Vertigo and Grocery Shopping: You Break It, You Buy It

If there’s anything I hate doing more than laundry, it’s grocery shopping. Coupons, reading labels, comparing prices, and trying to maneuver through the aisles with a hundred other shoppers is enough to set me on edge. It can take anywhere from an hour to three hours for me to get everything I need and fit it in my budget.

Try doing that when you’re having a bad vertigo day. I would have waited until tomorrow, except I had a bad one yesterday, too. We needed food, so I went. We try not to order out, to save money and our waists. I planned it so I would go immediately after I woke up to beat the rush. This would eliminate part of the anxiety from dealing with people who are automatically angry at the grocery store for some reason.

Living with Vertigo

Vertigo sucks. Your balance is off, you see double, lopsided, out of place, and it can get nauseating. The grocery cart helped some with the balance issue. I could lean on it if I needed a minute. But reaching for things off the shelf, well, that was an interesting experience. For example, I needed two different pasta sauces for two recipes I’m doing for dinner this week. Well, one needed to be a basic tomato and basil sauce, and the other, a chunky garden sauce. Now, I shop at a store that is huge. It has products you can’t really find in regular big box grocery stores. Half the aisle is filled with different brands and kinds of specialty tomato sauces.

Well, I go towards the sauces that tend to use more natural ingredients. I’m trying to look at the prices, but they’re swimming in front of me. Looking at the ingredients was next to impossible. The print is already small and hard to read for me (I wear glasses). The other problem was trying to grab the bottles without breaking them. I think they’re in one place, and I reach for it, but it’s not there. I do it again. Not there. At this point, I’m obviously frustrated, so I lay my hand flat on the shelf and slowly move it until I hit something. I pick it up, and I look at it closely. Not the right sauce. Ugh. Now I have to put it back. This is a process as well. The shelves are either “too low” or “too high” in terms of how I can see it. I use my other hand for this, because I don’t want to hit the shelf with the bottle and have it break.

Eventually, I find the two sauces I need, but that was the general idea of grocery shopping with vertigo. Some things that I usually buy every time, I can recognize by color and usually the location. Those are easier to grab. Other things like ice cream, which this store carries a ton of, I have to look at prices, brand, and flavors. One note, as the cart gets heavier, it gets easier to control my balance. These are all common symptoms in someone suffering with vertigo.

I did okay today. I bumped into a few things, but I didn’t break anything or cause chaos. It was a successful grocery trip!

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