Vertigo sufferers prevalent here
IT’S HARDLY the most familiar of ailments. If anything vertigo has a touch of the mysterious, almost exotic, about it.
But ask university employee Katrina Corcoran what’s her take on the dizzy disease wrongly associated with a fear of heights, and her reply brings the issue back down to earth.
“It’s totally debilitating. I can’t eat. I can’t do anything.”
Her life has become a maelstrom of headspins, forgetfulness, fogginess and light-headedness since the first bout came banging on her door three months ago.
“It came on in an instant. One minute I was feeling fine, the next minute I was violently ill,” she says.
“I felt like I had been tipped backwards and flung through the air. I felt like I was falling and spinning.
“I had no sense of direction. I thought I was dying.”
Her GP diagnosed her with vertigo, a condition where sand-like particles in the inner ear fluid are dislodged and move into more sensitive parts of the ear.
A remedy for the debilitating illness has not been as easily forthcoming.
Twice she thought she had shaken it but back it came for a second and third tilt at her.
The 47-year-old mother of three initially used a recliner borrowed from a family friend to try to sleep at night. Now she has been reduced to seeking sleep on a mattress bent almost at right angles.
“I’m terrified to go back to bed. I haven’t been in bed in two weeks.”
Her decision to go public is more about uncovering other vertigo sufferers than her pursuit of a remedy.
She says she has met up to 40 others in Hervey Bay – some at her USQ workplace – with exactly the same symptoms.
Vertigo is not known as a contagious condition but Ms Corcoran believes there may be some causal link underlining its prominence in the Bay.
“Sometimes I think it might be related to stress or maybe it’s a virus that people are reacting to in a certain way.
“I’m also wondering if there’s a connection with the swine flu jab I had earlier in the year and this vertigo.
"Apparently vertigo is a symptom of the disease. Maybe it can be caused by the immunisation.
“Seems like lots of Hervey Bay people had the injection earlier in the year and now lots have vertigo.”