The vertigo disappears...

...and Dr. John Epley thinks I may be cured.

Here's the text of an email I just out to friends and family in regards to my vertigo issues of the past three years or more.:

It's been interesting since I had my last treatment at Dr. Epley's clinic. Initial numbness in my face, and an intense headache went away after about a day and a half. I continue to have clear vision at night for the first time in years - but have yet to try driving in the dark. For about a week and a half, my left eye continued to feel strained as if it was constantly pulling to right - and it has continued to do so a bit since my initial treatment.

I've experienced much less dizziness, but tend to be a bit more out of balance (or just more aware of the imbalance). I've been catching myself almost falling quite a few times. Still, I'm much less dizzy when shampooing my hair, being on stairs, driving and participating in other activities. I also have not been bouncing off corners of walls, and door jambs, as in the past. (No more bruised arms or shoulders)

During six days of camping in the Wallowa Mountains I found that altitude, allergies, heat and movement were not causing me to be as dizzy as in the past. In the past I would not have been able to ride in the back of our camping van without experiencing a great deal of nausea. Coming home on the freeway this past week I had little dizziness and no nausea.

I've actually been feeling the best I've felt in the past three years.

In the morning yesterday I was driving near our house, and with a MAX light rail train moving to my left and a truck moving to my right I felt no vertigo or nausea for the first time in years. The best thing was that when the truck came to a stop at stop lights and signs I actually felt as if I was stationary, rather than sensing I was out of control and still moving into the intersections.

Yesterday afternoon, I had my second treatment in Dr. Epley's Omniax chair. After strapping me in, Dr. Epley began the chair's series of positioning movements. It seems my left eye was still looking off to the left some, rather than looking straight ahead as requested. However, I experienced almost none of the sensation of seeming to rotate counterclock-wise that I experienced previously while wearing the infra-red googles and being in the dark as I was treated with the chair.. There was one moment when I felt as if I was on a State Fair ride I should not have tried - and I didn't like being turned completely upside-down any more than before.

When I was brought back up into an upright position I felt no vertigo or dizziness - although I was a little disoriented. Dr. Epley said, that after the initial effects of the treatment wear off, he feels as if my vertigo has been cured - and my night vision issues may have been eliminated in the process. I'm to keep a journal of any vertigo or dizzy episodes that may occur and inform the clinic. I've also been instructed to avoid moving too fast or turning my head real quickly for a while.

As I left the clinic I was told, "It's been very nice getting to know, and working with, you - but we hope to never see you again."

I felt a little odd walking down the street to meet Ed at a nearby coffeeshop. I was surprised at experiencing a some level of emotion as I realized my three years of dealing with vertigo may be a thing of the past. I have my life back.

On the way home we stopped at a large Fred Meyer grocery/department store. For the first time in a long time I felt no anxiety, or the sense of an oncoming panic attack in a large store. There was no disorientation due to the lights, colors, noise and large number of people. I was totally exhausted when we got home. The treatment experience takes a lot out of you.

Today I feel a bit like I've had some kind of accident. I'm just a little "scrambled." The left side of my face is numb and tingly again - but I know that will go away. I do have the splitting headache again as well. My left eye feels very strained once more. Still, I've experienced no vertigo or dizziness since getting home yesterday. It really is amazing - and exciting!

Thank you so much to everyone who has supported, and put up with, me the last three years. Most of all, thanks to Dr. John Epley and his incredible staff - they are miracle workers!

© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives


Calvin Lee said...

Jeff - Wow! that is awesome. I 'm so happy for you. I hope for your complete recovery. I didn't realize you had it so bad.

Ekota (kgiff) said...

I'm really happy to hear that you may be cured. I can't imagine living that way for three years.

Brian Mays said...

Congratulations, that is great to hear.

Valarie said...

I just found my way to your website when doing a google search on dizziness. I, too, am in Portland and have been dealing with dizziness/ vertigo for over a year now. After taking many of the same tests you did (it's so hard to explain just how exhausting they were, and how difficult it becomes to keep your eyes open when you just want to sleep), I still had no diagnosis. I've finally found a naturopath who thinks she knows what's going on - she thinks my vertigo is a side effect of a medication I've been on for a while, and she theorized it was going to take a while for it to leave my system. I think she's right, because while I've been slow to recover, I am finally reclaiming my life. Ah, independence! Ah, not having to explain why I can't attend meetings or go out with friends! (If you've never had this happen to you, you just don't know the simple joy of going to Powell's, out to eat, even to Safeway, until you're physically unable to do it anymore.) So even though I'm getting much better, it was nice to read your account, to find someone else who truly knows what this is like, and to hear of a recovery.

Funny sidenote - I saw the RiverWest Acunpuncture item on your blog. Lisa is also my acupuncturist! I haven't seen her in a long time (although she was my next step if the naturopath hadn't helped me), but she is truly a wonderful person.