I’m a therapist. I should know. But I didn’t know. I thought I was dying. I didn’t connect the physical symptoms with my stress level.
It started with a humming in my left ear that came and went and was better in the mornings. I did have ear infections sometimes and fluid behind my eardrum, but this was partly caused by clenching my jaw so much that I moved my eustachian tubes.
Then what I would call vertigo started. If I moved my eyes to see something I was dizzy and disoriented, just a little. And felt like I might get a headache or be coming down with something. It got worse and the floor felt spongy and as though I would fall forward into it. I started getting head rushes that would start at the back of my head and move forward and I would start to worry about passing out, especially when driving.
I thought it was my sinuses and catching everything from the daycare the boys go to, which is of course partly true. I tried a lot of benadryl and allergy medicine. The pressure got worse and worse until I remember asking a friend if I was going to die.
Inside, I feel like I’ve got my stress level handled. I don’t dwell on things. I know there’s a lot of stress. I know there’s nothing I can do about most of it. Then I went to the ER twice, once with back spasms and once with the head pressure. Valium helped so much both times. Ah, stress.
I have a prescription for Ativan now, which cuts the weird humming in the top of my head a little, but doesn’t completely bring me back down. I find that a little wine with the drugs puts me where I want to be. Just getting by. Good enough for me right now.