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By Rebecca Teti

Tuesday: Open Forum

(Join each day’s Coffee Talk discussion: Mon: Parenting; Tues: Open Forum; Wed: NFP; Thu: Marriage; Fri: Education; Sat/Sun: Changing Roles)

This is the Open Forum Coffee Talk. That means ... anything goes. Ask a question, make a suggestion, share a story, offer some advice -- the floor is yours!

Rebecca Teti


  • Has anyone ever dealt with Vertigo? I had a pretty horrible day where the room was spinning clockwise, I couldn't walk without a bit of help, and I couldn't keep anything down but weak mint tea...I feel a teeny bit better now, but I am so worried it will come back...I Googled it, of course, but you know how "Dr Google" is--I have a brain tumor or I quit reading that. I just sobbed yesterday because I feel like my life is over--how can I help my kids or drive or just function? any advice or cures would be most appreciated!

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 9:37 AM by Katie

  • My mother had symptoms just like you're describing when I was in my teens. It turned out she had an inner ear infection. She said the prescription drugs for seasickness worked the best, but the over-the-counter ones were OK.

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 10:07 AM by Alice

  • Hi Katie - I feel your pain! I have had vertigo in the past (not while I had kids, but when I was in school trying to write papers and exams at mid-term time). I would suggest seeing your doctor for sure, and if possible getting a referral to an Otolaryngologist (ENT) - the ENT can give you more diagnostic information, and depending on the cause of the vertigo, may be able to offer you relief from the spinning too. Apparently once you've experienced it once, it's more likely to come back (it has for me, only a couple of times in 9 years, and always less severe), so it's always nice to get the medical opinions now and have the reassurance about what's going on. In terms of symptom management, anti-nausea medication was my best friend when I had vertigo - it can make you sleepy, but it definitely helped me to function better! Staying away from caffeine and alcohol are also good strategies - the caffeine and alcohol can increase your perception of the spinning and make things seem worse. Good luck! You're in my prayers.

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 10:08 AM by TM

  • I would second the option of going to see a doctor. I am a doctor and I can tell you the vast majority of the time (somewhere over 98 percent probably) in relatively young healthy people it is benign positional vertigo which is easily treated with some positioning exercises that you do yourself sitting on the side of the bed. RARELY do you ever need an MRI (I have seen 2 ordered for vertigo in 15 years of practice). It does often seem much worse then it really is . . . especially when you have the symptoms!

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 10:09 AM by Lisa

  • Katie, My mom and I (and a large number of cousins) often suffer from vertigo. I agree that a doctor's visit is in order. My mom takes a prescription when it comes on. I have found relief with a maneuver like this one: None of us have had an MRI or anything like it. Prayers for you, and be gentle on yourself when the episodes happen. I have had them for years, and they do pass, and then you can go back to being the Mommy you want to be.

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 10:27 AM by Danielle M.

  • Thank you for such kind replies! I did see my doctor for a couple of minutes {they squeezed me in} and also got a neck adjustment with my chiro---I had snapped it out of place when I leapt out of bed..I still feel really "woozy" today and had a "dizzy spell" when I started to sit up in bed this morning, even though I really took my time, and stretched carefully and sat up slowly. Lisa, I would be most interested in those positioning exercises--as my doctor didn't have a lot of time to explain it. I really appreciate the prayers and words of comfort...thank you I don't usually respond to "unknowns" but I don't touch aspartame or diet anything---soda is pretty awful health-wise anyway so that isn't it. Plus, are MRI 's safe? I don't know...

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 10:59 AM by Katie

  • Katie, another possibility is Meniere's disease, a malfunction of the inner ear that can flare up from time to time --often with stress, though not necessarily. Diet can help and it's NOT life-threatening, though the dizzy spells are debilitating during flare-ups. My husband has it and since it was diagnosed several of our friends turn out to have it as well. Ask your doctor.

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 11:41 AM by Rebecca

  • Changing the topic abruptly, does anyone care to discuss Pope Francis' admonition that Christians shoulder their burdens bravely rather than making things worse with whining? You have to read it all, because he isn't intending to say we should pretend never to be sad or never set boundaries against people who would manipulate us. But he does say, ""...a Christian who constantly complains, fails to be a good Christian: they become Mr. or Mrs. Whiner, no?" Do you think the public face of Christianity these days is kind of whiny?

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 11:44 AM by Rebecca Teti

  • Sorry Mrs. Teti if I took more than my fair share of time to complain

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 12:00 PM by Katie

  • I read what Pope Francis said, and he made some very good points. In this talk and others I think it's good to bear small problems without complaining ALL THE TIME, but sometimes it's important to feel like I'm not alone, so I do ask for help. I do think the face of Christianity may *look* whiny, but I honestly feel it's partly due to all of the challenges, media bias, murderer-in-chief in the white house, etc. It's hard to be holy, right? {grin} I have had friends/acquaintances who complain a lot about everything---I call them "energy pirates" because it's exhausting to be around them and try to give a positive response to their "Eeyore" way of life!

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 12:06 PM by Donna L.

  • MRIs are totally safe. My son has had a couple. Absolutely zero radiation, etc.

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 12:11 PM by Jen

  • Katie: No apologies necessary. You weren't complaining...simply sharing a struggle & seeking advice. I have a neighbor who used the positioning maneuvers & they were a lifesaver for her. Praying that you can find the relief & help that you need!

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 12:18 PM by Patricia

  • Katie: I meant to add…what my neighbor used was Epley maneuver (or repositioning maneuver) to treat her Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). I believe she saw a PT who was trained in the Epley maneuver. God bless!

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 12:22 PM by Patricia

  • AAArrrgghhh! I just spent my morning wrestling with bunk beds. I would so love to have sheets, bkankets and comforters that are made for bunk beds with fitted bottom parts to make it easier to tuck in and not have stuff hanging everywhere. I guess I'll just have to learn to make bottom fitted top sheets and blankets. It would be nice if they were "skinnier" too so that so much stuff doesn;t hang over!! Especially the comforter. Ok - frustration out!! Phew!

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 1:14 PM by Nadine

  • One word Nadine: Ikea. They have them Target does too.

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 4:41 PM by unknown

  • Oh, gosh, Katie, I hope you're joking. I was bringing up another topic, not in any way commenting on the aforegoing conversation. You were looking for advice, and that is not the same thing as whining!

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 5:29 PM by Rebecca Teti

  • Rebecca T: Thanks for that great link to the Holy Father's talk on Christian endurance & Christ's peace! I'm going to share 2 of my favorite quotes from some of the early Church Fathers on that very topic in hopes of inspiring others in the way that they have inspired me... ST. ISAAC THE SYRIAN: “Affliction, if not accompanied by patience, produces double torment, for a man's patience casts off his distress, while faintness of heart is the mother of anguish. Patience is the mother of consolation and is a certain strength which is usually born of largeness of heart. It is hard for a man to find this strength in his tribulations without a gift from God, received through his ardent pursuit of prayer and the outpouring of his tears.” ST. CYRIL OF JERUSALEM: “Oftentimes a man for Christ's sake has been outraged and dishonored unjustly; martyrdom is at hand; tortures on every side, and fire, and sword, and savage beasts, and the pit. But the Holy Spirit softly whispers to him, 'Wait on the Lord, O man; what is now befalling you is a small matter, the reward will be great. Suffer a little while, and you shall be with angels forever. "The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).' He portrays to the man the kingdom of heaven; He gives him a glimpse of the paradise of delight; and the martyrs, whose bodily faces are of necessity turned to their judges, but who in spirit are already in Paradise, despise those hardships which are seen.”

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 6:44 PM by Patricia

  • Thanks, Patricia. Love this line: "faintness of heart is the mother of anguish."

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 8:09 PM by Rebecca Teti

  • I have 2 1/2 year old twins at home and my husband and I have made the decision to keep them at home (no MDO or daycare). It seems that all of my friends are sending their kids to MDO so I am feeling a little more isolated. In addition to that, they seem bored if we stay at home all day (and admittedly, I'm bored) I really think they are too young for classes. They mom's group at my church is almost nonexistent. What do you all do?

    Posted on May 7th, 2013 at 9:10 PM by JM

  • JM- What does MDO stand for? My son is only a little older than your two. He's by himself so doesn't always have someone to play with. We go to the playground most of the days. When we're inside he plays with legos, puzzle, action figures, pretend plays, paints,read books, helps with cooking, etc. He doesn't seem bored. We go on a couple playdates and to a church group and a library class. During the summer, we'll go to the beach a few times a week, trips to zoos, berry picking, etc. Maybe you can reach out to other moms in to find more kids that are at home and also start something with your church.

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 at 8:44 AM by anonymouse

  • I agree with anonymouse. If you don't want to do Moms Day Out or other childcare (we don't do them either), you still have to figure out ways to leave the house, or you'll go insane. I agree that they're too young for a class without you, but lots of places have Mommy and Me type classes. Have you looked into Gymboree or your local parks and rec? We've done library storytime since my kids were babies. It's very low key, so if someone's misbehaving you can just leave or walk around the library or something. What about indoor playgrounds? We tend not to do playgrounds associated with restaurants much (because I don't like tying playtime with fast food), but there are a couple of local community centers here that have free indoor playgrounds. Parks are great, of course, too. As for moms' groups, our church moms' was started by a mom of twins in your situation. She just talked to the parish and asked if it was ok to put an ad in the bulletin. We've been meeting for about 1.5 years now, and it was slow at first, but now we have about 3-4 families at every get together, and about 8 or 9 on our list. Since you have twins, you really only need a couple of more kids to get a good sized playgroup, and it's a good way to meet like-minded moms who likely share your values. Good luck!

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 at 10:13 AM by MR

  • JM, my son is older than your twins (he's 5.5), but I feel your pain! The pool of SAHMs is so limited, and in my area it seems like the few SAHMs that are around send their kids to all kinds of summer camps and programs. Because my son is older, he will do a couple of weeks of part-time summer camp (it's run by his preschool teacher at her home a few mornings/week). In addition to that, we do a lot of playgrounds and library activities. We try to schedule playdates at least twice/week, but it takes a lot of effort. Thankfully, my son isn't prone to boredom, particularly in the summer. He's very happy to go to playgrounds, run errands with me, play in the yard, etc. I do try to plan at least one outing/day, even if that outing is an errand.

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 at 12:42 PM by Claire S

  • Hi Rebecca--I was *kind of* kidding and kind of not--it was an abrupt change of topic--which Tuesday is all about and wasn't myself yesterday so I suppose it just *hit* me wrong...I guess I was afraid that I had taken up the whole forum and was very humbled and thankful for the wave of helpful comments and prayers from this awesome group of prayer warriors! Thanks to Danielle for the link to that stretch---it helped quite a bit...I will keep learning about this and pray for all who have this!

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 at 2:41 PM by Katie

  • Katie--The Epley manuever is one of the ones I was talking about--I think it is a little hard to do in most houses. The one I have my patient's do is sit on the side of the bed, look up as if you were looking at the face of a 6 foot tall person standing about 6 feet in front of you. Stay still until you are not dizzy. Once you are not dizzy lean all the way to the right until your body is lying on its side on the bed--still looking as if you were looking at the same person. Stay there until you are no longer dizzy. Then go back upright, repeat procedure in sitting position then, again when not dizzy, do the same thing but go to the left. Continue this until you are no longer dizzy with movement. Do not go longer then about 30 minutes. You can do this whenever the dizziness comes back. Often it only takes one set of exercises. But realize people who get BPPV tend to get it . . . so it may be 1 year, it may be ten years but it is probably going to come back but the exercises tend to work. Meclazine (the oral medication) works too but it justs masks the symptoms, does not resolve them and thus can prolong the vertigo. Epley's work as well---see You Tube for many examples. If your doctor agreed that you have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and this doesn't work ask for a PT consult and have the physical therapist teach you some other maneuvers. This is only if your doc says you have this (ie so I am not practicing medicine over the internet having never met you LOL!)

    Posted on May 8th, 2013 at 8:18 PM by Lisa

  • I have a 1.5 year old and a 3.5 year old at home. We have a park day, a doughnut shop day, a play-in-the-backyard day, and a YMCA day (use their pool, etc.) Basically, I plan one event for each day. That usually takes us up to nap time, and then after nap time we either play in the house or do some shopping, more backyard play, a craft, etc. This takes hard work to plan!! But it is worth it because everyone's mood (including mine!) is better all day! I've also joined a moms group through and met some other moms... although I agree that most of the kids are in programs or mothers day out stuff and aren't available real often (it also means a lot of the moms dont have similar situations to me because they either get big breaks from their kids or have jobs - which just puts them in a different frame of mind!) Anyways, hope that helps!

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 11:59 AM by unknown

  • Nadine, Yes, those bunks are frustrating! One trick I learned from my MIL was to buy the appropriate size fitted sheet (Twin) and buy everything else a bit bigger (either Full or Queen). That gives extra room to tuck farther under the mattress. Makes it more challenging to get off, but so worth it to not have to wrestle with a mess every day.

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 9:57 PM by RealMom4Life

  • Nadine, Yes, those bunks are frustrating! One trick I learned from my MIL was to buy the appropriate size fitted sheet (Twin) and buy everything else a bit bigger (either Full or Queen). That gives extra room to tuck farther under the mattress. Makes it more challenging to get off, but so worth it to not have to wrestle with a mess every day.

    Posted on May 9th, 2013 at 9:57 PM by RealMom4Life

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