Finding Joy (Life Rebalanced Live)

Finding Joy

Life Rebalanced Chronicles Season 3

After two years following 9 incredible vestibular warriors, the Life Rebalanced Chronicles are back for season 3 with an all-new cast!


Marissa thought she was done with the dizzies. Then it all came back. When none of her treatments were working and her doctors said there was nothing they could do for her, she hit rock bottom. Her world started spinning, she was stuck at home, and she started questioning her purpose. But Marissa never stopped fighting.

You can watch this 10-minute episode now to learn how Marissa is able to find joy in her vestibular journey!

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VeDA uses to create machine-generated transcripts. This transcript may contain errors.

Before this all started, I would say I was very confident, very driven, very work oriented. Family came first I was, you know, I had my son that was young, he was two and I was just in a good place in life. I was kind of just living in the moment, and just, you know, this is great, this is what I’m doing. And I don’t think I thought about as much in my dreams. Honestly, as I do now.

I did notice in my college years, and then when I first got married, I was having some really bad headaches, I guess you would call them migraines now with pain, you know, regular pain. And they did get worse after I had my son. What was in 2011, where I had my first onset, I had no warning signs other than, you know, bad headaches, though, is the only thing.

And so one particular day I left work as usual, and I knew I wanted to go visit my family and I knew it’d be about a 30 minute ride. I had my son with me, I was at the final traffic light before really turning into their subdivision. All of a sudden, this sensation took over my body. I felt like I was on a ship kind of being thrown around. And I felt like things were just kind of swaying back and forth. And immediately, you know, my heart starts racing. Because my body has never felt these sensations. I felt disoriented. I thought for sure I was having a stroke. I thought you know, maybe this is something from the migraine, or maybe it’s from the stress, I woke up the next morning. And waking up, I never thought I would feel the way I did. And I would feel that way for the next three years, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. My vision was strained and hurt constantly to look around at things. I felt unbalanced. My legs would get really shaky and weak. I constantly felt nauseated. I was having a lot of brain fog, you know, difficulty concentrating. I was anxiety stricken. It was terrifying.

I will try to explain it to coworkers or other people you know, that would call and check on me friends. And it just sounded like the craziest thing. You know, you don’t know how to explain it to people. And it’s hard because you don’t even understand that yourself. I just emotionally just felt how am I going to go on like this? You know, is this you know, what is this?

The doctor, one of them did refer to it as migraine associated vertigo. Over the next couple years of continued therapy, you know VRT and things it slowly symptoms slowly lessened. I was able to do a little more, and then it kind of went away. I was able to function normally again, you know and I was really again, enjoying life and just being able to go on trips again and doing things with my family being active in my son’s soccer games. And I thought okay, whatever that was, you know I’m cured.

So now we’re in after the remission in 2018. I felt that same strained kind of vision and a little off. Then it progressively got worse. Really not feeling like I could walk around, being stuck on the couch. being constantly dizzy, having strained division, brain fog, not being able to ride in the car, not being able to ride in the car to go to appointments. If I went to an appointment. I would need someone to hold me when I got out of the car and walk with me because I couldn’t stand up on my own. I was So dizzy, I couldn’t look outside the window of my house because the movement of the trees would make me physically sick. I couldn’t look at any screens at all. Even my family, if they stood in front of me and tried to tell me something, and they were moving too much, it would make me sick.

I kind of thought, Okay, I kind of know how we handled it the first time, I’m gonna go into it this way, thinking it’s not as bad, but I kind of know how to handle it. And those things weren’t working.

I wanted a lot of times to shield myself from showing him my emotions when I would break down and have my moments. But he knew and he was always very comforting, who would come sit next to me on the couch and say, Mom, you know, you’re gonna be okay, it’s gonna be okay. And he told me and he would kind of try to show me something on his phone, but I couldn’t look at it. So I would say I’ll listen to it, you know, are we so that’s what we would do, we would maybe listen to a movie or something together.

At that point, I was told by the doctors, there was nothing more they could do for me. And that is when I really hit rock bottom, because I had no hope. I would sit on the couch and just watch the clock. And every hour, I would just look at the clock and I would pray, okay, you know that I’m not going to have another attack, you know, okay, made it through that hour. So I mean, it was hour by hour, I felt like sometimes minute by minute. And the only relief came really at night when I could finally rest. Because thank goodness, I could sleep. And that was the only time where I had my piece. And then I would wake up and have to do it all over again.

Yes, I had my family being supportive and things, but I felt so alone and so isolated. There’s no escape from it. It’s like you can’t escape your body. You know, I would never hurt myself or anything. But I really questioned my existence. At that time, I really questioned my purpose here in life, you know, why am I here, if I can’t even do anything.

The turning point really came, we were in the process of trying to find another doctor. And we had gotten in touch with Dr. Beh. And so I had that coming my way after about a month. So in between that time, I knew that I needed to get counseling I needed, I needed help, I needed to talk to someone. Not long after that going to VeDA online support group. And finally meeting some other vestibular patients, which I never thought I would be able to find anyone else, you know, because you feel like no, it’s just me going through all this. And that was kind of the turning point going to that.

And then, you know, meeting Joy at the support group. She had the same diagnosis, she had the same doctor, our sons are the same age. And so there was just so many similarities. And something just told me you need to reach out to her. And so then that kind of turned into, you know, what can we do more than together to raise awareness. And so that’s when we had announced on Balance Awareness Week for VeDA that we were launching a podcast. Thanks for tuning in today. We have a really exciting time.

I’d never done anything like this before. No, no. When we talk about dreams, I feel like I’m kind of living out that dream now. Like I love doing this so much the, you know, the podcast and the advocacy for VeDA, and, you know, just spreading awareness and trying to help others and we’re all dealing with the same thing. You know, mentally, physically a lot. We’re all going through the same thing and having the same feelings, you know, having the anxiety, having the uncertainty, the fear, you know, the attacks, you know, and even if it’s a bad day, I’ll look at some of our videos or something like done. And I’m like, wow, we did that. You know, and that kind of gives me inspiration again, and just finding joy in some of the small moments.

It’s hard to find what makes you happy or what does bring you joy. And I always look at it as you know. Wow. Not only did I find joy I actually found the physical person joy. Find joy in the little things. I enjoy Yes, all the time and keep the journey going. You have to keep pushing forward and you will find that joy.