Recovery from MdDs

Trauma is not what happens to us, but how we process what happens to us.

Age: 38

Diagnosis: Mal de débarquement

March 11, 2021 (Not too long ago, right? Since today is July 21, 2021 [4.3 months]). Little did I know that a volunteer boat trip would change the course of my life.

After an incredible trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia with scientists to work on their project as a volunteer, I returned to land on March 17, 2021. I physically returned to land but my brain stayed far off the shore. Somewhere in the Great Barrier Reef.

What a rollercoaster it has been to date. My first symptoms were rocking, bobbing, lightheadedness, head pressure, gravitational pulling, full ears, severe anxiety, depression followed later by imbalance and tinnitus.

I live in Australia on my own and my family lives in Brazil, far from here. The last thing that I could think of was to take a flight back home. Luckily my best friend from Perth, Gisele Bezerra, and contacting scientist, Dr. Cherylea Browne, provided me with great emotional support in the early stages.

After the first 4 weeks, I decided that I could either sit and cry or take control of my life and learn to live with my new normal, my new 100%. I learned to accept the condition but not give up. I then started slowly getting back to Crossfit, Yoga, and beach walks. I felt really embarrassed in the beginning of CrossFit because I had to do everything at a slow pace and adapt the exercises to avoid triggering my symptoms. Shame takes us over but we also learn so much about ourselves and discover that we are way stronger than we could have ever imagined. Having to accept my new normal was really hard but very needed.

As I write this, 21 July 2021, I can confirm that my symptoms have decreased to imbalance, lightheadedness, and tinnitus only. I do hope that they may become dormant as time passes. I took Zolof for 3 days and Valium for 2 days, then decided my body deserved space and time to heal.

I participated in an MdDs treatment trial and I have been religiously doing CrossFit, yoga, walks, and my new addiction is bike riding. No more surfing and sailing as of now and for the next 6 months, I believe.

I hope this journey makes me a better person and that gives me tools to help others experiencing any sort of Vestibular disorder.

Take care with the information you read and make sure to understand that each body works differently that you can recover, how long it takes… that answer is unknown but you surely can get better.

Stay safe all.