ANA Discussion Forum
Post-Treatment => Cognitive/Emotional Issues => Topic started by: gracey79 on March 14, 2017, 01:41:53 pm
Hello I am pre-op with a 2.8x2.2x1.5 AN. I live in the middle of no mans land and my family all lives at least an hour away and the stores are all about a 30min drive. Recently I had to drive over an hour in the snow at night...all was normal for me. Glasses on, though I only have a .50 prescription and hands on the wheel braced for a snowy drive. About half way through my drive the snow started coming at us and it looked like the movies show "light speed" looking in space. At that point the road was THICK with snow and we were crawling along the road behind one driver and in front of another with on coming traffic and no decent shoulder that would be safe for any of us on the road that that time. This "light speed" effect totally messed with my balance that my Dr. thought would not be thrown off while driving. I can't even explain how it made me feel, but if you have had the balance test with the water in the ears and the goggles on that is the closest thing to what I felt that I have to describe it..maybe I am wrong but when I had the balance test done it seemed like the water going in my ears also caused a vibration like the road does for me and is vibration not enough to throw off balance? Also Dr. says don't walk down the hallway at night because my balance will be off...well isn't vibrating down the road in a vehicle at night also potentially bad for my balance? ANYWAY. I could not drive and I pulled over at the nearest town which was just about 1-2 miles ahead. The snow let up and I got a relief driver a few more miles away. Once the snow effect stopped I was okay to drive again.
Anyone else have issues at times with their balance while driving?
I have problems driving at night regardless of the weather. I also have problems with car lights coming at me. I have told my Doc about it, but they cant pin point the reason. I limit my driving at night to stay in town if possible. Sorry I could not be more helpful, but you are not alone. I think there are many that have the same issue.
Your balance system includes two vestibular systems in the ears and vision (and input from muscles and joints). Your AN would have affected the vestibular system in one of your ears, so you are relying on one vestibular system and sight. For sight to work, you need a reference. Think of it this way, if you took a photo of the "light speed" snow, would you be able to tell which way is up? If not, your brain cannot use the visual information, so now you are down to just one vestibular system. The result is balance and dizziness issues.
In my case I live in a major city with multiple freeways. My first year post treatment I couldn't walk a straight line, day or night, I wobbled everywhere. Driving during the day was a non issue, no dizziness, nothing out of the usual other than driving during rush hour on the highways. I found it visually tiring and preferred to travel on side roads. My big issue was when I tried to drive at night outside of the city. Without streetlights or buildings with lights on to help orient me, and only my headlights to follow through the darkness, I became extremely dizzy and wonky headed. I was alone and managed to get to my location safely but was incredibly nauseous by the time I got there. Heading back home (which I had to do the same night), the dizzy wonky feeling stayed with me until I got back to city limits. Once I had lights again to help orient me, everything was fine. It was very unnerving and I know exactly what you're talking about.
One of my post treatment problems was ocular motor issues. Those problems have improved immensely, but night driving in snow or rain can still be difficult for me.
Snow or rain bother me. Was told that it's because my eyes try to track individual drops or flakes and that brings on the wonky head problems. Some wooziness or balance issues but mostly it makes me nauseous and headachy.
When i picked my daughter up from college for the summer we hit rain just after dark and ended up rambling through Hobby Lobby for an hour and a half waiting for rain to let up.