Driving While Vertiginous. Which is something I try to avoid.

I hate talking about Meniere’s disease, but it bears mentioning once again (for record keeping purposes, at least) because today I realized that I’m unable to make left turns in heavy traffic. The necessity to move the head back and forth to check both directions of traffic always sets up a momentary disorientation; requiring that I hesitate just long enough for my head to clear that I tend to loose my chance to turn. I’ve gotten used to making 4 rights where possible, just to avoid a left turn. I noticed today (I had to get out and deliver things for a friend) that I have certain places I can comfortably get to, and certain routes that I will take. But if it requires long periods on the freeway (most times even getting on the freeway) lane changes, or left turns in high traffic, I probably either won’t go or will get someone else to drive. It’s too dangerous, in my opinion.

As someone who once drove 8 hours a day, 5 days a week testing tires (in any weather) for a living, I find it quite weird to not be willing to get in the car and drive.

(minor vertigo, major headaches all this week. I blame the allergies)


I’ve pretty much stopped driving (2022) Riding as a passenger in a car doesn’t so much trigger vertigo for me as the sympathetic portions of the brain start registering sideways movement (which feels like spinning) unless I am facing perfectly forward or can’t see motion outside my window. If I look up suddenly after feeling like I haven’t been moving, the sudden impression of rapid movement can cause me to briefly feel faint. The most troubling part of long driving is the mental and physical exhaustion that I feel afterwards. I’m not sure that’s different than it was when I was driving before Meniere’s, though.

Author: RAnthony

I'm a freethinking, unapologetic liberal. I'm a former CAD guru with an architectural fetish. I'm a happily married father. I'm also a disabled Meniere's sufferer.

3 thoughts on “DWV?”

  1. Quote:
    Driving has been a challenge for many of us at times–be super careful if you still live on “Planet Austin”–the traffic there is tough even if you don’t have any vertigo issues.
    (PS–ever eat at the Hyde Park Grill, around the 4200 block of Duvall?)

    Yep. Just once though. I’m more of a Tex-mex (Tres Amigos) or Chinese (Hunan) fan myself.

    Agreed on the traffic, which is why I try to avoid the freeways. You have to watch your blind spots like a hawk, and I just can’t swing my head around like that anymore. Local and residential driving is quite doable, in most cases. I can still take the kids to school, I just have to be careful about the route.

    I think the only thing the Doc’s have said to me about driving is “don’t, if you are having symptoms”. Tried driving once when I was stranded and I had an attack (this was before I was diagnosed) Won’t be doing that again, it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. Worse than the worst drunk that you can imagine, but without the benefit of being unaware of how bad you are driving (in fact it was that experience that got me to go to the doctors to see what was wrong) I carry a cell with me now; I just call someone nearby to come get me when/if symptoms appear. Hasn’t happed too often, but then I don’t drive like I used to because of the risk involved.

    The major attacks don’t seem to surface until I’m having serious stress. I don’t know why that is. Freeway driving in Austin is quite stressful, so I’ve added that to my list of don’ts.


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