Worse than MS?

Can it be worse than MS? Yup. And I had the unfortunate experience to contract a severe case of vestibular neuritis on top of my MS. Think about the worst case of seasickness or dizziness you ever had and multiply it by 10. Vertigo, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and double vision.

After an ambulance ride to the local hospital, where triage assured me it was not a stroke, I was informed I had a severe case of labyrinthitis. Apparently mild cases are fairly common as a result of a head cold or a sinus infection. A lot of people get the mild form (still awful) which clears up in 7-10 days. Then there is the relatively rare severe form, which I had, which can last for a month or more. Up to a year, sometimes, with dizziness and balance issues that can persist afterwards. Layer that on top of MS balance and weakness and it’s a disaster.

Thankfully our local VNA has a physical therapist trained in vestibular rehab. It’s six weeks later and she still is coming weekly to help me retrain my eyes to focus and help my balance. I’m unable to drive, which I could do before this hit. Even a trip around the block on my mobility scooter resulted in unfocused vision (too many signals to the brain, she explained to me) which calmed down, but freaked me out. The therapist assures me I can get back to where I was before the labyrinthitis, but it’s taking forever.

In the interim, my poor husband is now my driver in addition to doing all the housework, shopping, cooking, pet care, etc. I do what little I can, but it’s a poor substitute. I’m actually looking forward to getting back to my old MS symptoms, as annoying as they were.

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