Dismissing it as something that I must have eaten, I worked the rest of the day and came home and basically collapsed onto the couch. When I awoke the next day things were slightly better. Instead of the merry-go-round feeling I had a feeling of being on a small ship battling six foot sea swells.
After about two weeks of this feeling with little to no improvement I went to my first Ear, Nose and Throat doctor. This would kick off what would turn out to be a long series of doctors visits, blood tests, brain scans and CT scans. With the initial absence of a definitive diagnosis came the talks of being screen for the possibility of cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV, (insert several other scary diseases here).
Many anxiety ridden sleepless nights followed. I could not help but wonder how many tumors or MS induced brain lesions would be found on my MRI scan. Or what blood born pathogen might have decided to take up residence in my blood stream and help itself to my white blood cells.
After being tested for every invasive microbe known to mankind my original diagnosis of vestibular neuritis seemed the only diagnosis to make sense. Yet, since vestibular neuritis is a diagnosis of exclusion and since I have always been a bit of a hypochondriac, this was painful for my anxiety level.
Slowly but surely I have recovered most of my balance. My blurred vision has gotten significantly better and I have completely quit smoking and I did not take a single drink of alcohol or caffeine for about four months. I now take daily vitamins and try to exercise daily.
The impact that this has had on me is immeasurable. Never has my health been threatened to this extent. I have sincerely learned the value of good health and will cherish it from this point forward. While the severity of my ailment isn't nearly as bad as other life threatening diseases, in the moment it still felt overwhelming.