Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Our Week - The One with Summer, Week 9 (Music Camp, a Birthday Party, a Dave Matthews Band Concert, and More Vertigo)

Another week, another recap with vertigo in the title.  Eye roll.  It’s disheartening to know that it’s been over three weeks since this started and that it’s still not fully resolved, but when I look back to how I felt one week ago, two weeks ago, and three weeks ago when this started, I can confidently say that I am steadily improving as time goes by.  It’s frustrating not being able to drive (especially since this is the last week of summer break for the kids), but I’m praying that I’ll be back behind the wheel soon enough!  Slow and steady wins the race, I guess?

Anywayyyy… let’s get to last week’s recap.

Monday, July 24

Monday, the kids started camp at their music school, and we had numerous appointments that had been scheduled prior to my vertigo, so Brian took a half day of PTO to drive us around.  We were up bright and early and out the door to get the kids to camp by 9.  While we were there checking them in, the doctor’s office called about my upcoming VNG test, and they told me that they could no longer get me in on Thursday due to an “emergency.”  Sigh.  She told me she’d be back in touch to let me know when they could reschedule.

After B and I dropped the kids at camp, we stopped at Publix next door to grab all of the items that Brian hadn’t been able to get at Walmart on Sunday, and then we headed home to put the groceries away.  I had about 30 minutes after that to enjoy my hot tea and squeeze in some work, and then we had to hit the road again.

Unfortunately, we’d had our dentist appointments scheduled for six months, and they weren’t able to move them for us, so we had to pick the kids up early from camp.  They were bummed, but what can you do?

Before our dental cleanings, my orthodontist wanted to remove my wire in my braces, so we headed to the orthodontist next.  They removed the wire, and then we headed straight to the dentist for our cleanings.  Getting my teeth cleaned is always one of my least favorite things, and it was even worse with braces because it was never-ending.  I was so happy to get up and get out of there. 

After that, we all headed home and had lunch, and then we had a couple of hours to hang out before we had to head back to the orthodontist to have my wire put back in.  At the orthodontist, they just decided to do my eight-week checkup since we were getting close anyway, and they ended up putting in a new wire on the top, and they tightened the wire on the bottom even more.  I’ve been having some issues with one of my top teeth hitting the bottom teeth since they have shifted so much, and it got to the point where I was worried about breaking a tooth, so I had stopped wearing my rubberbands at night for a few nights leading up to that. 

The ortho told me I had done the right thing and that I need to discontinue rubberband use until that tooth moves out a little and stops getting too close to the bottom teeth.  It has been nice to have a break from those things, too… I HATE them.  Haha.

By the time I was done there I felt awful.  All of the laying back in all of the chairs had irritated my vertigo terribly, and my mouth, jaw, neck, and shoulders were a wreck from all of the people poking around in my mouth all day.  I popped some Ibuprofen when I got home, and thankfully, that helped a little bit.  My vertigo also settled a bit, too, which was good because I had to take Olivia to a birthday pool party for her friend, Savannah, Monday evening, and I was worried about being out in the heat.

Brian and Jacob dropped us off there at 5, and thankfully, the back yard was nice and shaded, and I ended up doing really well.  While the heat does seem to make my vertigo worse, being in the sun in the heat makes it about 100 times worse, and that’s a no-go for me right now. 

The girls played in the pool forever, minus a few minutes that Olivia had to nurse a knee injury… she slipped and fell by the pool at one point, but thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as it had sounded.  We all had hamburgers and hot dogs that Savannah’s dad had grilled, and it was a nice evening hanging out with friends.  Many of us parents of the kids in Olivia’s class are very close, so I got to hang out with my friends while she hung out with hers.  It’s always a fun time, and it was nice to get together with all of them with school right around the corner.

Brian and Jacob came to pick us up at 7, and then we headed home.  The kids got showered while I got in a stair stepper workout and an arms workout, and then I talked to my friend, Becky, on the phone for a while before getting the kids in the bed.

B and I started the new episode of The Bachelorette, and then we headed to bed.


Tuesday, July 25

Tuesday morning, I woke up feeling less dizzy than most of the other mornings.  Mornings have been the absolute worst for my vertigo, and I’m sure it’s because of having to adjust from laying down all night to standing, but Monday morning, I didn’t have my usual super spinning and bad balance.  Usually, I have to wait about 30 minutes for that to wear off and morph back into the regular dizziness and unsteadiness, but on Tuesday morning, I pretty much skipped the bad part and just went to the regular dizziness and unsteadiness.  Does that make sense?  I guess that’s progess!

My parents came to pick the kids up at 8:45 to take them to camp at 9, and then I spent the next three hours catching up on blog stuff, paying bills, getting my calendar squared away, lining up drivers for the kids and I for the rest of the week, and just getting my life together in general.

Brian had taken a half day at work since we had a Dave Matthews Band concert Tuesday evening, so he was able to swing by the music school and pick the kids up from camp on his way home from work.  That worked out well.

When they all got home, we had lunch together, and then we got the kids packed and ready for my parents’ house, and then we hit the road.  After dropping the kiddos off, B and I made the drive to Atlanta.  We had left a little earlier than we needed to because we wanted to visit our friend, Fahed, who lives there now.  His house is only about eight minutes from the venue, so it worked out beautifully.  We were able to visit with him at his house for a good hour, and then we made it to the venue by 6:45.

Meanwhile, these two were eating at the new Culvers here in town with Pop and Cokie and being as goofy as ever.

When we arrived, we made a stop for hot dogs for dinner, and a beer for B, and then we made our way to our seats.  Our seats were soooo amazing this year… we were in the fourth row behind the pit!  It was crazy hot on Tuesday – mid-nineties – but thankfully, the temp had dropped to 89 by the time we arrived, and the humidity was relatively low for this time of year.  Still, though, with the heat and the loud music and the lights and the smoke, it was a LOT for my vertigo.  We were in the shade, though, so that’s all that mattered.

A few minutes into the concert I was second guessing myself about coming in the first place, but then the concert turned out to be the absolute best time, and I’m so grateful that I decided to go rather than let my vertigo hold me back.  I know I would have kicked myself for not going… especially after I saw the setlist!

For starters, they played So Right, which is one of my very favorite songs of theirs.  I have been to 26 Dave Matthews Band concerts (27 after this one), and they have never once played it at any of the ones that I went to.  I have been chasing this song for 22 years, y’all.  TWENTY. TWO. YEARS.  And I finally got to see it live Tuesday night!  When they played the first note, I knew immediately what it was, and I jumped up and down without even thinking (truly just an automatic response), and then I felt awfuuuul from my vertigo.  Haha.  For a minute there I was worried I was going to pass out and miss the song that I’d been waiting to see all these years.  Thankfully, I was able to hang on and enjoy it, and it was worth the wait.

In addition to that, Chuck Leavell, the pianist for The Allman Brothers, joined DMB on the stage for three songs and we got to hear an Allman Brothers cover as well as a Rolling Stones cover.  So good.

As if that wasn’t enough, Dave then came out for an encore solo and played the song Baby Blue, which is another one of my all-time favorite songs of theirs, and a very rare one to hear live.  That song is beautiful and heart-breaking – seriously, Google the lyrics – and it’s a song that’s dear to me because it helped me grieve and get through my miscarriage back in 2010.  I cried through pretty much the whole thing.

They then rolled straight into Two Step for the final song, which every DMB fan adores, and it was just a fantastic show.  I know if I had decided to skip and stay home from my vertigo, I would have haaaated myself once I saw that setlist.  (Yes, I am one of those people who looks at every setlist every night after they do a show.  One thing about DMB is that they never play the same show twice.  They have hundreds of songs in their catalog, and they play a totally different show every single night of their tour.  It’s amazing, and every show is always full of surprises.  That’s always the fun part about a DMB show… you never know what you’re going to hear!)

After the show, we had to walk out in a crowd of 12,000 people and that was the part that worried me the most.  Everyone is practically on top of each other and sometimes there are drunk people who bump into you, and I knew that if somebody so much as slightly brushed up against me there was a risk that I could losing my footing and fall, but thankfully, everything went super smoothly, and we made it back to the car without any issues.

We’d had to park in a parking garage this time (which is usually a NIGHTMARE to get out of for big events like these… we usually avoid them like the plague at large events like this, but we had no choice this time), but thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.  We did have to wait quite some time in traffic to get out, though, and we didn’t make it home until sometime after 1 AM.  Sheesh.


Wednesday, July 26

Wednesday morning, Brian headed off to work at his usual time, and I slept in until about 7:30.  Thankfully, my vertigo wasn’t any worse Wednesday after the concert.  When I first woke up, I think it may have been slightly worse on Wednesday, but it wore off quickly, and the rest of the day wasn’t too bad.

My parents had the kids already since they’d spent the night at their house, and they dropped the kids off at camp, so I had a free morning to work.  Then, at 11:30, my friend, Khristina, and her son, Noah, swung by my house to grab me and then take me to the kids’ music school to pick them up.

When we got back home, Noah hung out with us the rest of the day so Khristina could have some time to herself, and the kids played together all afternoon.  They always have the best time together!

Noah left the house around five, and I started dinner shortly after that.  When B got home, we all sat down to parmesan chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli, and Cheesecake Factory bread.  For the first couple of weeks, I couldn’t cook, so it was nice to be back at it.

We’d had a storm blow through just to our north, and it cooled things down tremendously, so I thought it might be good to try going for a walk around the neighborhood (with B and the kids, of course… I wouldn’t attempt to do it alone, yet).  I was able to walk back to our hotel after the Braves game the previous week, and I was able to walk back-and-forth from our car to the venue at the Dave Matthews Band, so I was thinking I could probably do a slow walk around our neighborhood since it wasn’t too hot.


Haha.  I was pretty rocky the whole way, and the unsteadiness was exhausting for my legs because all of my muscles were having to work overtime.  I made it 0.9 miles without having to hold Brian’s hand, though, so I guess it’s progress?  It’s definitely way more than I would have been able to do in the first few days with my vertigo.

When we got home, the kids got showered and I got in an arms workout, and then we watched an episode of Is It Cake? with the kiddos before sending them to bed.  B and I then watched some more of The Bachelorette, and then we went to bed, too.


Thursday, July 27

Thursday morning, I felt about the same – that general dizziness and unsteadiness just continues to hang out.  Sigh.  I got ready for the day and then I got the kids up and ready, too.  They had camp at 9 again, and my friend, Jeannine, was kind enough to pick them up and drop them off for me.  Her boys are going to the camp, too, so it worked out nicely.  I have been so very grateful for our village these last couple of weeks.  They have all been a Godsend.

After the kids were picked up, I got all of my morning chores done – unloading the dishwasher, watering the plants, tidying up a bit, etc.  Then I headed to my office to start researching hotels for our potential New York City trip in December and get some blog work done.

Since I was feeling decent all day, I decided that I wanted to try to drive to pick up the kids from camp.  Their camp is only a five-minute drive from our house, most of the roads are small backroads, and traffic is never busy at that hour, so I figured I could do it.  I knew I wasn’t ready to drive on the highway or go for a long drive, or go for a drive in traffic, but I thought it would be okay to do the drive to their music school.

Well, thanks to my anxiety, it was no bueno at all. 

My vertigo didn’t really get in the way at all, but I was so anxious about having a spinning spell and wrecking that I started to have a panic attack on the way there. 


If you’ve ever had a panic attack, then you know just how awful they are.  They are not only mentally exhausting, but they’re physically exhausting as well.  Thankfully, I can feel when they are starting to come on, and thankfully, I know how to diffuse them and not them consume me, but that is also exhausting, so by the time I got to the music school, I was a wreck.  And we still had to make the drive home.  Thankfully, I was able to pull myself together while I waited for the kids to come out, and we got home safely. 

I hate anxiety.

And vertigo.

I’m so over it, y’all.

Once we got home, we sat down and had lunch together.  The kids have raved about their music school camp all week (aside from a couple of wild kids who have apparently been a little distracting), and they’re sad that it’s over.  Makes me wish we’d taken them last summer, too!  I think Jacob will be too old for it next summer.  :o(

The rest of the afternoon was spent working in my office while the kids played video games for a bit, and then at 3:15 my mom picked us all up to take us back to the music school for the kids’ weekly lessons.

Since lessons were only 30 minutes, Momma just stayed with us, and then she drove us back home so I could get dinner started.  I made bacon and corn pasta for dinner on Thursday evening with steamed green beans and garlic cheese bread, and then after dinner, I got in a stair stepper workout along with an arms workout, and then we watched another episode of Is It Cake? and then we finished The Bachelorette.

Friday, July 28

Friday morning, Olivia woke Brian up in the wee hours of the morning saying her tummy was hurting, and she ended up having an upset stomach.  She thought she was going to throw up, but thankfully, she never did, but she did get really close. 

Once we were all up, I could tell she felt miserable, so I got her set up on the couch with a pillow, a blanket, and the barf bowl, and she watched cartoons.  Unfortunately, it was the kids’ last day of music camp, and she had to miss it.  She was so sad, and I felt terrible for her.  I knew she wasn’t feeling well since she didn’t beg us to let her go anyway.

Brian got Jacob off to camp, and then when he got back home, we had a few minutes before the three of us had to load up to get me to my VNG test at the speech and hearing center. 

The test was scheduled for a full two hours, so B and Olivia dropped me off and headed home, and then I did end up being there until a little after 12. 

The testing was VERY in-depth and nothing at all like anything I’ve ever done before.  After a very detailed conversation about what’s been happening to me and everything I did leading up to the onset of the vertigo, the doctor ended up running tons of different tests and they were as follows (I’m adding lots of details in the next section for my notes, so if you don’t care to read, just skip ahead!):  

  1. The first thing she did was the Dix-Hallpike maneuver which is the one that doctors use to diagnose BPPV.  At that point, two other doctors had already performed that, but she wanted to see for herself just be sure.  She told me that my symptoms didn’t sound like classic BPPV, so she wanted to rule that out first.  Sure enough, she told me that there wasn’t any evidence of BPPV (and it was later ruled out altogether after subsequent testing), but she went ahead and performed the Epley Maneuver while I was laying on the table just in case it was BPPV.  That was the first time a doctor has done it for me, and I can honestly say, I wasn’t quite doing it right when I was doing it at home.  I had it down mostly, but I didn’t whip my head back and forth fast enough.
  2. Next up, I had to sit in a chair with some special goggles on and look at a large screen.  The goggles allowed her to view my eyes on her computer screen and record the data as I did the tests.  For the first test on the screen, I had to follow a green dot with my eyes only, without moving my head.  She did the green dots at a couple of different speeds, and I passed that test with flying colors.
  3. The next test was another one in that same chair looking at that same screen, but this time, she put up a blue and yellow checkerboard pattern on the screen and she moved it to the left really fast.  While it was flying by, I had to keep my eyes focused in the center of the screen.  After that one, she moved it to the right really fast and I had to keep my eyes in the center of the screen yet again.  I passed that test with flying colors as well.
  4. The next test was where it got really fun.  And when I say fun, I say that with as much sarcasm as one can possibly have.  I continued to sit in that same chair with the goggles on, and she pressed a button that made the chair spin around in circles to the left for a full minute.  BARF.  When the chair stopped spinning, I had to open my eyes, and she monitored my eyes on the computer screen for a couple of minutes.  Once that was done, the chair spun me to the right for a full minute, and then she monitored my eyes again.  While I was spinning, she asked me random trivia questions (to keep my mine off of the spinning… the questions had nothing to do with the actual test or test results), and she asked me girls names, boys names, and locations that started with certain letters.  It did do a pretty good job of distracting me, but it was also hard to even think with all of that spinning.
  5. Once that was done, she laid the chair I was in flat like a bed, and then she blew cold air into one ear for a full minute.  Once the air stopped blowing, she monitored my eye response on her computer.  She did that in both ears, and it was AWFUL.  The dizziness was insane.
  6. After the cold air was done, she did each ear with hot air, and that was a hundred times worse than the cold air.  Oh, my word it was the most awful feeling and it made me even dizzier than the cold air.
  7. After that, she made me turn my head to the left while still laying flat.  Then she made me turn my whole body to the left.  She said that most people have more of a response (with their eye movement) to turning their entire body, but I had more of a response when I just turned my head.
  8. Once that was done, she sat me back up in the chair, and she attached electrodes to my forehead.  She then played a series of noises in each ear, and she watched my brain’s response. 
  9. Next, was a series of electrodes on my neck muscles, and she played a series of noises in each ear.  While she played the noise, I had to lift my head off the chair back to flex the neck muscles.
  10. Then, she attached electrodes under my eyes, and she played a series of noises in each ear and monitored the response. 


That was the end of the testing. 

There are two general types of vertigo – peripheral and central – and there are many types and causes that fall under each umbrella.  This testing was able to rule out the entire umbrella of central vertigo, which is what we wanted, because central vertigo is due to a problem in the brain – brain tumors, seizures, stroke, certain diseases like multiple sclerosis, blood vessel disease, etc.  SCARY STUFF.  So grateful it was none of that.

Instead, I was diagnosed with peripheral vertigo, which is a problem with the inner ear that includes BPPV, Meniere’s Disease, inner ear infections, inflammation of the vestibular nerve, cervical neck issues, etc.

This testing that I did was able to completely rule out BPPV and Meniere’s Disease.  The doctor said that she was relieved to rule out Meniere’s because she said that there’s really no cure for that, and it’s something that you pretty much just have forever once you’re diagnosed with it.

Instead, she believes that the cause of mine is either an inner ear infection of some type of cervical neck issue.  Based on everything I told her, she thinks that the cervical neck issue is most likely the cause.

She is recommending physical therapy with a girl there at their facility, so she is sending all of my test results and that recommendation to my ENT doctor.  Once I follow up with him, he will ultimately decide on the treatment plan.  She did say that he may also want to order an MRI or a CT scan, too, but now we’re waiting to see. 

One thing that was concerning is that she said one of the tests alerted her to a possible heart issue.  She said that she thinks that I should probably see a cardiologist, but she is ultimately leaving that up to my ENT doctor.  So I’ll definitely be following up with him about that as well.  I just visited with a cardiologist back in 2019, and he said my heart is perfect, so I’m not really sure how she drew that conclusion.

Anyway, she also said that there was one other thing that was concerning to her, and it was something that I just happened to tell her.  I mentioned that when I do yoga or anything where my head points down towards the floor (downward dog, touching my toes with my head pointed down, etc.) that I have so much pressure that it feels like my head and face are going to explode.  It has been that way my entire life, so I have always thought it was normal (you know, because the blood rushes to your head), but she told me that is absolutely not normal.  Sigh.  Anybody else ever experience this?  And I don’t mean slight pressure in your head and face… I mean, massive pressure like your eyes are bugging out and your face could just burst?

Anyway, once my testing was done, I texted B and told him to come pick me up, but he and Olivia were at the dance camp picking up Jacob and watching the kids do their performance.  The kids got up and sang a song and they also played a song on the piano, and I was so sad I had to miss it.

After the kids picked me up, we headed home and had lunch.  Olivia still wasn’t feeling great enough to eat, but she was feeling a little better.  We were supposed to go to our friend’s house and hang out with all of our school friends Friday afternoon, but since Olivia was sick, we had to cancel that as well.  Ugh.  Instead, the kids played video games and took it easy so Olivia could rest.  Meanwhile, I spent the afternoon washing bedding and sanitizing everything just in case.

Friday evening, I had a girls night lined up, and my friend, Becky, swung by at 5:30 to grab me since I couldn’t drive.  Our girls night was a flower cutting party at my friend, Jessica’s, house and it was bring your own dinner night. 

Becky and I picked up food from a local restaurant right by my neighborhood, and then we headed to Jessica’s.  We ended up having nine of us there Friday evening, and we sat around Jessica’s table chatting and eating all evening, and then we headed outside to cut flowers.  Jessica has a massive garden filled with all kinds of beautiful flowers that she grew from seeds this year, so there were plenty to go around.  How beautiful are these?  And also, who knew there was an herb called lemon basil?!  I didn’t, but it is now my new favorite herb.  It smells divine.

A little before nine, we headed home.  Becky got me back home since I couldn’t drive (so thankful she lives close!), and when I got home, Brian and the kids were watching The Goonies.  While they finished that, I got ready for bed and did my mediation for the evening, and then we got the kiddos in bed.

B and I ended the evening with the first episode of season two of The Summer I Turned Pretty and a little bit of an episode of Manifest.


Saturday, July 29

Saturday morning, we got up and I made homemade waffles for breakfast.  Olivia was totally back to normal by then, so she was able to eat breakfast with us.  The rest of the morning was spent drinking some hot tea, doing laundry, and getting in a mixed cardio workout (very carefully).  We all had lunch together, got the house tidied, and the kids played some video games for a bit while I got some work done. 

Brian had to work Saturday night, so he dropped us at my Momma and Daddy’s house just before 5, and she drove us all to church together since I still wasn’t in any shape to drive.  After Mass, we went to one of our favorite local pizza places right across the street from church with my Mama Cass, Aunt Joy and Uncle Greg, and Uncle Billy. 

I have been avoiding alcohol since I started having vertigo because I assumed it would worsen the symptoms, but Saturday evening, I decided to try having a glass of wine.  I had tried a very small glass of wine at my parents’ house at the last Sunday dinner, and I did fine, so I figured I’d be fine to have a full glass, and it went well.  I didn’t have any worsening of my symptoms, and I actually felt slightly better, probably because a glass of wine usually eases my anxiety a bit.

After dinner, my Aunt Joy and Uncle Greg drove us home, and by the time we arrived, Brian was done working.  After he finished eating the food we’d brought home, we got the kids in bed, and then he and I watched an episode of The Summer I Turned Pretty.  That second episode of season two has the best music, y’all.  Seriously, a 90’s kid had to have been the one to do the music for this show!  So good.


Sunday, July 30

Sunday morning, we got up and had cinnamon rolls, and then I watched my Sunday morning sermon from another local church.  I did some planner planning, and did a yoga workout, and then it was time to get ready for the day.

My MIL has been out of town, so they didn’t cook lunch again.  Instead, the four of us went and grabbed Chipotle for lunch, and then we ran a few errands.  Jacob has been wanting to spend his birthday gift cards, so first on the list was Barnes and Noble where he picked up a pack of Pokemon cards.  He and Olivia are both obsessed with those now. 

After that, we headed to Target, and he picked out a Lego set.  We also had to grab a few other things while we were there, and then we walked over to PetSmart afterward because Olivia wanted to see the animals.  Haha.  They don’t have dogs there, so all we were able to see were lizards, turtles, snakes, birds, hamsters, and fish, but she seemed to be pretty pleased with that.  (Side note, peep that fall stuff at Target!!!!)

On the way home, the bottom fell out and we got a ton of rain… finally.  We went from having two weeks of rain in June to having hardly any rain in July, and it was nice to have the cool-down.

The rest of the afternoon was spent being cozy inside.  With the rainstorm outside, the day was giving off some serious fall vibes, so the kids cozied up with their video games and I cozied up in my office with some hot tea and a fuzzy blanket, and I watched Stepmom while I got some work done.

We headed to my parents’ house for dinner, and my Momma made this TikTok chicken alfredo that she’d already made once before, and oh my word, was it good!  I have to get that recipe from her!  It is soooo delicious.

After dinner, we sat around and talked all evening, and then when we got home, the kiddos went to bed, and B and I watched another episode of The Summer I Turned Pretty before calling it a night.

Happy Wednesday, y’all!


  1. I am so sorry to hear that the vertigo is still plaguing you but glad it seems to be slowly getting better. I feel so bad for Olivia having to miss her last day of camp; I feel like my kids always get sick right when they have something fun and special that they end up missing. Though I have started realizing that I am often more upset for them then they ever are. LOL.

    1. You are so right about that! I think I'm often more upset than the kids when they miss something, too! Haha. It's that mom guilt.

  2. It's great you have friends to drive you and the kids places. That testing sounds intense. I would not like the spinning around! I had an mri and when they moved the table I got super dizzy for no reason! The flower picking idea is so fun. Simon and I cut flowers at a farm a few weeks ago, and we also went into petsmart recently to see the animals!


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