Earlier this year there was a stressful event within the family and that seemed to make the dizziness worse and I felt as if I was veering to one side when walking, but again I tried to just carry on as usual until June, when I had an ear infection in both ears which set off the dizziness quite badly again. During the year I also began to feel very anxious about feeling dizzy and started to avoid socializing and had time off work. I was feeling dizzy whenever I went out to the shops or out for a coffee with a friend and only felt I could go out if my husband was with me. Even at home I felt dizzy when cooking in the kitchen or doing household chores. I stopped doing Pilates which I enjoyed because I felt dizzy. I saw my GP during this time and they offered anti-depressants to help with anxiety which I didn’t really want to start as I didn’t feel that I was depressed although I was very anxious about the dizziness. I did take up mindfulness which helped a little. The GP referred me back to the ENT consultant again.
I had been looking online to try and find some answers to what I was feeling and I came across the Dizzycare Clinic in Codsall and I booked to see Samy. Straight away I felt that he knew what I was talking about and he gave me a list of foods to avoid and strategies to try along with exercises to build up. He gave my some clear ideas of what I had been going through in terms of vestibular migraines and PPPD which I had never heard of before. I felt that I had something I could work on to help myself and that I could take more control of how I was feeling.
At first I was still very anxious about feeling dizzy doing the exercises but gradually I felt I could do more without feeling so anxious all the time. Although I still felt dizzy at times I was feeling more relaxed and that I could manage things. Samy also said I should tell friends and family more about how I felt and doing that also helped in making me feel more relaxed about whether I wanted to socialize or do activities. They were all more understanding than I thought which made me feel better. Gradually over the weeks I built up the exercises and was able to go out and do things without feeling so anxious and dizzy all the time. I feel much more confident and although the dizziness is still there at times it is not dominating what I think about and the anxiety I feel is much less, although I know there are some triggers including tiredness, stress and certain foods which I now try and manage more carefully. I have started Pilates again which I am enjoying and I also feel more confident about going out and taking part in social activities.
I am very grateful to Samy for listening and being patient with me when I was feeling anxious about trying new exercises. He gave me the confidence to help myself through the strategies and exercises he taught me.
S Clayton (Stafford)