My issue with driving are similar to my issues of everyday life, but for now, I’m focusing on just what it will take for me to drive with more confidence again.
Thinking about it, its a multitude of things combined that complicate things. #1. My head feels “full” in a way that I can’t explain much better than that. It has felt like that ever since my craniotomy in August 2018. # 2. My neck muscles are stiff and sore. My belief on this, is that since I feel so dizzy most of the time, I have taught myself to always be looking down for tripping hazards, and over time, my neck muscles have gotten weak. I get such a stiff neck when I’m driving now. #3. My eyes don’t work correctly. My left eye, seems to lag, and not move quite as fast as my right. Weird, but even the physical therapist commented on it. This makes it just a little harder to check my blind spot. #4. My left ear, has vestibular issues. They have told me that it might be water behind the ear, and that it can cause some of the imbalance and hearing issues. #5. All of this combined seem to cause some significant anxiety. I know, not very surprised with that.
So now to try to solve some of these problems. First of all, I am no doctor. I go to the doctor when necessary, and listen, and way the alternatives. I am not ready to go on high doses of anti anxiety meds, as I believe my anxiety is situational, and justified. I have tried the meds they have given me for dizziness, but there are warnings about driving while you are on them, and they make me so tired, I just lay around, and if I’m just laying around, I don’t really care if I’m dizzy anyway!!
All of what I am doing is my personal trial and error, to figure out what works for me. That being said, here are my first steps.
#1. I haven’t figured out what to try for my head feeling full. I’m hoping that correcting other things will help that.
#2. I found some neck exercises on line, that I did this morning and will do again tonight. I will attach the pictures, when I figure out how to attach on this site. Otherwise, just googling “neck strengthening exercises” and see what you can find. I am trying to strengthen my posterior, or back neck muscles, but also, stretch my anterior, or front neck muscles, that I believe have been shortened by looking down so much. I put a light oil in the shower and am massaging those front ones just for a minute or two during my shower. I’m also doing some stretches thruout the day for those. Google, anterior neck stretches.
#3. There are actual eye exercise apps you can download!! Seriously!! The one I found first, and the one I’m trying is called “eye exerciser”. There is a free version, but I decided to go all out and pay the $4 (I think) for more challenging exercises. I put it on my Ipad, since the screen is a little bigger. I hold it to the left of my head, and try to just move my eyes, and hold my head straight. It is a quick series to do while I’m drinking my morning coffee, however, I think it would be better to do it more than 1x per day, tomorrow, I will try to do more.
#4. Being a massage therapist, I have many, many essential oils on hand. I googled “recipes for vestibular issues”, and found a simple mixture to put on a small piece of cotton to put in my ear. I like it, and think after some time it will help. However, today, I think I put a little too much on the cotton, and a little too much has drained into my ear, making it actually feel more clogged. Live and learn right?
#5. Anxiety….. what the heck? This I am trying a couple things for. Back to the essential oils. Doterra has a roll-on called “peace”. I do like it, and I can just open it and smell it when I need it. I hardly even use any. Just smelling it helps a little. I also have started taking CBD oil. With CBD, you need to find pure, 3rd party tested, grown in USA, and organic. The government does not yet regulate CBD as far as I know, so they can put anything on the label. Make sure it’s 3rd party tested so that you know what is in it.
I use Hempworx brand, for just these reasons. I like it and it has help with my day to day anxiety, but not the situational as much. I rarely have headaches anymore being on it for a couple months now. I started taking it because I didn’t like the affects of the anti seizure meds they had me on after the craniotomy. CBD is also an anti seizure so I took the chance and switched. I am in no way advising anyone to do this. I am just explaining why I started taking it and how glad I am that it is helping with the headaches and some anxiety. Anyway, to try it go to http://www.hempworx.com/leahr7509.
Some other things I started trying today, that I will keep you updated on…..I downloaded a racing game. Also on my Ipad, so that I can rotate it like a steering wheel and visualize driving. I have not gotten past the first level though, I just keep crashing!! Probably not what I want to be visualizing, but I will keep trying or maybe find a better one to use.
I am taking extra vitamin B complex to help my brain continue to heal
I am trying to get outside for at least a half hour a day, which is difficult this time of year in Wisconsin, but day one is done….. I have tried, and I have made it thru another day, but its going to keep getting better from here, because I am not going to give up!!
Suggestions are welcome! I am willing to think out of the box and keep trying until something works!!
Excited for day 2 tomorrow!!