I have M.A.V. (Migraine Associated Vertigo). It’s a lesser known chronic condition caused by migraines. Rarely do I get the headaches, I get vertigo. Four years ago, it affected me so badly that I had to take time off work to find out what was wrong with me. They first thought I had Meniere’s, which has many of the same symptoms, but I wasn’t losing my hearing, so the specialist was able to ascertain is was indeed M.A.V.
After getting back to work and getting on the correct medications, I have it under control for 90% of the time. I can lead a good, normal life. But sometimes, the symptoms rise up, maybe once or twice a year and I have to deal with them.
M.A.V. is not life-threatening, but it makes life not a lot of fun. Everyone who has it suffers differently. Like migraines, it is personalized and not much is known about it. Without my meds, I would get vertigo so badly, I couldn’t stand up. I would be so sick for hours at a time, I would lie on the bathroom floor praying to make it back to bed. And the vertigo would hit whenever and wherever it felt like it. I could be out on the street, on a run, at work, no matter, and it would hit me. I would be sick in minutes. Along with vertigo, I would get extreme light-headedness, nausea without vertigo and dizziness without vertigo. It was a terrible, scary and also lonely time in my life.
The week before last, I had the first vertigo attack I’ve had in over a year. It wasn’t nearly as bad as the ones I used to have, but it scared me. It was on a busy day and I hardly had time to rest it out. Rest was all I could do when it hit. Fortunately, it went away and I continued on with my life.
When I had my M.A.V. under control, I made a promise to myself that I would not let it control me. I promised that no matter how bad it got, I would never, ever let it take over my life as it once had. Even if it meant I had to crawl to go where I needed to go, to do what I needed to do, I would do it, because I never wanted to go through the helpless, isolated feelings of despair I lived through.
Today I ran for the first time in two weeks. It was a great 4 miles I enjoyed thoroughly. I haven’t gotten the rest I should have been getting these last couple of weeks, and my eating hasn’t been great. But these things will change starting tomorrow. June 1st will mark the beginning of my training for the Giants Step Half Marathon, happening in early September.
So, back to clean eating, back to regularly scheduled workouts and saving up money for my racing bike. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to afford that, if not sooner, than later, but I’ll get it eventually.
So, there’s no giving up for me, no going back, no falling down and not getting up. Onward I go!