Cruise Bruise

Lynn Sedge
Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

Cruise Down The Nile - March 30, 2005

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Lynn Sedge Mal de Debarquement Syndrome

Cruise Down The Nile - March 30, 2005

Lynn Sedge
Submission Date: August 15, 2007
Event Date: March 30, 2005
Cruise Bruise: MdDS
Bruise Location: Luxor
Age: 54
Home Town: Rochester, Kent, England
Cruise Line: Unknown
Ship: Unknown
Details: Our week's holiday cruising on the Nile in Egypt. Our first week we spent mornings visiting sites and returned to the boat for lunch, going out again for the afternoon. Traveling on the main boat, coaches to each site or smaller speed boats. We ended the final morning with a balloon flight.

When we arrived home I felt as if I was still moving and I just dismissed it as adjustment back to land. The feelings persisted and got worse and I saw an emergency doctor who thought I had vertigo and gave me some medication. This failed to do anything and I visited my GP who also believed it was vertigo, after six weeks and different types of motion sickness tablets he admitted defeat and contacted the ENT department in the local hospital.

The ENT consultant diagnosed Mal de Debarquement Syndrome saying there was no medication which would help but that Vestibular Rehabilitation Exercises might. I started doing these exercises and initially they would make the symptoms worse but gradually I found they did help. The only time I was free of any symptoms was when traveling in the car but afterwards I would feel worse for a while, especially if the journey was quite long. It was also hard for people to understand exactly how MdDS made me feel, that it was not just the visible imbalance but much more.

Looking at the scale (see below) I would say my symptoms were 7-8 as I was unable to stand without swaying and falling backwards - it felt as though I was being pulled backwards all the time and it was tiring just to walk, it appeared I was drunk as I never walked in a straight line and even sitting I swayed all the time. The bed was moving continuously which made sleep difficult. I was unable to make sense things I read and I found myself re-reading paragraphs or pages and found watching television or conversations with more than one person difficult to follow. Computer tasks, general housework, activities involving eye or head movement made me worse. I did not tolerate noisy, dark or small places. I got frustrated as I was unable to do as much or as quick as I used to. I felt my life was 'on hold' for over two years and frequently wish I had never gone on the cruise.

Partially recovered after such a long time, I still feel occasional symptoms when I go to bed and occasionally I still walk into the door frame, turn too quickly or go from a light area into a dark one which will make me lose my balance but compared to the past two years these symptoms are tolerable.

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