Just as I was thinking I had finished my school reports and was getting on top of everything at work the dreaded lurgy hit me. Boy, do I ‘dread’ this virus, and it has well and truly knocked me for six.
The lurgy I’m suffering from is not a quick fix illness like a cold or tummy bug that with a couple of days in bed, you are better. I have been suffering from a bad bout of Labrynthitus., an inner ear virus.
It makes you want to scream with what it does to your head, cry because of how it affects your mind, frustrated at the debilitation it causes and despairing at the length of time it takes to go away. AAARRRGGHHH. This is how my head feels when I’m suffering it from it.
Thank goodness I have had it before, recognise the symptoms and know it will eventually get better, even if ‘eventually’ is weeks and months, not days as I would like.
If you have never suffered from Labrynthitis, it is so difficult to explain. Each person’s symptoms from what I’ve read and seen can appear slightly different, but the key ones are the same and for many people it can be a very frightening and scary illness..
The first time I suffered, I can remember my eyesight becoming blurry on driving to work and thinking ‘wow my eyes have deteriorated quickly, I must get my eyes retested quick!’ I then suddenly started to get inner tremors, feel shaky and dizzy. The room started to sway, as though I’d been drinking even though I promise, I’d not touched a drop! I had to grip walls to move around my house and I had terrible pulsating headaches and a constant ringing in my ears. My eyes struggled, my head hurt and I felt so ill, I thought I must have something seriously wrong with me. I even wondered if I had a brain tumour.
I went to the doctor who said I had Labrynthitis, an illness I had never heard of before. It is often triggered after a cold, which I had recently recovered from. It is apparently where the inner ear becomes inflamed. Here is more information.
I was given Cinnarizine tablets for the nausea and told the answer was rest. A Couple of days in bed and I’ll be fine, or so I thought. The virus certainly takes it out of you. I felt depressed and anxious as time went on and nothing improved. You can’t speed up the recovery, but start to worry how long it will be before you feel normal and can work again. What will they think? Even watching TV or looking at a computer can only be done in small doses as after a while it hurts your flickering, dodgy eyes and aching head. I functioned by not moving and spending every day in bed, often sleeping or sitting looking into space, dangerous for an overactive mind..
The virus continued for so long, at times I began to think I would never recover. Each day was a battle and I even questioned if the diagnosis was wrong. How could a problem with ears, those small things on the side of my head, cause me to feel so ill?
It continued for weeks. I had at least three weeks off work when it was at its severest and although the symptoms persisted after that, I slowly managed my life and gradually started to feel better.
Since that first terrible episode I have mild moments when I can sense it is flaring up, but only slightly. My eyesight starts to be affected by movement or lights and whilst I have reached middle age and know my sight is deteriorating, it is worse than usual and I have to wear glasses more often. I also take longer to get up in the morning and opening my eyes is harder, as the transition from lying down to sitting up takes adjustment. I have the odd tremor and shakiness, but it usually disappears as the day goes on and I start moving.
The trouble with Labrynthitis is, that once you’ve had it, you are prone to get it again. I was hoping the minor episodes were the extent of me getting it again. WRONG.
The most recent bout is as bad as the first episode of the virus, The only difference is, I know what I’m dealing with, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
I have felt more nauseous and can lie awake at night feeling sick. Turning over in bed is as if I have a washing machine for a brain. I have to wait for the whooshing sounds to subside and I have nearly fainted with the dizziness and fallen but thankfully been caught by my husband. It is a rubbish virus to have to deal with and they have had to give me stronger drugs to deal with it this time called Stemetil tablets.
Thanks to the confinements of my bed I have missed enjoying the heatwave, three weeks of work at the end of term with my class, the Year 6 production, an Abba tribute night, my old headteachers retirement do, BBQ’s , my current deputy and colleagues leaving do, two parties and I was totally gutted to miss the preview shows of the musical ‘Merrily We Roll Along’, where my Son was playing the lead, before taking it to Edinburgh Fringe. Thankfully we had decided to go to Edinburgh for a couple of days. I must surely be well by then, but whatever, Labrynthitis sucks..
If you prefer to hear me talk about it then listen away!
Honestly Fiona xxx