Posted on Jan 1, 2011 in Blog |

A year ago today, I experienced the first of three days of vertigo. It was not a good start to 2010. Some of the Bartonella was hanging out in my Eustachian tube causing inflammation and thus the vertigo.

I remember waking up in bed, turning my head from the side to face forward to see what time it was. When I turned my head, the entire room came with it, reminding me of a very bad hangover I had in my twenties, or making me think I was on a topsy-turvy boat.

Then, the nausea came. Luckily, I had an empty stomach, so there were no further consequences for that.

When I turned my head, the walls moved with me; I had no solid grounding. I turned over to get up, thinking it would go away, or if I got upright, I could correct all this. I got turned over, my legs off the bed onto the floor. But I could not sit up. Every time I put my hand against the bed to push myself up to sit, I fell over to the side again as though being pulled flat against the bed.

The more I struggled to sit up, the more disoriented I became. I could not get my bearings; I could not get stabilized. And of course, it was first thing in the morning . . . I had to pee!

It’s the ‘little’ moments like these that create some of my most vivid memories of what Bartonella / Lyme disease does to a person. My husband is in the other room, not far away, but in this moment, I am so disoriented, so confused, I can’t even cry out for him. I am alone in a terrifying moment battling this disease. And at this moment, I have no idea if this condition is going to last a few more moments, an hour, or a day.

This is the moment I want to freeze for those who DON’T suffer from Lyme disease. Because these moments happen any day, any time, for any length of time. That is the uncertainty of Lyme disease. On a daily basis.

The vertigo eventually passed long enough for me to call out to Jeff and have him walk me to the bathroom. I spent the most of the next three days at home and sitting down, fearful of its return. I didn’t want to be cooking or driving when it hit again. We even laughed about it eventually as I bounced off the walls in the hallway, Jeff called out to ‘Richochet Rabbit.’
And then, as quickly as it had come on, it left. I didn’t get vertigo again for a few more months.

Bartonella / Lyme disease affects everyone differently. My primary ‘symptom’ is chronic, sometimes excruciating back and hip pain. But for three days one year ago, I had horrible vertigo. It just depends on where the bacteria decide to hang out for a while and how it affects that particular part of the body. Every day can be different. And it seems to make absolutely no rhyme or reason.
Jeff woke today and has had pain in every joint for most of the afternoon. Yesterday, he felt fine. A friend of mine gets horrible nausea from her Bartonella.

For two days this week, I had amazing days. I ran errands and had more energy than I have had in months. My short-term memory was pretty good. Thursday afternoon and evening, I had horrible deep bone pain in my legs and my skin felt prickly. I turned the lights off and every sound was bothering my ears. I woke up Friday morning, and everything was fine.

Today, I woke up at 7:30 am after a good night’s sleep. When I turned my head to see the clock, the walls didn’t move with me. The floor stayed below my feet. I got up, went to the bathroom, got dressed, and met some friends for coffee. I had lunch with my family, and spent the afternoon knitting (something I haven’t been able to do for months because of pain). I have a stiff neck, and I still have back and hip pain, but it’s manageable. I watched America’s Funniest Videos and laughed ridiculously hard. It has been a good day.

It’s a good start to a new year.

Someone on Facebook defined the optimist as the person who stayed up last night to welcome in 2011. The pessimist stayed up last night to make sure 2010 left the building. I like to think I’m optimistic. I can’t change anything about what has happened in the past, so I like to look forward, but I was really glad to see 2010 leave last night. Even with the great achievement of writing and publishing my first book in 2010, the majority of things that happened in the past twelve months are things I hope will stay in 2010 and not transcend beyond.

But if there is anything Bartonella / Lyme disease has taught me this past year, it is not to make any major plans, because I never know where that bacteria is going to decide to hang out each day or how it’s going to affect my body . . . . so, I’ll take it as it comes. I will celebrate the good days and rest on the not so good days, remembering that my primary job again, is to HEAL.

If you have experienced any symptoms that doctors don’t seem to know the cause of, please consider getting tested for Lyme from At least rule Lyme disease out.