Friday, January 18, 2013

Graduation Day

This morning, I got up, dressed and had breakfast, walked 1.7 km to catch the number 8 bus to Kingsway Mall, and walked from there to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital for my Vestibular Rehabilitation graduation.

Those who follow my blog will know that I've been suffering from a sense of dizziness/imbalance for well over a year. I was pretty much a couch potato when it began because any sort of movement made me miserable and nauseous. I saw an Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist who sent me for testing at the U of A Hospital, where it was discovered that my inner ear canals had lost sensitivity, causing me to feel off kilter. An MRI revealed that my brain was "normal", and an ultrasound showed that my carotid arteries were working properly, but the odd sensation in my head continued. When I finally saw my internalist, he told me that he doubted it had anything to do with my 30 years with diabetes, and assured me that it wasn't MS. So that was a relief, but it doesn't explain why I'm still not 100%. Maybe it's just middle age.

While I still get to feeling out of whack after particularly busy stretches in my life, my time at the Centre for Motion and Balance and the habituation exercises Hazel, my physical therapist gave me, brought about amazing changes in my ability to cope with the symptoms. When I first saw Hazel back in September, almost all the activities left me feeling wonky, but today, we went through them again, and I was fine. The odd, off-balance sensation in my head when I turn quickly or am doing highly visually stimulating activies (like grocery shopping or unloading the dishwasher) is still there, but I'm rarely nauseated any more, and I can do a lot more than I did a year ago. I walk to work, drive my car, sweep the floor and play active x-box games with my girls (though they always beat their mother). And there's no way I would have walked 4 km to catch a bus and get to the Glenrose on my own steam even 4 months ago. My dad drove me to all my rehab appointments -- until today.

So, I'm celebrating... even though I'm not 100%. Sometimes it's okay to settle for 95%, and a graduation!


supersu said...

yeah! congratulations on the graduation; and so happy that some of the scarier things have been ruled out!

sometimes it's hard to see progress when you are in the middle of it all, but it sounds like you have come a long way!

Nicola said...

I love your positive outlook Maria!!

My mum had similar symptoms and evenually they determined it was and after a year or so the symptoms went away on their own.

Fingers crossed things get even better for you soon.

Anonymous said...

So glad you're feeling better!

Maria K. said...

Thank you, gentle people!