally fall sideways – (depending on vision for proprioception cues) Loud sounds or deeper sounds like a truck honk or tubas absolutely paralyze me and give me massive headaches

  2. The “unseen” deficits are not very well understood or talked about. Mine is dizziness. I could not drive or ride in cars for a year so. I couldn’t go to the grocery store, out to dinner, be in a crowd, work in an office, work on a computer for more than 30 minutes, read for more than 30 minutes. No one can understand how dizziness and disequilibrium can impact your life. My life became so small, so isolated. But I kept at it and found MYSELF a treatment based on hours of scouring the internet for my symptoms and trying doctor after doctor. Most of them just want be to “adapt to my new normal” which to an extent I understand but that wasnt good enough because they weren’t listening. So as some of you might have read, I am the friend Amy blogged about with neuro-vestibular dysfunction. I discovered that 80%…80%! Of people who have a stroke end up with a vision issue. And not all vision problems are easy to find…..but I KNEW it was off, I KNEW it had something to do with my vision. So I found an optometrist….yes an optometrist who specializes in visual learning disorders and post stroke disorders….there is only ONE in my area. I have been doing vision therapy not covered by insurance for 6 months. And that coupled with my vestibular therapy…..I have gotten better. Not 100%, not where I used to be. But I flew on an airplane for the first time last month AND took a short road trip for 3 hours in a car! Progress. It’ was scary but so is the isolation I have felt. So be your own best advocate and dont say no to the plateau. It’s slow progress but I am retraining my brain to adapt to visually complex environments again. We are stronger than we know even when it feels the darkest….when we are tired and sad. Just get through 1 day, 1 hour at a time….and then the next and the next.

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