A month ago I woke up with what I thought was vertigo. As the day went on, I felt dizzier and more nausous (a symptom I hadn’t had before with previous vertigo episodes). I went to bed thinking it would go away by morning like it had in the past but instead it got worse. After a virtual call with the doctor, and having my adult daughter pick up some medication for me, things continued to get worse. I was now vomiting whenever I sat or stood up.
I knew this was more than vertigo and had my husband take me to the hospital that evening. After spending 2 days in the hospital, I was finally released to come home. The diagnosis was that I had vestibular neuritis, which means that the vestibular nerve behind my one eardrum was inflamed, causing the worst motion sickness and dizziness of my life.
While getting a diagnosis was good, the idea that I would have to live with continued dizziness for weeks or even months wasn’t so good. Basically, you take steriods for a period of days and then you wait. I went to physical therapy, hoping that there was a miracle to be found there but there wasn’t. They gave me some eye exercises to do and sent me on my way.
One of my daughters asked me what it feels like, and since she wouldn’t have understood what I wanted to say (that it feels like being tipsy), I had her spin around 5x and try to walk. Yup, it felt that bad initially. It’s an odd feeling to not feel stable on your feet and clumsy. Thankfully, today I’m probably 95% of the way back to normal, but it’s been a hard few weeks.
I wanted to share some of the things I learned during this difficult time. As a life coach, I am always preaching positivity to my clients. I not only preach it, but I try really hard to live it! I am proudly a optimist, always looking for the “silver linings” in situations. I thought that this was a perfect time to reflect and share my thought processes with other families, who might also be facing hardships. I realize that many families face hardships that are way worse than mine, but you can still get the idea about you might turn your sadness around.
Here are some of the things that I thought of and that we went through as a family and what the silver linings were for each:
1. Who was going to take care of my family? In between bouts of feeling horrible, I was desperately worried about my kids. The fall season is our busiest season as a family. My husband and I are running our kids to soccer, cheerleading, and gymnastics practices/classes/games 6-7 times a week. The brunt of this typically falls on my shoulders because of my husband’s work schedule, so I was extra worried about how our kids would make it to their events.
Silver lining – I was forced to step back and let my family step up. My husband and adult daughter (still living at home) were able to do all the drop offs/pick ups and my kids made sure they had their stuff together and knew their schedules. They got it done!
2. Who was going to clean the house, do laundry, take care of the pets, and make meals? This was another big one for me. It’s SO hard to let go of how you do things and let others do it for you, especially when you’re afraid it won’t be done right. As you may have guessed, I do all the cooking and taking care of the pets, but I do let the family share in the cleaning and laundry. It’s a good thing too, because I really needed their help these past few weeks! Thankfully, my mom had come over a few times to help when I was at my worst the first week.
Silver lining – Everyday clean up took the hardest hit, but my husband did his best. He even stepped up to make some pretty good meals that first week! My 12yo twin girls stepped up to do their own laundry and other loads, and helped their little brother with his. The girls helped with meals, fed the pets, and did the cleaning in general too. Did I ever mention how wonderful my girls are?!
3. Who was going to run the household, handle appointments, AND manage my business? Remember how I described how I felt that day I went to the hospital? I couldn’t get out of bed or do anything other than lay in my bed with my eyes closed. Well that so happened to be the day that we were having our roof replaced! I was trapped in my room for the entire day, listening to hammering, banging, and extrememly loud noises. It was a horrible day to have the roof replaced but it was really too late to cancel so I suffered through it. And being a small business owner, I sadly don’t have anyone else to do my work for me. It took me a long time, but I managed very short texts and emails to at least let clients know what was going on.
Silver lining – I have awesome clients! Everyone was super understanding and supportive! And I have a brand new roof that looks great!
I could go on but I’m sure you get my point. I’m not going to lie, the days leading up to being hospitalized, and the events happening during that stay, were very unpleasant and even a bit traumatizing for reasons I won’t get into. I am choosing to focus on the positives, because that’s what makes me smile. Because I was unable to “mom” at all the first week and very slowly over the next 2 weeks, my family was forced to step up and help out more. I think they have a new appreciation for all I do, as well as seeing that they can do things for themselves and others when needed.
I’ve learned that others in the family can do more than they’re currently doing and be more responsible. I don’t have to do it all myself every day. I also learned that no one was mad that I missed some games. It made them appreciate it more when I could come! While I would never recommend vomiting, dehydration, and not eating as a way to lose weight, I did lose about 10lbs of that summer weight I had put on. Of course, I’m pretty sure most of that has returned now…lol!
I think the overall silver lining was that I was forced into relaxing and taking some much-needed time for myself. I had just come off of a very busy, stressful week, and then I was “handed” this sentence. As awful as it was, I definitely have a newfound appreciate for taking it easy, slowing down, and appreciating things more.
If you’ve gone through something similar, I’d love to hear about your silver lining below!
Or, if you’re struggling with how to change your attitude about a particular situation, or you’re just more of a pessimist in general, let’s chat! I can help you work through your issues and really work to improve your overall attitude or feelings about a particular event. Click on the Contact button to set up a time for a free call or to learn more about my life coaching services.