I’m with Deb…

May 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm

Not an official “CIDP”-er, but wanted to throw something out there, since I have a LOT of experience with vertigo.

First, vertigo is NOT dizziness. With Meniere’s, patients get “drop attacks”, where it comes on instantaneously, and is so bad they drop to their hands and knees because they can’t stand up. [B]CAN’T[/B] stand up…period. This is often accompanied by vomiting, as you can imagine. Dizziness is what you get with allergies, a minor ear infection, etc.

The best way to understand vertigo (well, there are two ways, really) is this: sit in an office chair that swivels. Have someone spin you, as fast as they can in one direction for a couple of minutes. Have them stop the chair suddenly, then get up and try to walk. THAT’s vertigo. The other way to experience it, is one that just about everyone has tried or seen at one time or another, and that’s the baseball bat trick. Get a baseball bat, hold it in your hands, lean over and place one end on the ground and hold the other end to your forehead. Keep the bat in place, but side-step your way around the bat for about a minute…then stand up and try to walk. That, too, is vertigo.

When I have it, and it’s a really bad attack, I have to crawl to the bathroom on my hands and knees, and any bright lights or noises are excruciating. I have to lay in a semi-lit room, no tv or radio, and focus on ONE spot. If I close my eyes it’s like the “spinning room/oops I drank too much” thing. You’ll lose your lunch…QUICK!

I’ve not had the “jerk your head back and forth” test that Deb talked about…maybe that’s a carry-over from the old English days of “drawn and quartering” or something. 😀 The tests I had involved a small nozzle spraying water directly onto my eardrum…they start with cold water, which makes the room spin one way, and then change it to warm water, which makes the room spin the other way. GREAT TEST!! Tons o’ fun!!! Lots of people lose it on that one, too. They also have one that involves causing vertigo, and then watching your eyes, because your eyes will jerk from side to side as your brain tries to compensate for the vertigo.

The most common treatment for vertigo is antihistamines. All the motion sickness drugs are just really strong antihistamines. If you have a minor bout of vertigo, or a bad case of dizziness, try some cold medicine that has an antihistamine in it…it will probably help. If you take it before bed, you don’t have to worry about the sedating effects, and it will work through the next day.

I’ve never read anything about vertigo being an element of CIDP, but would be interested to know about it.