Last week, Mike and I went to a concert, the first one since acquiring a Vestibular Disorder. That means, it’s been a very long time, as I was diagnosed in 2003. It’s amazing the things we allow to go by the wayside due to our Vestibular Disorders and it’s really quite sad. We love music, all kinds but our favorite type is good old Rock and Roll! So when I heard Melissa Etheridge was/is doing a 25th Anniversary Tour of ‘Yes, I Am’, I had to find a way to go. This album came out the year I graduated from the OTA Program, so I was still living in Austin. It was on cassette tape, do people even know about cassettes anymore? Google it. I played mine, almost continuously, until it came unwound, twice! Just how badly did I want to go this time around? My desire to see her for the fifth time overrode any sensibility.
I bought tickets well ahead of time, so I could sell if I realized I couldn’t go. Just as I began thinking, “How cool is this?”, anxiety began creeping in. All the ‘what ifs’ spun a web in my brain trying to strangle my desire to go. I decided to be proactive instead of reactive. I know, I sound so ‘deep’ but it’s really not that hard to be proactive, I’ve just become lazy. The first thing I did:
- Educated myself on the venue we were attending as it was our first time there. This was very easy to do via the internet. Complete with photos and a video. We were on the 2nd level, so I knew that meant stairs. Elevators were also available.
- I picked aisle seats because I didn’t want to try maneuvering myself in front of someone and possibly falling into a strangers lap… I don’t know, it might have fun! Hahahaha!!!
- Accept the fact that I can plan all I want but things happen. I planned my outfit, my hair, my make-up (which I ‘never’ wear), I was going to look so good! When I showered that evening, seated on my shower chair, I shifted my weight and my foot slipped… Straight into the wall! Seriously? I broke my big toe… So, instead of the cute booties I planned to wear, I was sporting my lovely walking boot from my countless broken bones. I certainly got my moneys worth from that thing!
- Remember to eat and drink plenty of water. I know, most people don’t need to remember to eat but meds I take decrease my appetite to the point I need reminders.
We arrived in plenty of time to scope the venue out in person. I decided to take the elevator because of my broken toe, why complicate things or make them harder? With drinks in hand, we got to our seats, they were better than I thought! As the lights began to dim for her show, I felt all my anxiety melt away and was replaced with excitement. I was really doing this, I was really here! I ‘sang’ along with every song and still knew every word. I screamed, yelled, whistled until I was hoarse! I ‘chair’ danced (no standing) the entire time, to the point I was sore the day after. We had FUN though, so much fun! I’ve given too much ‘power’ to my Vestibular Disorder. It’s time to baby step my way back into this thing called life.
I felt like giving myself a pat on the back after accomplishing this and I think even Mike was impressed. Vestibular Disorders definitely make life more challenging, less spontaneous, and less autonomous. I am truly tired of feeling this way and have recently begun grabbing these rare occasions when I feel ‘okay’ and going for it. I’ve been going with Mike on various shopping trips, which really push me past my comfort zone but that’s a good thing for us Dizzies. I even went to the movies with our daughter, now that was extremely challenging but so enjoyable!
Last week was also VEDA’s annual Balance Awareness Week which was recognized this year by our Government here in the USA. So, besides flooding my Social Media with facts about Vestibular Disorders provided by the Vestibular Association/VEDA, I worked on my own balance awareness.
Yes, I did!