Endlessly Spinning Around

During the summer of 2017, I developed an episode of severe vertigo. This was a distinct MS exacerbation.

For two solid months, I spent every single day feeling like I had just exited an amusement park ride. There was absolutely no respite from this relentless symptom.

Traditionally-used medications failed to provide any degree of relief. Not being one to give up easily, I thoroughly researched all of my treatment options.

I learned that low-dose valium is often effective for treating vertigo. I approached my provider about this possibility as an off -label treatment option. “Valium is highly addictive, Ms. Floyd,” I was sternly informed. (Dr. Floyd, of course, already knew this).

I was simply requesting a trial period of this medication, since I was feeling completely miserable. All of my plans were powerfully Interrupted. I spent several weeks struggling, afraid of falling when I simply took a shower.

Day after day, I grew increasingly frustrated about having to cancel all of my plans. Since my vertigo eventually induced severe vomiting, and debilitating headaches, I was growing increasingly desperate for relief.

One of my specialist’s nurses casually mentioned that I needed to rule out a brain tumor as the source of my symptoms. That’s just great, I thought.

The necessary brain scans ensued. Thankfully, no such tumor was ever detected. Finally, my specialist agreed to a trial prescription for low-dose valium (2 mg. qd.). I stumbled to the pharmacist’s counter, looking forward to the possibility of finding relief. The pharmacist sternly informed me, “Ms. Floyd, you need to be aware that this medication is a controlled substance.” (Once more, Dr. Floyd was already aware of this fact).

I swallowed the magical elixir. After a short period of time, blessed relief thankfully ensued. As this unfortunate experience illustrates, I needed to be my own patient advocate. I researched non-traditional treatment options, when more typically implemented ones failed to provide relief.

Mind you, it is not easy, nor pleasant, to expend additional time and energy doing so when you are severely restricted by ongoing symptoms.

1 thought on “Endlessly Spinning Around”

  1. Grateful the valium provided relief. Likewise, I live with regular episodes of vertigo/dizziness and my neurologist prescribed diazepam for when it gets bad. My goal is to take fewer than 2 half-tablets a week. So far, so good. Limiting migraine-trigger foods seems to reduce the number and intensity of episodes for me, too, as my vertigo seems to be migraine related (without the pain). Keep writing – your experiences are a real education for me. They help me to better relate to others who live with chronic pain.


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