Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Stuff You Should Not Worry About, By Mris Age 29

I was talking online with one of my friends last night and made an offhand remark about how Ista is staying with my mom right now, allowing me to avoid bending to take care of the dog in multiple ways and going up and down the stairs to deal with her in multiple other ways and, y'know, walking her. Stuff like that. Since the bad vertigo has continued for the last twelve days and timprov has some limitations as well and markgritter is out of town. And my friend said that that was good to hear, since the stairs were the thing he was most worried about for me right now.

And I thought, oh. Crud. I have been so busy coping that I have not let some of the people who are concerned about me know about the methods of cope. So. Stuff You Should Not Worry About:

The Stairs. I am climbing the interior stairs of our house on all fours and going down them on my butt like a little kid. With the doglet staying with Mom for now, I can concentrate much larger chunks of time on one floor or the other and minimize the time spent on the stairs. This is not a perfect solution; among other things, it limits what I can carry upstairs. So mostly I am not carrying things upstairs. I make timprov do it, or I decide that it can stay downstairs for the moment.

The Driveway. I am not going on the driveway. There. Problem solved. We have a driveway service, but apparently last night's snowfall was just under two inches. However, we can call them, call a friend, or have timprov shovel just enough tracks for the car to get in and out if he's feeling good enough. My mom shoveled the steps and the walk, so we don't need to worry about that part.

Driving. I'm not, until I'm less dizzy than I have been lately. I am also minimizing rides in the car when I can, because they don't help, but I can manage them when I need to.

Cooking. I'm avoiding sharp or hot objects. We have a bunch of stuff in the freezer and the fridge and the pantry that I can eat cold or put in the microwave, and I also have people who are willing and able to cook or fetch me food. Yesterday timprov took care of my breakfast and lunch and my mom took care of my breakfast and dinner. (I ate breakfast in two shifts, a banana and milk to tide me and the rest with my grandparents before they went home this morning.) With timprov and Mom and ladysea, and with all the stuff we have in tupperware for my convenience -- or stuff that doesn't require tupperware, like bananas! -- it's fine.

The shower. The shower I use is a stand-up shower, so no worries about climbing over the rim of the tub. It is also very very small. Very. I have whacked my shoulder on the soap dish more times than I can count, and I have run into the walls a lot, but it would take a contortionist of great genius to be able to fall over in that shower without losing consciousness, and the vertigo does not make me lose consciousness. I know that the people who love me would prefer that I not whack my shoulder on the stupid soap dish, and I have to say I'm with you on that, but it's a lot different level of worry than the fear some people might have that I will fall and hit my head in the shower. Really, that is just not plausible with this particular problem. If it was fainting, you could worry. It's not.

Exercise, either getting of or lack of. The stationary bike has handles. It is extremely sturdy. We bought it when timprov was at his unsteadiest, so it is designed for someone more than twice my size to be able to tip and wobble and not fall. Also I am no longer in the trial-and-error stage with yoga and Pilates: I know which things may be unsteady configurations of a mrissa, and I don't do them. Mat work only. So I'm not going crazy with the fidgets from not getting any exercise, and I'm not going into deconditioning worries, but I'm also not doing anything that could injure me through vertiginous means. (Obviously anybody can always pull something or strain something or whatever. We all try not.)

General getting around the house. This is where I am likeliest to have a fall or near-fall, but since it is my own house, I know where all the handholds are, and I know where a handhold is doubling for a bit of self-protection. (Example: I steady myself walking through the kitchen by wrapping my hand over the corner of the overhead cabinets. Then I not only have something to stabilize against, I make sure that I know where the corner is and that it's not going to smack me in the head any time soon.) There is nearly always a way to get from here to there while hanging onto something, so that's what I do, even if it takes longer. I have said a few times that I feel like a monkey going from branch to branch, or like someone in zero-g, but part of what that means is that I've gotten pretty darn good at it.

General getting around other places. I am not doing this without someone's arm. I'm generally not doing much of it at all. The sole exception to the someone's-arm rule is that I know the main floor of my parents' house pretty well and have a fair notion of where the handholds and hazards are there, too, so I don't need my mom to walk me to the bathroom from her kitchen table. (She would. But she doesn't have to.) This is pretty tiring for myself and the person whose arm it is, but it works all right for now.

So. I see the doctor again next week, and she will almost certainly set up PT after that. The last 12 days have been worse than the days before them, but there's no particular reason to think that that will continue until/unless the PT is effective, or that it won't. We just don't know. The whole thing -- I am telling you in case you need to hear, but I suspect you've guessed by now -- is frustrating. I am still able to get some fiction written, and that's extremely important to me. I wouldn't call the adjustments I've talked about here anything like self-sufficiency, but I'm keeping what I can of that without taking unnecessary risks. The people closest to me have been good at recognizing my need to still do stuff without necessarily having it be the stuff that's not safe at the moment.

Most of this, as you can probably tell, is not a long-term solution. We're hoping that it doesn't have to be, and the new vertigo clinic seems to agree that this is a reasonable hope. They're not always the most graceful and elegant work-arounds, but they work well enough that you shouldn't worry about any melodramatic images of me lying in a pool of my own blood somewhere.
Tags: stupid vertigo
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