Participant Page: I'm Going to DizzyLand! Wanna join me for a ride?!
A visit to DizzyLand! offers many pulse-pounding experiences! I can tell you about them first-hand, including:
- The FunHouse - Sometimes it feels like my house, a/k/a the FunHouse, is moving. The movement occurs randomly. Occasionally I'll feel the imbalance and walk into a piece of furniture, bumping a knee or an ankle. Or I will fail to negotiate through a doorway and hit my shoulder on the doorjamb. Maybe I've accidentally dropped something on the floor. I'll bend down to pick it up, and as I stand-up the FunHouse will tilt on me and I'll get to fall into a wall, maybe striking my head on the wall in the process! Doesn't this sound like Fun?!
- The Shower-of-No-Exit - This challenging experience starts with an ordinary shower, but maybe one day I will have washed my face too long, or the shampoo runs over my face too much, so my eyes are closed for a long period of time. I'll "forget" which way is which in the shower, and have to grab the shower wall to re-orient myself! Certainly have to be careful as the shower door is glass...
- The Ladder of Terror - Climbing a ladder to simply change a light bulb or to clean a roof gutter is a challenge. As I stretch my arms and lean to reach with my hands the Ladder of Terror will buck and sway, and I will quickly have to grab the ladder with my hands. A few times I have not been able to secure myself fast enough and the Ladder of Terror will succeed in tossing me from its rungs. Soft landings are not guaranteed, especially in garage or basement settings. The adventure never ends!
- The Mattress of Mayhem - As I lay down on the bed at night I encounter a room that always moves in short counter-clockwise increments. It does this every night. It doesn't matter if I sleep on my back, roll on my side, or flop in exhaustion on my stomach. The movement doesn't stop. I try and push the shifting room from my consciousness and attempt to drift off. Eventually I fall asleep. However, if I wake up during the night and walk to the kitchen for a drink I've hit the DizzyLand! jackpot; because I get to experience...
- ... The Hallway of Horror - I've walked down the hallway a thousand times before, but my memory of that familiar stroll is negated by darkness. If one of the body's three sensory systems used in balance is removed, the failures of the vestibular system are further magnified. The results of the walk often end with a bump or bruise.
My wish is that no one will have to visit DizzyLand! and live thorough the daily challenges I face. I've seen numerous doctors and specialists over the past 25 years and been given various diagnoses. I've undergone tests that induce spinning. One physician determined I have a permanent 30% imbalance, which leaves me at 70%... barely a "passing grade" :) I've attended vestibular rehabilitation. At each visit I was tasked with walking a straight-line down a hallway while blindfolded. I always ended up walking crooked and running into a wall. What I have is mine forever. There are many others whose version of DizzyLand! is much worse than mine. I cannot travel by airplane. This inconvenience pales in comparison to people who cannot even drive a car. I can negotiate a mouse cursor around a laptop screen; there are others who cannot do this, something so simple.
Obviously I feel a personal connection to Vestibular Disorders Association. VEDA is a tax-exempt organization that offers many resources for the afflicted and their loved ones, including access to educational materials, physicians, blogs, and support groups. I encourage you to click around their website. And please consider making a fully-tax deductible donation though my personal campaign page. Any amount you can give will help the organization continue their mission of informing, supporting, and advocating for the vestibular community.