Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A New Take on Vertigo Symptoms

The focus in occupational therapy has moved to the front of my shoulder, where the muscles are also too tight, and limit movement. Yesterday brought another interesting exploration of the interconnections of parts of the body: deep tissue massage of the tight muscle along with manipulations of my arm triggered headaches, neck pain and tingling in my fingers. And, the lightheadedness that I experience as vertigo. The explanation was that the muscles there connect into the neck (the word I heard was “scalings,” but I’m not finding that anywhere this morning when I search). All of these pieces are closely enough placed that this makes sense to me—as odd as it is to experience it and to discover how the connections feel when stimulated—and certainly much more sense than earlier manipulations that caused the tingling in my toes.

Doug had written earlier, skeptical of the head cold explanation for the vertigo and posing an alternate, more plausible explanation. That one makes the vertigo unrelated to anything and just an extra bonus experience of this part of my life. We’d been reading up on BPPV, and now, though, we’re wondering if what’s going on is more related to the shoulder tightness. One of the prescribed exercises is to do deep breathing, from my diaphragm, while standing up, as that’s supposed to help relax and relieve the pressure on whatever the part is that I didn't hear the name of correctly.

Michael pointed out, hours after yesterday's posting, that the dent has likely been there since the surgery, and it's just now that the swelling of the scalp is receding enough that it's become noticeable. That makes a lot more sense than the concept that it just suddenly appeared, and also is so obvious that, once again, I am struck by the power of denial in this situation. It's strongly reminiscent of the two hours it took that first day for me to grasp that a mass needing removal in my head was a brain tumor. This phenomenon is more interesting--and funny--in the telling than in the living, I assure you.

The memorial service for my dad is approaching at the end of the month, along with the start of two more courses, so my plate is full. Even more exciting, the revised-revised chapter draft is meeting with approval from those who matter, so I’m anxious to carve out time to focus on the next chunk of the outline of this book. The work I did on it this summer and early autumn is such a mess that I’m trying to get up the courage to dump it all and start over, which I suspect is needed. Before doing something so drastic, I’m going to take one last pass at editing it again to see if any of that “work” can be salvaged. That would be such a nicer outcome.

We are supposed to be getting warmer weather today—for a little while. I’m hoping for sunshine to go with it. I hope the sun is shining for you.

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