Happy Balance Awareness Week And Two Victories

Whoop! Sept 16-22nd is Balance Awareness Week.

Balance Awareness Week Banner

According to the Vestibular Disorder Association

The goal of Balance Awareness Week is to “defeat dizziness” by helping people recognize the symptoms of a vestibular disorder, and urging them to seek help from a professional vestibular specialist.

Possible Vestibular Symptoms are…

  • Vertigo
  • Dizziness
  • Imbalance
  • Spatial disorientation
  • Hearing changes
  • Cognitive and/or psychological changes
  • Lightheaded
  • Rocking sensation
  • Spinning sensation
  • Feeling false sensations of movement
  • You notice you are titling your head to one position
  • It’s hard to maintain a straight posture.
  • Tendency to look down
  • Difficulty tracking objects with your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light

AND the list goes on…

In addition, VEDA encourages the friends, family and coworkers of those suffering from a vestibular disorder to learn more about how balance dysfunction can impact their loved one’s ability to perform common day-today activities.

Family, friends, and co-workers IT’S CRUCIAL for me to alert you that a vestibular condition MAY NOT be something you can visual see, but those of us living with vestibular dysfunction are living with UNPREDICTABLE and LIFE-ALTERING symptoms.

WE ARE NOT dodging you when we have to cancel plans at the last minute.

WE ARE NOT trying to avoid work by having to call in sick.

WE ARE NOT unwilling to be intimate, it’s just one of the last things on your mind when you are chronically dizzy. (Yeah, I said it!)

It’s symptoms and the condition…NOT US and NOT YOU!

On to the victories…

#1. Was able to walk far enough to purchase lunch for Gram and I at El Pollo Loco! Whoop.

el pollo receipt

Side note: I walked into El Pollo and stood in line. As soon as I stood still it felt like I had just gotten off a treadmill. I felt as though I was still walking. Such a yucky feeling! I am hoping that continued practice will lead to habituation and that treadmill feeling will lessen.

#2 Pool victory.

Side note: I said that my first attempt running in the pool was less than a minute, but I had actually made it 2 minutes running in place in the pool! ALSO I realize I have NO CONCEPT OF TIME. The post I was referring too in the video was from May 20th 2012. So it has taken me 4 months to get to 19 minutes in the pool. I will take it!:)

Much love,
Marissa

Sometimes You Find Yourself Freestyling Life

Play

My life is anything but a well executed, thought out, lyric. I consider my life raw and often times messy. Chronic illness has found a way to complicate, yet simplify my life. Every Friday I partake in Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). The therapy has a tendency to kill me softly. On the day of VRT, my physical therapist asks that I not partake in any visual stimulus, so I often find myself, lying in bed, listening to podcasts and audiobooks.

During VRT, we work on posture, coordination, vision, and core strengthening, therefore, Saturday I wake up feeling as if a truck hit me. Come Sunday, I began show traces of my familiar disequilibrium self. I don’t get out very often, so by the time sunday rolls around I am stir-crazy. I have found that long durations behind four walls can be madding; therefore, positive distraction is critical.

Babe and I were clicking through the channels and landed on VH1’s show, T.I. & Tiny. Tip’s son, Domani, was given a chance to write a song and perform it within two days. My mind began racing. Throughout the years, I have hinted at babe that I can write rhymes. I have gotten some interesting glances throughout the years. So, this Sunday, during the show, I asked babe to participate in the creation of an off-the-cuff hip hop rhyme. It’s important to note, I am low budget, and don’t have any equipment, so the sound quality is not important. This was a sporadic attempt at positively distracting myself.

Disclaimer:

Do I think I can rap or freestyle? No.

Do I think I will have a career in music? No.

Do I think I am little crazy sharing my personal antics on my blog? Yes

Did I secretly want to be Queen Latifah and MC Lyte growing up? Yes.

Kicking off the challenge: I embarked on what I am calling, Creative Sunday.

Challenge: Given a random theme, locate a beat, write lyrics, record the song, play babe the track. Here, is the 5 step breakdown.

 Babe provides me the theme. “Do the right thing”.

 I look for a beat. Where the heck do I find beats? I ended up on YouTube. Took me about 20 minuets to locate an instrumental.

*First break came after locating the beat.

 I start writing the rhyme. It took about 30 minutes including breaks.

*Forced to take about 2 breaks during this process.

Record the track. This was a fun process. I didn’t have a great sense of what I was doing, but it didn’t stop me. It’s important to note, I had a grin on my face the entire time.

* Several long breaks were taken during this process. (Being forced to take breaks while in fun moments can lead to frustration. I am learning to anticipate breaks in any venture I partake in which now minimizes the frustration. I am now starting to see breaks as part of the process.)

Play track the babe.

I was so nervous to play babe the track! Why was I so nervous? The track was never going to be heard by anyone, so who cares. This was just supposed to be a fun distraction. I guess everyone fears rejection on some level. As I was playing babe the track, various reactions formed on his face. Guess he didn’t know what to expect. He reacted like a proud parent, and it was just the reaction I needed. He was very supportive and suggested I share it on the blog. I figured, what the heck. The purpose of creative sundays is to show the importance of having fun regardless of limitations and participating in random moments that bring unexpected joy!

Happy Listening. And cheers to creative Sundays!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download: Do The Right Thing 2.0

Much love,
Marissa

Instrumental credit: M-Phazes – All 4 Hip Hop ( Instrumental )

Copyright Disclaimer: I am considering this venture an educational process. I learned a ton. There will be no sale or distribution. I am just a chronically disabled gal keeping positively distracted.

Lyrics: Do the right thing

This rhyme was birthed from a random moment. Shout out to babe
Tonight, slither up to the mic, rattle snake
Believe in the promise of a sealed hand shake
Let me take you back, to that dark cold place
Morality swallowed up between time and space
No time to contemplate or call on home grow faith
The spirit of the moment shook you like a earthquake

Time to be alone, this moment not home grown
Flashlights in the car, your mind about to be blown
Handcuffed, spread out on car, your locked down
Silence deafening when it’s the only sound.

It’s never easy to simply do the right thing
Remember what happened to radio raheem
In a choke hold facing 5-10
Leaving another generation of fatherless men
Seems senseless a life without a beginning or end.

(vocal)
Its never easy
it’s never easy

it’s never easy
never easy

never easy
never easy
never easy

Switch back to the second you change your fate
Filled with rage and anger you could hardly see straight
It took years to build up this ignorant rage
Living life through the bars of a rattled cage

Jury assembled of 12 angry white men
Save money on this trail we know where it’s headin
Cinematic drama played out in black in white
American justice don’t go out without a fight

You jump up, they scream, it’s a prosecutors dream
Max sentence handed down to the legal defense team
Walked out the courtroom your family cries
Choices and consequences laid to your demise
Sitting in a cell means time to mend
Future generations will be lead to stronger men
Time will be served left rattled and unnerved
Courage rebuilds when you hit that right nerve

(Vocal)
Its never easy
never easy
Its never easy
never easy

It’s never easy
never easy

Listen carefully as I will leave you with this
There is a thin line between sorrow and bliss
Next time you think of loosing the moral code
Think back on what you’ve already been told
Patience is virtue leading to the promise land
Shortcuts deter you from that master plan
You are birthed from the father of everything
Your purpose will be revealed when you do the right thing!

Vestibular Health Tip: Ice Pack

Dizziness, nausea, head fog, headache, are just some of the symptoms I battle daily. For many vestibular disorder sufferers, these symptoms are accepted as part of our normal daily experience. My vestibular rehabilitation therapist (VRT) has introduced me to cold packs. When my symptoms become unbearable during therapy exercises, we break and apply an ice pack to the back of my neck. We wait for the symptoms to subside and then we resume the exercise. The ice pack has a calming effect. It gives me a sense of control. It is an opportunity to regroup and a reminder to not continue to push myself beyond limits. It allows me to take the time I need and then resume activity.

My VRT therapist has encouraged me to use the ice pack as part of my daily regimen. I picked up this Bed Buddy hot/cold pack at the local drug store.

Marissa rocking her ice pack

 

Advantages:

It works!

It’s reusable.

The material is soft and not irritating on the skin.

 

 Disadvantages:

Doesn’t stay cold very long.

It’s a bit heavy.

 

 

Please share the cold pack that is getting you through! I would love to check out your suggestions.

p.s. If you have any hair conditioner recommendations, please add them to the comments below!:) My hair is crazy these days.

* Note: I am not advocating ice pack use for every vestibular patient.  Please consult with your doctor or VRT specialist and see if an ice pack would help with your current treatment and symptom reduction plan.

 

Much love,
Marissa

Recording My Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy Journey May Have Come To An End

I can’t stop, and I won’t stop? What happens when you are willing to share your journey, but others are reluctant? I got this crazy idea in my head ; I was going to record my vestibular rehabilitation journey, in hopes we may all learn from the experience. What I failed to realize before I promised to deliver:

1. I need to ask permission
2. I have no idea how to edit video
3. I can’t be in complete control of the video recording, because I am in therapy.

I often lead with ideas first, application second. I may need to rethink the way I approach project ideas.

I can overcome obstacles 2 and 3, however, convincing the physical therapy center to allow me to record this journey may become an obstruction of my goal.

I believe this PT center is the best at what they do. My PT therapist has won me over. She is all business, and together we will kick butt and take names.

If you believe capturing my vestibular rehabilitation journey, for the next three months, would be beneficial, please comment below. I will direct the owner of the PT center to your comments.

 

See brief video recap of VRT day 2, plus supplemental video

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