Helen's Story

In the autumn of 2012 I suffered a acute episode of Labyrinthitis.I went to bed one evening feeling that i may be "coming down with something” and ended up in the RD&E hospital the next morning. I was totally incapacitated,unable to raise from the bed without falling into a heap, then unable get back to bed,unable to orientate myself in space. I couldn't see properly and my hearing was affected, I was nauseous and suffered terrible headaches.I went through a whole raft of tests before the medics came up with a diagnosis of Labyrinthitis.

I was discharged home and required 24hr care for almost two weeks.I began to slowly recover but was genuinely worried that I was going to be left chronically sick and disabled. I asked my GP if there was anything that could be done as I had researched about Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT).
To cut along story short I was referred eventually to CHIME.

I cannot tell you what a relief this was for me. THEY GOT IT! and could empathise how this illness had impacted on my life both physically and emotionally. They explained the principles of VRT and I was eager to try it.

They made a detailed evaluation of my medical history,and I was assessed and observed on my balance, gait,and eye tracking. An individual graded programme of excercises was drawn up and a self assessment scoring card was given to me to fill in. This programme required me to follow it in a structured and habitual manner. I will not lie it was very hard at first as some of the exercises made my symptoms worse and it was very tiring. Fatigue with this illness is very debilitating and making yourself do these exercises was not easy.You thought you had achieved your goal and then there was another level to aspire to.

Progress was slow but I kept returning for re evaluation and some positive strokes from the staff at CHIME. They also encouraged me to take a train journey( I wasn't able to drive at this time)I planned the journey meticulously prebooked seats , not peak hour but what I couldn't control was the environment…too much stimulation my brain was in overload and I could have panicked caught a cab and returned back home, I didn’t, I found a quiet space and carried on.

CHIME played a part in giving me the confidence to move forward. I was determined that my brain could be re-trained to get my Vestibular system working as it did before and that i was going to get better not only for myself but for my family they wanted me back.

I remained with CHIME for a year and now I feel I am almost back to how I was before this illness struck me down. CHIME made the difference. Thank-you so much.